Peanut butter is yummy and delicious. It leaves us feeling great for the whole day, not unless you are allergic. You might want to share that delightful feeling with your all-time friend (your GSD), but is it safe for him health-wise?
German shepherds can eat peanut butter, but just like humans, some of them can have an allergic reaction to it. Peanuts butter can also be toxic to German shepherds if it contains xylitol. The health condition of your GSD will also determine if he will eat it or not.
Consider factors such as the type of peanut recommended for dogs, why, how, and when they should eat it. Do not forget the potential risks.
How Much Peanut Butter Can a German Shepherd Eat?
Peanut butter contains proteins and natural fat, and if consumed in excess it can lead to obesity and pancreatitis. If your GSD is diabetic, consulting the vet first before feeding peanut butter to him is the best option.
You should also follow the 10% rule, which states that treats should compose 10% of the total diet. It is not advisable to give peanut butter as a daily treat. Instead, alternate it with other treats like carrots and fruits. Two times a week are enough for him.
Why Peanut Butter is Good for Dogs?
- It is nutritious. It is a tasty treat and contains proteins and vitamins.
- Assist to give medicine to him. Giving medicine to your GSD especially tablets can be made easier by peanut butter. You only need to mask the medicine with a piece of meat coated with peanut butter.
- Help him in cooling. Peanut butter can help your dog to cool off on hot summer days. Add a few drops of water in peanut butter and freeze.
- Assist when taking a bath. Bathing your German shepherd can be tedious especially if he is not the calm type. This can be made easier if you distract him with peanut butter. He will be clean within no time.
- Act as a distraction. This is mostly when there is a thunderstorm or fireworks as GSDs fear them. If you give him a hollow rubber toy filled with peanut butter, he will only concentrate on licking out everything from it. He will not be anxious or scared.
- Its fun watching them feed on it. German shepherds can’t contain their joy once you open a jar of peanut butter.
Ingredients to Avoid in Peanut Butter
You should check the ingredients of the peanut butter before buying it. Avoid buying peanut butter with the following ingredients;
Xylitol is a sweetener used in human food. Though it is also found in fruits, Xylitol in concentrated form it can be fatal to dogs. It can cause death within minutes. Keep away food that has xylitol in it or get rid of it completely for safety. Xylitol can have the following effects on your GSD;
- Pale gums
- Increased pulse rate
Though not fatal like xylitol, it should not be in a dog’s peanut butter. Dogs can digest naturally occurring sugar but not refined one which can lead to problems such as tooth cavity, diabetes, and obesity.
Salt is harmful to a dogs’ health, either in food or in peanut butter. Excess sodium intake causes bloating high blood pressure, and sodium ion poisoning, which can be fatal.
Avoid feeding salt to your dog by all means.
Peanuts might have a fungus known as aflatoxin. It can cause liver disease, cancer, and in other cases death. Unfortunately, you cannot detect aflatoxin by checking the ingredients as unrefined peanut butter can also have it. Always feed your GSD a small amount of peanut butter and wait for about ten minutes to see if there is any reaction with his body.
Nut Allergies in German Shepherds
Some German Shepherds are allergic to nuts. The immediate signs that you can see are vomiting, diarrhea, reddish and itchy skin. Wait for ten minutes for any allergic reaction. Always make sure that your veterinarian is available before doing any allergy test. Sometimes peanut allergies can be fatal. If left for long without treatment, allergies can lead to loss of hair, open wounds, or serious skin diseases.
Potential Risks of Peanut Butter in German Shepherds
- Can be deadly to allergic German shepherds
- Comprises a lot of calories and can lead to obesity
- Feeding peanut butter to a dog can be messy sometimes. You must wipe him thoroughly to avoid it sticking on his fur.
Always do an allergy test before feeding peanut butter to your German shepherd. Buy or prepare smooth but not crunchy peanut butter. You can opt for homemade peanut butter which has no xylitol or refined sugar or salt. If you are not sure about any ingredient in peanut butter, first research it before buying it. Do not serve peanut butter to an obese GSD.