Mmmmmm, peanut butter. We all love it, its a classic on a sandwich, and goes perfectly with anything at any time a day. So if you love to eat peanuts, what about giving some to your dog? Can dogs eat peanuts? I know mine certainly wants it, every time I do. My dog is absolutely infatuated with peanut butter, and the good news is, it is perfectly okay for her to eat it! Peanuts (also known as ground nuts) come from Mexico, South America, and Central America, and are not actually nuts. That’s right, peanuts are actually legumes, also known as the plant family Fabaceae. They are not actually nuts, they are the fruit of the plant. Therefore, peanuts don’t fall into the category of nuts and are more similar to beans or seeds. The plants grow to as large as 50cm, producing many peanuts; by the time they get to the store, they can be roasted, salted, shelled, or unshelled, and are always super delicious.
Peanuts have many health benefits for both humans and dogs. They are abundant in monounsaturated fats, which promote a healthy heart for ourselves and our dogs, and reduce the risk of many cardiovascular diseases. Peanuts are also rich in many nutrients, such as vitamin E, niacin, folate, manganese, and protein. All of these nutrients also decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease and provide many benefits to the entire body. As if that isn’t enough, peanuts are surprisingly high in antioxidants, more than many fruits including blackberries and strawberries! This means that not only will they help your dogs heart stay healthy, they will boost their immune system and reduce the risk of cancer as well. Peanuts are a very potent package of really good nutrients for you and your dog, all in a tasty little peanut. So go ahead, give your dog some peanuts and help them grow a healthy heart.
Like any human food you feed to your dog, be aware that dogs can have the same allergies just like we can. Peanuts are not exempt from this, the first time you give your dog peanuts or peanut butter watch out for a reaction. This can come in the form of skin rashes, general itching, rashes, inflammation of the throat or tongue, or swelling. Although dogs are not generally as allergic as humans to peanuts. A great way to give your dog a peanut treat is to cut a little bit of smooth peanut butter with water, put it on a stick, and freeze it into a popsicle (see the picture). I have literally seen every dog who has been presented one of these freakout, it is like a sensory overload of awesomeness for them! Remember, though, although peanuts are very healthy for your dog, they are also very very high in fat content. Peanuts should only be fed to your dog as a treat or a snack, never as a meal. That is, unless you want your dog to roll instead of walk. Raw unshelled peanuts also make a great training treat, as dogs can chew them down very quickly. So can dogs eat peanuts? Absolutely! Next time you are enjoying some, make sure to share the goods with your favorite friend too!