We, humans, love to eat peanuts. They are very delicious and contain lots of beneficial nutrients for us humans, but can a dog eat peanuts without any danger? The answer is yes; dogs especially your beloved pet can eat peanuts and will take a liking to them. If you’re one of those dog owners who feed his/her dog with peanuts, then more info about peanuts is necessary.
If you decided to know more about peanuts and how they affect your dog’s health and well-being, then the info below will aid you.
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What are Peanuts?
Peanuts are a legume crop that has edible seeds hence it cultivation for human use. The peanut is a native to the tropics and sub-tropics where it grows. We humans love to use peanut as food and dogs can eat this food as well as enjoy it too. In moderate amounts, peanuts can be a healthy source of nutrients for your dog. Peanut has several nutrients that are right for your pet. Here are 3 of those nutrients.
- Protein – Proteins are a necessary factor for the proper upkeep of your dog. Specifically, the protein ensures that your dog’s coat will not become brittle or will have patches of hair that are falling off. These proteins can prevent the skin of your pet will become dark thus spoiling whatever beautiful colors you precious possess. Also, the dog’s natural response to infections and wounds is fortified thanks to protein. Lack of protein means that your dog is easily infected with sickness and have wounds that don’t heal fast.
- Vitamin B Complex – As a co-enzyme, the vitamin B complex’s function is to initiate the biochemical reactions of turning carbohydrates into glucose that will provide energy for your pet. Vitamin B complex helps your dog’s body system in absorbing fat and protein. Excessive shedding, allergy to fleas, stained/ decaying teeth, high cholesterol levels, weight gain, anxiety, stress, motion sickness, loss of hair, constipation, premature graying and an adverse reaction to vaccines are signs of lack of vitamin B complex. Other signs of vitamin B complex deficiency are being bothered by flies during summer and picks up ticks as well as fleas regularly.
- Niacin (Vitamin B3) – Niacin or Vitamin B3 is a water-soluble essential vitamin that helps the dog’s body metabolizes amino acid, glucose, fatty acid and ketone. This vitamin can also reduce the severity of hypercholesterolemia and reduces VLDL synthesis in dogs that are obese. Lack of niacin in dog results in anorexia, diarrhea with blood, loss of weight, ptyalism, erythema of the oral mucosa that leads to ulceration and inflammation. The final result of niacin deficiency in dogs is death.
You can see that these three nutrients have a significant role in keeping your dog, healthy happy and fit. A healthy dog is a money saving pet since it will require less non-regular trips or checkups to a vet.
The Good and Bad Benefits of Peanuts to Dogs
Peanuts like other foods have certain beneficial and detrimental effects on your pet’s health. You need to know the advantages and pitfalls of feeding your precious dog peanuts since the long-term effects can help your dog. If you know the different effects, you can plan and control your pet’s peanut diet to ensure that it won’t get the bad stuff while maximizing the good things that your dog can gain from peanuts.
- Prevents the coat of your dog from becoming brittle and from graying prematurely.
- Stops your dog’s hair from falling in patches and shedding too much of it.
- Enhances the dog’s resistance to various infections.
- Strengthens the natural healing process of the dog’s body system.
- Peanuts prevent the dog’s skin from darkening.
- Helps in absorbing protein and fat in your dog’s body system.
- Protects the dog’s teeth from decaying or blacking.
- Mitigates excessive weight gain, motion sickness and anxiety stress.
- Stop allergies that are caused by fleas.
- Aids in metabolizing the amino acid, glucose, fatty acid and ketone in the dog’s body.
- Reduces the severity of hypercholesterolemia as well as VLDL synthesis in obese dogs.
- Prevents weight loss, bloody diarrhea, and anorexia.
- Stops the erythema of the oral mucosa that eventually results in ulceration and inflammation.
- Xylitol toxicity. This effect is a buildup of sugar substitute in a dog’s body.
- Sodium ion toxicosis or salt poisoning. The accumulation of salt in a dog’s body can cause this effect.
- Too many peanut feeding can result in pancreatitis.
- Upset stomach
What Kind of Peanuts can I Feed to my Dogs?
Feeding your dog peanuts is a good idea, but can a dog eat peanuts of certain types? Yes, some peanut types are safe, while some have particular non-beneficial effects on your pet. The best kind of peanut to feed your pet is the raw and dry-roasted types that have no salt. Almost all veterinarians agree that these unsalted raw and dry-roasted peanuts are the safest type of peanuts for your pet. Also, unsalted raw and dry-roasted peanuts tend to lose little of their nutritional value.
