Peanut Butter is a Popular Treat for Dogs, But Its Not Good for Your Dog, Find out Why, Learn About Appropriate Alternatives

peanut butter is bad for dogs and learn about appropriate alternatives.

★ 3 min read

In this article:

  1. Is Peanut Butter Bad for Dogs, or OK for Dogs?
    1. Fact
    2. Three common questions, answered
  2. Why Peanut Butter is Bad for Dogs
    1. Peanuts, aflatoxins, and lectins
    2. Nuts or Not?
    3. Aflatoxins 
    4. Lectins
    5. Phytic Acid
    6. Glyphosate
  3. Appropriate Alternatives to Peanut Butter

Is Peanut Butter Bad For Dogs, or OK For Dogs?

Peanut butter is bad for dogs.
However, there are other plant-based butters that are good for dogs. A list of appropriate plant-based butters is provided further below.
why peanut butter is bad for dogs
Three Common Questions Answered

1. Is peanut butter OK if it doesn’t contain xylitol, icing sugar, sugar or salt?
2. How about pure peanut butter?
3. Or organic peanut butter?
The answer to all three questions is NO. 
It doesn’t matter if you buy the highest quality, pure, organic peanut butter. 

Why Peanut Butter is Bad For Dogs

Peanuts contain naturally occurring substances that are harmful to dogs:
  1. Aflatoxins
  2. Lectins
  3. Phytic acid
In addition to the above, some peanuts are contaminated with glyphosate residue. Gylphosate is a carcinogen.   

Peanuts, Aflatoxins and Lectins

Nuts or Not?
Peanuts are not nuts.
Peanuts are pulses. 
Pulses are the dried seed from a legume plant
The peanut plant is a legume plant. 
Peanuts are in the same plant family as beans, peas and other pulses.
Aflatoxins are naturally occurring toxic fungi. Crops such as legumes and grains (rice and other grains) are vulnerable to aflatoxin contamination. Aflatoxin contamination on legumes and grains can occur:
  1. On the live crop.
  2. During harvesting.
  3. During processing and milling of the crop (i.e. peanuts).
  4. And after you buy the product (i.e. peanuts, peanut butter).
Aflatoxins are toxic to humans, dogs and other animals.
Aflatoxins are classed as a carcinogen by the World Health Organization. Aflatoxins are not destroyed by cooking or exposure to other heat treatments.
Ingesting food contaminated with aflatoxins can cause acute severe intoxication (aflatoxicosis). 
Immediate side effects of acute aflatoxicosis include:
  1. Hemorrhage.
  2. Kidney damage.
  3. Liver damage.
  4. Death, when not treated in time.
Long-term side effects of aflatoxcosis:
  1. Liver cancer.
I treat aflatoxicosis cases.
One of my client cases:
A relative of the dog’s owner gave the dog a small amount of stale peanuts from the pantry. 
A few peanuts were all it took to cause a life threatening case of aflatoxicosis in a large breed dog.  
A study tested peanut products over the span of 6 years (2011 to 2016). 42 percent of peanut products from the USA had contamination levels higher than acceptable safe levels.


Lectins are natural carbohydrate-binding proteins present in a wide range of foods including:
  • Fish
  • Other animal proteins
  • Grains
  • Legumes
  • Fruit
  • Vegetables 
However, only some lectins are harmful.
Lectins in peanuts are harmful to dogs and cats. Naturally occurring lectins in peanuts cause and contribute to:
  • Nutrient deficiencies
  • Disruption of the gut and intestines
  • Immune system disruption
  • Inflammation in the body
  • Autoimmune disorders including food allergies
Lectins in some legumes (i.e. peanuts) are not disrupted or destroyed by heating, baking or cooking. 
Phytic Acid
Phytic acid is a naturally occurring substance present in all plants. The amount of phytic acid varies per type of plant and plant component.
Peanuts are a “high-phytate” (phytic acid) food.
Phytic acid interferes with the absorption of iron, zinc and calcium. Over the long-term this can result in mineral deficiencies. 
The degree to which phytic acid affects your dog depends on your dog’s personal situation. Sensitivities, vulnerabilities and the componnets of your dog’s diet.
Many foods contain phytic acid and provide invaluable nutritive support. But there are some phytic acid containing foods that cause more harm than good. Peanuts and peanut butter cause more harm than good for dogs and cats.
Glyphosate, (Round-Up) is the most common synthetic chemical herbicide. In 2015 the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) declared glyphosate a probable human carcinogen. 
Since 2015 there's been many high profile law suites filed against the manufacturer of glyphosate, Bayer-Monsanto. Monsanto recently lost a lawsuit covering an estimated 95,000 cases. As a result, Monsanto-Bayer was forced to payout $10 billion to settle the suits. There are more cases waiting to be heard in-court. 
Before planting a peanut crop, glyphosate may be used to kill weeds. Prior to harvest time glyphosate applied to the crop speeds drying time. But not all peanut farmers use glyphosate. 
Reduce your exposure to glyphosate residue. Buy organic peanut butter for yourself. BUT don’t include peanuts and peanut butter in your dog’s diet. Replace the peanut butter with an appropriate alternative.
Appropriate Alternatives to Peanut Butter
Your dog can enjoy appropriate plant-based butters. Choose one of the healthy plant-based butters I recommend below. Your dogs can self-select the option(s) they like best. Remember to choose 100% pure butters. Organic butters provide the best nutritive value.
  1. Almond butter
  2. Cashew butter
  3. Hazelnut butter (pure hazelnut butter, not cocoa and hazelnut butter)
  4. Pine nut butter
  5. Pumpkin seed butter
  6. Sunflower seed butter
  7. Tahini 
  8. Watermelon seed butter

Holistic Diet, Nutrition, Wellness Services Tailored to Your Individual Dog and Cat
For information about my holistic diet, nutrition, wellness services visit my:
Maintain good health | Address acute and chronic health issues | Pre and post surgery support and recovery
My holistic wellness services are available worldwide via video consultation.

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To set-up your holistic wellness consultation get in-touch via email:
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Holistic Behavioral Services For Your Dog
For information about my holistic behavioral services visit my:
For dogs of all ages, sizes and breeds
My holistic behavioral services are available locally in-person and worldwide via video session.
🌎  USA | Canada | UK | Europe | Australia | New Zealand | Asia | South and Central America | Africa | UAE
πŸ“± FaceTime | Facebook | Skype | WhatsApp
To set-up your holistic behavioral session get in-touch via email:
Contact me.
Affiliations to Companies
✓ None.
✓ I don't sell food or supplements.
✓ I'm not aligned with any companies.

Article and graphics by Karen Rosenfeld

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