Peanuts are a great snack for humans and animals alike, especially in the form of butter. But can dogs eat peanuts, or are they bad for them? Well, the answer isn’t simple.

Peanuts are very nutritious, but you might harm your dog if they’re not prepared the right way. In this article, we’ll talk about the benefits, risks, and ways to serve peanuts to your pup:

Peanuts — A Safe Snack for Your Dog?

Although most of your dog’s meals should consist of animal-derived protein, such as meat, giving them some plant-based snacks can make their diet more diverse and fun. 

Peanuts contain ingredients that can be beneficial and detrimental to your dog’s health.

Healthy Ingredients

When your dogs have peanuts, they get a supply of carbohydrates and protein, which are essential for maintaining high energy levels throughout the day. 

Besides these ingredients, peanuts also contain vitamins E and B6, niacin, healthy fats, and calcium, which are essential for healthy nutrition.

Unhealthy Ingredients

Peanuts contain high amounts of fat-derived calories, so you should avoid this snack if your dog is overweight. The high fat also causes an upset stomach, leading to pancreatitis in time. Also, the high sodium values in salted peanuts can lead to ion toxicosis.

Peanuts are a very common allergen, and sometimes dogs develop an allergic reaction, which may end up as an anaphylactic shock in the worst case. So if you wonder, “Are peanuts bad for dogs?” these are the reasons why we’d say yes. 

What Kind of Peanuts Can You Give?

You can buy or prepare peanuts in many ways. While they’re tasty and perfectly healthy for us, they can be a big burden to our dogs’ health. 

Peanut Shells

Always remove the shells before serving peanuts. They’re hard to digest and can cause gastrointestinal blockage. Also, the high fiber amounts in them may cause diarrhea. Besides, peanut shells are also a big choking hazard and may cause asphyxiation.

Salted Peanuts

So, can dogs eat salted peanuts? The answer is a definite no. Salted peanuts are full of excess sodium, which may lead to salt poisoning, a life-threatening situation.

But if your dog steals a few salted peanuts from the floor, it won’t be a huge problem, so don’t worry too much about it.

Honey Roasted Peanuts

Salted peanuts are bad for dogs, but can dogs have honey-roasted peanuts? Maybe, but in moderation. Giving a few peanuts once in a while won’t cause many problems.

It’s crucial to note that larger amounts of these peanuts will cause vomiting, decreased appetite, and diarrhea, and you’ll end up taking your dog to the vet. That’s because they contain many artificial sweeteners that can be harmful to your dog. So, try avoiding them if you can.

Raw or Dry Roasted Peanuts

Raw or dry roasted peanuts are the best choice for your dog’s diet. But why can dogs eat raw peanuts? The answer lies in the ingredients.

Raw or unsalted dry roasted peanuts are free of sodium and artificial flavors, so they’re a lot safer for your pet. The only problem with plain old peanuts is the high-fat content, which is why you should give them in moderation.

Raw peanuts grow in moist environments, so they may develop a fungus called Aflatoxin that can harm your dog. But since dry-roasted peanuts go through high temperatures, they’re free of this fungus and are the best option for your dog.

Boiled Peanuts

So, dogs can have raw and dry roasted peanuts, but can dogs have boiled peanuts? Yes. Like the previous two, boiled peanuts are generally safe for consumption.

What makes them ok to eat is that they’re free from salt or sweeteners. Also, boiled peanut shells can be softer and easier to digest than other types. But they’re not of any nutritional value to your dog, so deshell them when possible.

peanut butter

What About Tasty Crunchy Peanut Butter?

Like humans, dogs enjoy tasty and nutritious foods, and peanut butter is one of them. But can dogs eat peanut butter? Yes. Whether it’s crunchy or creamy, your dog will be fine as long as it’s all-natural and in small quantities.

Many people use peanut butter to entice their dogs to use their puzzle toys, get them in the bathtub, or hide their medicine. Dogs love the taste of peanut butter, so giving it as an occasional snack will make your pup very happy.

But you should watch out for the following:

  • Peanut butter is very high in fat, so it can lead to weight gain or pancreatitis. Give it like you give dogs peanuts — in moderation. 
  • Keep a watchful eye on commercially available peanut butter brands. Many types contain xylitol, an artificial sweetener that’s very toxic to your dog. It can lead to hypoglycemia, disorientation, and even seizures, so be careful when choosing the right butter.

Why Are Peanuts Dangerous?

We discussed what dangerous ingredients peanuts contain and what types of peanuts are detrimental to your dog’s health. But in what way are peanuts bad for dogs?

Choking Hazard

Peanuts are small, making them harder for dogs to chew, so they might just swallow them whole. That’s dangerous and can be a choking hazard, even more when peanut shells are present.