Avoid salted as well as honey roasted, flavored or made-for-people treats peanuts. Salted peanuts have sodium and an excess of it in a dog is dangerous for its health since too much salt results in salt ion toxicity. Honey roasted and flavored peanuts are unsafe treats due to their various chemicals. Made-for-people treats that have peanuts like candy bars, chocolate, etc. is for humans only since they have certain ingredients that are poison to dogs. When treats are made-for-people, it means what it says: only people or humans can eat them in safety. It’s a common fact that people foods are not usually good for animals especially dogs.
As a final note remove all the shell from raw and dry-roasted peanuts since these shells are choking hazard. While peanut shells may be a small thing to your point of view, for a dog it’s a problem since it will affect it and could be fatal. A little effort in stripping the peanuts’ shell is worth the safety of your precious dog.
How Many Peanuts I Can Give to my Dogs?
Actually, there is no specific or set amount of peanuts you can give your dog. People say that moderation is the key to everything and that includes feeding your pet peanuts. You should limit your pet’s peanut consumption to just a few pieces of peanuts. Please bear in mind that peanuts are treats not everyday meals for dogs. Even if you love your dog very dearly, it is not a smart move to overfeed it with peanuts as well as other foods or treats. Try not to give your dog peanuts every day unless you want its health to suffer. It is inadvisable to feed your dog meals where peanut is the main ingredient. These kinds of meals are tantamount to feeding your dog peanuts every day which is a big no-no. To reiterate moderation is the key to a healthy dog peanut-feeding.
Can Dogs Eat Peanut Butter?
Peanut butter is paste made from crushed roast peanuts. We humans use peanut butter as a spread or an ingredient in a recipe due to its distinctive properties. That said you probably think that you can share and give some delicious peanut butter to your dog.
Below are some of the ingredients in peanut butter that can harm your pet:
- Alfatoxins – This ingredient is a type of mycotoxins that is usually produced by the Aspergillus fungus. Alfatoxin is one of the carcinogen substances that can cause cancer to humans and dogs. As a result, your dog can end up with liver cancer due to the toxicity of the substance towards the liver.
- Trans-fatty acids (Trans-fats) – Trans-fats are useful in making foods last a long time especially on shelves or storage. Unfortunately, significant amounts of trans-fats can be toxic to humans or dogs. Trans-fats along with hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils (these oils are usually mixed with trans-fats) will cause chronic inflammation, diabetes and heart disease in your pet.
- Sugar – We humans use sugar as sweetener or ingredient in some our diet, however too much sugar can harm us. The same effect applies to dogs too. Too much sugar intake can cause low-level inflammation, food allergies, premature aging, and diabetes and feeds the cancer cells of your pet. The last two mentioned effects can affect humans, but it is worse for a dog.
- Xylitol –This substance is a sugar substitute that you can find in commercial peanut butter. Xylitol is either a naturally occurring substance or a chemical sugar alcohol. You can find natural xylitol in lettuce, berries, mushrooms, plums, oats and corn. Commercial xylitol can be extracted from vegetable material, corn fiber, hardwood trees and birch trees. This substance has the look and taste of sugar. It rivals sucrose in sweetness but has only 2/3 the calorie content. This trait is one reason why Xylitol is a favorite add-on to some if not all foods. For us humans this xylitol is no will not harm us in small as well as moderate quantities, but for dogs, it’s another story. Small amounts of xylitol in humans won’t harm us, but for dogs, that small amount will cause diseases. Expect your pet to be afflicted by seizures, liver failure and hypoglycemia (or low blood sugar). Higher doses of xylitol will result in an increased chance of your pet being affected by the diseases, though in small amounts those conditions won’t show up. Death is the final result of dogs that have too much xylitol intake. If you’re buying a commercial brand peanut, check if there is a “natural sweetener” in its list of ingredients. That “natural sweetener” is xylitol under another name.
However, there is good news: there is one type of peanut butter that is safe for your dog. This kind of peanut butter is the non-commercial homemade type. Non-commercial, homemade peanut butter contains little or no oil as well as sodium. That sort of peanut butter has the absence of xylitol, alfatoxin, trans-fatty acid as well as hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils. If you have the skills to make homemade peanut butter, then do so since it is a healthy alternative to commercial peanut butter. This action allows you to control or remove the oil and sodium of the peanut butter. If you can’t make homemade peanut butter, try looking for a person you can trust to make healthy homemade peanut butter.
There you have it: the ins and outs of peanuts. Now you know what pitfalls to avoid and what to actions to do when it comes to peanut-feeding your dog. Just remember that only the best kind of peanuts are worthy of your beloved pet companion’s diet.