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Although just a taste of chunky peanut butter is pretty much fine as the occasional treat for dogs, there are some things you should consider when giving your dog this type of sweet.
Before you give chunky peanut butter to your dog you should read the ingredient label very carefully to make sure that nothing inside it is toxic to dogs, like sugar replacements like xylitol. Palm oil is another ingredient you should make sure isn’t on the label, although this is one not a lot of people know about. Palm oil is used in some chunky peanut butter products because it is somewhat healthier than hydrogenated oils, for humans at least.
And although it is healthy for people, palm oil isn’t all that great for dogs. Although it isn’t so bad that we should consider it poisonous, it can still cause sickness in dogs and it also has a laxative effect. When ingesting too much palm oil, dogs might experience dehydration and diarrhea among the most common symptoms.
You should then check the texture and consistency of the chunky peanut butter that you want to give to your dog. If you have a pup or a dog of a smaller breed, then the chunks might become a choking hazard, although the chances of this happening aren’t at all high. A safer option for smaller dogs is, of course, peanut butter with a creamy consistency.
Another important factor you should consider is the high amount of calories and fat contained in peanut butter. This is why you should really try to moderate the amount of chunky peanut butter your dog gets. Most dogs that eat chunky peanut butter consistently will develop some type of weight-related problems at some point in their lives.
Some of the most popular chunky peanut butter brands
I`ll try to go over some of the most popular peanut butter brands and their ingredient lists. I think the most popular one is Jif or Jiffy peanut butter. This brand is known to have a few different types of crunchy peanut butter, among which are the crunch and extra crunchy versions. While studying the ingredient list of the extra crunchy version, I managed to only spot roasted peanuts, molasses, and fully-hydrogenated vegetable oils. This means that this version of the Jif peanut butter is not only palm oil free but also xylitol free, which makes it safe for your dog, as long as he eats it only as a treat.
The second most popular brand of peanut butter is Skippy. For the most part, the ingredient list for the Skippy SUPER CHUNK variety is pretty much the same as the Jif recipe. The most important ingredients on its list are salt, rapeseed oil, soybean oil and other fully-hydrogenated oils, and roasted peanuts. This means that you can also feed your dog with the occasional Skippy peanut butter.
Some chunky peanut butter brands that could contain xylitol
Most of the time, the products containing xylitol will be those products marked as sugar-free. A great example of this is the popular Go Nuts Co. Peanut butter. According to their official website, some of their products will contain xylitol or other sweeteners. Although nowadays most peanut butter brands will use something else than xylitol as the main sweetener, it won’t hurt to just ask whenever you’re in doubt for any reason, or when you’re buying a product from a second-tier brand.
What can you do to stop your dog from eating peanut butter?
Did the pet manage to get his paws on the whole jar of chunky peanut butter while you weren’t paying attention? The first thing you need to do is check the label on the jar to make sure that the peanut butter doesn’t have any ingredients that might be toxic to your dog. After this, you will have to give your dog a decent amount of fresh water and keep him under observation for the following hours.
As long as your dog doesn’t start to exhibit any symptoms like vomiting, fatigue, or diarrhea, you will most likely have no reason to take him to the vet. It will also be helpful to switch your dog’s diet to something lighter, like rice and boiled chicken, at least until he manages to get over any stomach upsets he might have to deal with.