If you notice your dog in distress, pawing at the mouth, salivating, coughing, gagging, or rubbing their face against the ground, they might be choking.

To prevent that, always remove the peanut shells, crush the peanuts before serving, and keep a watchful eye on your pup.

Allergic Reaction

Like humans, dogs can also be allergic to food. If that’s the case and dogs eat peanuts, they may get an allergic reaction. It can be mild or severe, and these are the most common symptoms:

  • Sneezing or coughing
  • Hives and itchy skin
  • Swelling of the skin, especially the mouth and face
  • Trouble breathing
  • Vomiting
  • Anaphylactic shock

If you notice your dog showing any of these symptoms after eating peanuts, stop giving them and immediately call your vet. The mild reactions are usually treated with oral antihistamines, but an anaphylactic shock needs immediate veterinary attention.

If your dog’s prone to allergies, consider getting some non-allergenic dog food to avoid further reactions.

Too Much Salt

So when asked, “Are salted peanuts bad for dogs?”, we already said they’re very dangerous. But why is the excess salt bad for your dog?

While we use it daily, salt can cause some serious problems in your dog. According to the ASPCA, salt poisoning results in excessive thirst and urination. Symptoms include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Depression
  • Lethargy
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Coma
  • Death

If you suspect your dog has been poisoned by salt, immediately contact your vet. To avoid this condition, refrain from giving salted peanuts or other salty foods to your dog, including potato chips, pretzels, or popcorn.

Aflatoxin Poisoning

One reason raw peanuts are poisonous to dogs is that they can contain the Aflatoxin fungus. It grows in moist environments like raw peanuts

If your dog eats contaminated raw peanuts with Aflatoxin, they may develop symptoms in a few days or weeks. According to the FDA, the signs you need to watch out for are the following:

  • Sluggishness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Jaundice
  • Unexplained bruising or bleeding
  • Diarrhea

The worst outcome of this infection is long-term liver disease and death. To prevent this from happening, be very careful with the food you offer to your dog and switch raw peanuts for dry-roasted or boiled ones. If you notice any of the symptoms above, contact your vet.

How to Serve Peanuts to Your Dog

Now that we answered the question “Can dogs eat peanuts?”, let’s see how you can serve them to your dog.

Check With Your Vet

If you want peace of mind, check with your veterinarian before offering peanuts to your dog. They’ll tell you whether your dog can have them and how much you should give. If your vet says it’s ok, you can introduce your dog to this tasty snack.

Give Them as a Snack

The most important word here is “moderation.” Offer this treat occasionally, only about 4–5 peanuts a couple of times a week. If this is the first time your dog tries peanuts, introduce them slowly to avoid an allergic reaction. The same goes for peanut butter.

a hand feeding a dog some snack

Include a Feeding Toy

The most fun way to use peanuts for dogs is to offer them as a snack and include them in a puzzle feeder for some extra mental stimulation. You can also spread some peanut butter on a fun dog toy like the Kong and let your dog have fun. The possibilities are endless.

Make Your Own Peanut Butter

If you want to feed your dog some peanut butter but are afraid of xylitol or other dangerous ingredients, you can make it yourself. You’ll only need fresh peanuts and a good food processor like Cuisinart on Amazon. It’s a great way to provide a tasty and healthy snack for your pup.

Keep a Watchful Eye

Watch your dog when offering peanuts or peanut butter, especially if it’s the first time you’re doing that. Peanuts can be bad for dogs, and the dangers of choking or an allergic reaction are serious. You must notice the symptoms on time and contact your vet as soon as possible.

Other Dangerous Nuts

So besides peanuts, there are other unsafe foods for dogs. When it comes to nuts, the most harmful ones are macadamia nuts and almonds.

Macadamia Nuts

These are the worst nuts to feed your dog. Even one macadamia nut causes toxicity and needs immediate attention. Some symptoms you may notice:

  • Depression
  • Weakness
  • Hyperthermia
  • Vomiting

It can even lead to death. If your dog consumes a macadamia nut, immediately contact your vet.


Even if some peanuts are ok for dogs, almonds aren’t. They’re highly dangerous for your dog. 

Almonds cause gastrointestinal issues like obstruction, vomiting, and diarrhea. Also, they can be a choking hazard. Unline macadamia nuts; they’re slightly safer. Eating one or two won’t be super dangerous, but you still have to watch your dog afterward.

So, Can Dogs Eat Peanuts?

Yes, they can as long as you only give them a few. The dangers lie in the high fat and salt content, so moderation is key. But the nutritional value and that delicious peanutty taste make these nuts a good way to reward your dog for being a good pup.

Be careful about the kinds of peanuts you offer. The best way to give them is by dry-roasting them or as homemade peanut butter.

If you notice any negative changes in your dog indicating an allergic reaction, aflatoxin poisoning, or choking, please contact your vet.

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