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When shared in small, moderate doses peanut can be a nice treat for you and your dog, but not everyone can eat peanuts and they’re banned from 90% of anywhere these days.

Luckily, there are a few dog friendly alternatives to peanut butter that you can share.

Kol’s Note: Nuts can be dangerous for dogs.

The truth is that all nut and seed butter, even peanut butter,  poses a risk to your pet’s health if they are given too much or too often.

Nuts and seeds are high in fats and calories. Nut butters are meant to be a very small part of your dog’s diet – a treat only!

For example, our peanut & pumpkin dog treats have just over 1/2 tsp. (0.66 tsp, to be exact) of peanut butter per cookie. That’s around 24 calories and almost 2 grams of fat before you add a single other ingredient. When a treat packs that kind of nutritional punch your dog should only be having one, no matter how much they beg. All good things – in moderation.

There are things you can do to make peanut butter and other nut butters a safer choice for your dog.

Choose a Sugar-Free Unsweetened Peanut Butter

Many peanut and nut butters on the market have a ton of sugar, corn syrup or other sweeteners in them. You want to avoid adding any extra calories, so choose a nut butter with no added sugar or sweetener.


Avoid any product with Xylitol or other fake sugars

Xylitol is toxic to dogs. In recent years, in an effort to offer diet alternatives, some brands have been adding xylitol or other no-calorie sweeteners to their peanut butter. Always read your labels. Xylitol is unsafe in any amount and should never be used in peanut butter dog treats.


Use low-fat nut butter, but watch out for unnecessary extras

It’s the oil in peanut butter that packs a walloping punch of calories + fat. Peanut butter with less oil can reduce the amount of fat making with a better choice for sharing with dogs. While reduced fat nut butters can be a little stiff or hard to spread, when you’re using them in homemade dog treats this isn’t a problem at all. You can always add a bit of water to your recipe to get the right dough consistency.

I love this tip from Livestrong about mixing chickpeas into homemade, low-fat peanut butter to make it spreadable. Chickpeas have a nutty and delicious flavour of their own and nut butter would just lend itself to the rich flavour.

Dogs don’t need added salt in their peanut butter

For humans, a touch of salt can really bring that peanut flavour alive on your tongue; for dogs, they already thing peanut butter is glorious even without the salt. Since it’s used primarily as a flavour enhancer, salt is an unnecessary ingredient in peanut butter for dogs.

The perfect product contains a single ingredient.

There’s no need for it to be complicated! The best peanut butter only has peanuts in it. The best sunbutter? Sunflower seeds. The less ingredients – the better.

Be cautious – I only use nut butter and never whole nuts, as whole nuts pose a choking and intestinal blockage risk, plus, they’re tough for dogs to digest.

If your dog is prone to upset stomach, give them a small taste of nut butter and then monitor to see how they handle it, there’s no need to risk them getting sick just for a snack.

Dogs with pancreatitis or other conditions requiring a low-fat diet should not eat nut or seed butters.

All that being said, dogs love peanut butter. 

100 calories | 8 g. fat per tbsp.

It’s one of those few things that drives them absolutely wild. No matter what I’m asking of them, be it to sit still while I clip nails or to not act like a jerk in the tub, they will do almost anything for a taste of the good stuff.

The only problem? Not everyone can have peanut butter and there are a whole lot of places that you can’t take peanut butter. For example, I would never take peanut butter to a kid’s park or a school.

So whether you’re trying to avoid peanut or just expand yours and your dogs foodie tastes, here are a few dog friendly alternatives to peanut butter that you can safely share with your pups.

All of these options have similar calories and fat content to peanut butter and should be fed with the same level of caution as peanut butter.

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5 Dog-Friendly Alternatives to Peanut Butter


Sunflower Seed Butter

105 calories | 9 grams of fat | 0 mg. sodium per tablespoon


Cashew Nut Butter

90 calories | 7 grams of fat | 0 mg sodium per tablespoon


Almond Butter

95 calories | 8 grams of fat | 0 mg sodium


Sesame Seed Butter

* be cautious with this one! Many brands of tahini include garlic, onion or other spices to enhance the flavour. Read your label to ensure the jar you buy is sesame seeds only.

86 calories | 7 grams of fat | 11 mg of sodium per tablespoon


Pumpkin Seed Butter Raw Organic

47 calories | 4 grams of fat | 2 mg sodium per tablespoon

Has your dog ever had a butter other than peanut butter?

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