Don't give Fido a PB & J, but peanut butter can be a healthy snack for him, and many dogs consider it a favorite treat. Make sure you give Fido raw, unsalted peanut butter in moderation. But be cautious, some dogs do have peanut allergies.
A Nutritional Snack
Peanut butter has a high nutritional value and can even improve the appearance of your dog's coat and boost his energy. It's a food that contains healthy minerals such as magnesium, iron, potassium, calcium and 3 grams of fiber per 2 tablespoons. It also contains vitamins E, K and B3. To keep your dog healthy, feed him raw, unsalted peanut butter rather than buy treats at pet stores. Most pet store treats usually contain other ingredients, such as frutose and xanthan gum that can make Fido pudgy. And there's always the option of making your own peanut butter treats.
Helps the Medicine Go Down
Don't just give Spot a jar of peanut butter and let him devour it. The most common use of this treat is a teaspoon inside a favorite toy or as a masking agent for medication. The easiest way to get your dog to take his medicine like a good boy is to push a pill inside a piece of meat and smother it with a little peanut butter.
Help Fido Cool Down
There are several ways you can give your dog peanut butter. One recommendation by the Humane Society of the United States is to cool your dog down by making peanut butter popsicles. Yes, he can enjoy one right alongside the kids. Simply mix water and small spoonfuls of peanut butter and freeze them. You can keep a bag of these peanut butter pops in the freezer for an extra hot day.
Like their humans, dogs can have peanut allergies. Symptoms usually occur immediately and can include ear infections, scratching and biting that leads to hair loss, skin irritation and moaning. If this happens, contact your veterinarian immediately. Your veterinarian may prescribe medication to relieve your dog's symptoms.
Crystal Owens is the managing editor at a Northern Virginia newspaper with more than 10 years experience in journalism. She has worked as a reporter in Florida, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Georgia, covering various topics from crime to politics to health care. She studied communications at the University of North Florida.