We have seen a massive increase in the popularity of nut butters recently, mostly thanks to their delicious taste and healthy fat content.
Peanut butter is a long-standing favorite nut butter due to its versatility and overall beautiful taste, but many other nut butters have become popular in recent years too.
Almond butter, cashew butter and sunflower butter are tasty and flavorful alternatives to peanut butter and provide good fat and protein content in each of them, which is exactly what someone who is allergic to peanut butter needs.
If you’re a huge almond butter lover, you may be wondering, since it can be used as a substitute for peanut butter for you, surely it can be given to your dog too.
But the fact that humans can eat things doesn’t always mean it’s healthy for dogs, such as onions, grapes and raisins.
Can dogs eat almond butter? In short, the answer is yes, but they can only have it in very small quantities, and as you should do with everything you feed your dog, you have to check the label beforehand for any toxic ingredients.
This article aims to answer every question you may have about this popular, healthy spread.
What Almond Butter Is Okay To Give To My Pup?
When you’re purchasing almond butter, make sure that you thoroughly read the label of the spread you’re buying.
You want to check that the almond butter doesn’t contain xylitol, as this can’t be fed to your dog as it’s highly poisonous to them.
You may find a lot of spreads include this ingredient, as it’s a common sugar-free ingredient for humans, especially in nut butters, so make sure you’re very careful when selecting almond butter for your dog to snack on.
You’ll most likely want to avoid nut butters that include an artificial sweetener for your dog’s health and yours too!
How Much Almond Butter Is Okay For My Dog, And How Often Can I Give It?
Much like us humans, dogs also benefit from the healthy fats and proteins found in nut butters, so it’s a very good addition to include in their diet.
But, even if the almond butter you’ve purchased is completely safe for your dog, that doesn’t mean they should have a lot of it.
Almond butter should be given as a treat or a reward for good behavior, so it should only ever be given in small quantities.
Plus, your dog will probably appreciate it much more when they have it for a treat now and again!
If you do end up giving your dog too much almond butter, it can cause an upset stomach and digestive problems.
A small dog can have around half a spoonful of almond butter every day, and larger dogs can have one spoonful; this is completely safe and won’t harm your dog in the slightest.
How to Incorporate Almond Butter Into Your Dog’s Diet
Since almond butter has many good health benefits for your dog, you may be wondering how to incorporate it into your dog’s diet. Here are some tips on how to do that:
Don’t Use Any Artificial Sweetener
Never serve your dog almond butter or any other nut butters if they contain xylitol. This artificial sweetener can cause canine blood sugar levels to decrease and result in hypoglycemia, liver failure, or pancreatitis. You also don’t want to give them any added sugar.
Only Give Them a Small Amount
Almond butter is a nutritious treat but should only be given in small amounts. This is due to its high fat content. Too much almond butter causes stomach upset and other kinds of gastrointestinal upset and distress. It can also cause weight gain.
The best almond butter for your dog is organic. These nut butters only have nuts in the ingredient list. The fewer ingredients, the better. And as always, avoid giving it to your dog in a large amount.
Introduce Almond Butter Slowly
If you are going to incorporate almond butter into your dog’s diet, you want to do so very slowly. This gives your pup time to adjust and reduces the risk of stomach upset. It also ensures your dog doesn’t have an allergic reaction to nut butter.
Can Dogs Drink Almond Milk?
It is okay to occasionally give your dog almond milk. However, be sure to give them an organic brand. Non-organic almond milk varieties often contain almonds grown with a toxin like a glyphosate. Additionally, make sure the almond milk is unsweetened and has no dangerous additives.
Can Dogs Have Hazelnut Butter?
Hazelnuts are not toxic to dogs, making hazelnut butter a good dog treat option as long as it is fed to them in small amounts and only occasionally. Avoid feeding your dog whole hazelnuts and just stick to the nut butter option because whole nuts can cause intestinal blockage. A more severe blockage can lead to severe constipation, dehydration, and other health complications.
What’s Better For Dogs, Almond Butter Or Peanut Butter?
Almond butter is often used as an alternative to peanut butter for those with peanut allergies.
So almond butter has most of the same nutrients as peanut butter, so they rank pretty closely in terms of health benefits and safety for your dog.
And since peanut allergies aren’t nearly as prevalent in dogs as in humans, peanut butter is considered safe.
Almond butter outscores peanut butter very slightly when it comes to vitamin and mineral content, whereas peanut butter has a higher protein content than almond butter, albeit only very slightly.
As long as you have thoroughly checked the ingredients and it doesn’t contain xylitol, both of these nut butters are perfectly safe for your dog to consume, and either one will be a good dog treat for them.
Of course, dogs can still be allergic to peanut butter, so if your dog is trying peanut butter for the first time, make sure to only feed them a very small amount, to begin with, and make sure to keep an eye on them for any adverse reactions, like wheezing, whining or any other signs of discomfort.
Can Dogs Have Cashew Butter?
Of course, they can! Most nut butters are safe for your dog to consume (as long as the ingredients are safe and they don’t have a nut allergy!), and cashew butter is another perfect example of a treat your dog can enjoy.
What Nuts Should My Dog Avoid?
Not all nut butters or nuts are safe for your dog’s consumption. Macadamia nuts, walnuts, and pistachios cannot be consumed by your dog at all.
Macadamia nuts have a very harmful chemical in them that can cause brain damage in dogs, so it’s best to completely avoid this nut at all costs. Neurological symptoms can develop if they eat these nuts, and you may also notice back leg weakness, diarrhea, or vomiting. If your dog eats any of these nuts, contact your veterinarian right away because the dog might require medical assistance.
Pecans contain a toxin called juglone. It is an organic compound frequently used as a dye and is toxic to your dog. It can cause serious gastrointestinal distress and other problems, including an upset stomach, diarrhea, and vomiting. Pecans also develop mold, which can lead to other problems for your dog’s stomach. While the symptoms may only last a few hours, it is still important to contact your vet because it can lead to more significant issues.
Our furry friends do not have what is required for their bodies to digest the protein found in pistachios. They can also prove to be a choking hazard and should always be avoided. If your dog eats pistachios, it can cause more gastrointestinal upset and, in more severe cases, can even lead to pancreatitis.
Walnuts should also be avoided because they pose a choking hazard and are not a nutritional dog treat. They are also at a high risk of mold. Above all, avoid black walnuts as well, as these can cause even more serious harm to your dog as they are extremely toxic.
If you want to treat your dog to nut butters, make sure to stick to almond, peanut or cashew butter, they’ll enjoy every single one!
Nut butters are a perfect treat for your dog if you want to move away from Milk Bones and find a slightly more nutritious treat as a reward or just in general for being a good boy.
As long as you check the label to ensure that the nut butter doesn’t contain xylitol or any other harmful ingredients, your dog is perfectly fine to eat them in small quantities once a day.
Also, make sure to stick to cashew nuts, almond or peanut butter, as many other nuts, namely the pistachio and macadamia nut, can be very harmful to your dog, and there’s just no point in risking your dog’s safety.