This post was originally published on Petmeifyoucan.com
By Fabíola Donadão
Peanut butter. Is it safe for your dog?
Before answering the question, please, allow me to talk a little bit about this type of nut, originated in South America.
Yes, you read it well: legume family.
Okay, what a legume is then?
A legume is a simple, dry fruit contained within a shed or a pod. The most well-known legumes are peas, beans, peanuts, and alfalfa.
Legumes are high in protein, excellent sources of minerals and fiber.
Great, huh!? So, how can these vegetal proteins, minerals and fiber help my K9 carnivore friend?
In fact, they cannot help that much. In the book Raw and Natural Nutrition for Dogs, PhD Dr Lew Olson says “plant protein do not meet your dog’s nutritional needs”. As carnivores, the best protein source for our dogs is meat of any kind. That said, plant protein does not satisfy our dogs nutritionally and, even worse, they can create a host of other problems as well. Poor quality protein, according to Dr Olson, are taxing on our dogs’ liver and kidneys and over time can cause deficiencies that may compromise even the healthiest dog’s organs.
The peanut butter matter
Sorry, but I must say, it’s not safe for your dog even if it’s just ‘a treat’.
We all know that treats are part of the diet. The closest to the Nature they are the better the diet.
I highly recommend you read the article at Dogs Naturally Magazine that answered this question pointing a few things that are definitely not safe for our companion dogs and astonishingly bad for us. Following, a summary of the main reasons on why you should avoid peanut butter retrieved from the article written by Dana Scott.
#1. Most Peanut Butter Contains Aflatoxins (Which Cause Cancer)
Aflatoxins are naturally occurring mycotoxins produced by a fungus called Aspergillus.
And peanuts have them in spades.
Mycotoxins are one of the most carcinogenic (cancer-causing) substances on the planet and they’ve also been shown to be toxic to the liver. Aflatoxin is known to cause liver cancer in laboratory animals … and it would probably do the same in your dog.
#2. Most Peanut Butter Often Contains Harmful Fats
Trans-fatty acids are one of the most toxic food substances today. Trans-fats are the result of a highly toxic process that makes foods more stable, allowing them to sit on shelves for an extremely long time. Hydrogenation is the process of taking a plant oil, adding a nickel catalyst, heating it, and then removing the nickel catalyst.
The result is a highly toxic fat that causes diabetes, heart disease and chronic inflammation.
#3. Most Peanut Butter Contains Sugar
Think of white sugar as food for all of the nasty things we take our dogs to the vet for… like yeast (candida), bacteria, parasites – and cancer! The more we eat, the more they feast!
Sugar can also cause diabetes, food allergies, premature aging and low-level inflammation. And it feeds cancer cells.
Speaking of inflammation, that’s one more reason why peanut butter isn’t a great snack choice for your dog.
While peanuts are high in good monounsaturated fats, their omega 6 to 3 ratio is terrible! One cup of peanuts contains 35578 mg of omega-6 fatty acids and only 196 mg of omega-3 fats. Omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) can trigger inflammation, so too much is not good. The most common inflammatory conditions in dogs include allergies and joint disease.
It’s always good to remember that everything that is packed isn’t ‘natural’ at all. If you aren’t harvesting, sorry (again), it’s not 100% natural.
For dog’s sake! That’s the propaganda! I know that from experience, working in the field for more than 15 years! The advertisement guys are really good. They must be! Companies pay millions to advertise their products. But it’s our choice to be well informed to make the best decision for our companion pets.
If you used peanut butter before or are still offering for your dog, please, don’t make this a killer tool, just think about it and give yourself a chance to change this habit. Temperance is one of the laws of health, so, take your time, read about it, empower yourself and get ready to make positive changes for you and you pets.
Kong Stuffing Healthy Ideas
As a Carnivore Nutrition Coach, I’ll always be in favor of meat. Meat. Meat. Meat.
Minced muscle meat together with organs are, for me, the best option for Kong toys.
Once they are frozen, the microorganisms are dormant and won’t cause any damage to your dog, who pH level in the stomach is 1-2. This low pH level is ideal for quickly breaking down protein and neutralizing harmful bacteria. No need to worry!
Not sure about meat? Okay. I’ll give you another option, because I know you won’t do it every single day (will you?). You know… Meat should always be the first option.
Cantaloupe with coconut milk
Please, choose organic coconut milk to avoid risks of sugar or any conservative in it.
You’ll need, approximately, 1 small cantaloupe with ¼ of coconut milk.
Remove the skin and discard the seeds, then cut the cantaloupe in small pieces to blend together with the coconut milk. Once you have a puree, you can use it to stuff a few Kong toys, depending on their sizes. Take them to the freezer for at least 4 hours to serve while they are still frozen.
Meat is the best treat. But, if you are not going with meat treats, please, use the common sense and go with moderation.
Olson, Lew PhD. Raw and Natural Nutrition for Dogs. 2015. North Atlantic Books. Berkeley, California.
Lee, Jennifer. Inner Carnivore. A guide to species appropriate raw feeding for dogs and cats. 2014. Alberta, Canada.
About the author
Fabíola is a Social Communications Bachelor, specialist in Public Relations. So, ‘why is she talking about Natural Diet?’
Okay, let’s start over again.
She is a dog lover, a dog walker, a dog handler, a dog person. Her lifelong love for dogs led her to complete the Natural Dog Training, Behavior & Health Certificate and the Nutrition Coach Certification for Dogs & Cats with the American Council of Animal Naturopathy.
She lives in Canada with her family and their miniature schnauzer, Dora. Today, she works at Pet Me If You Can, a dog walk and sitting company owned by her dear friend Marianne Ferroni.
Fabíola has been helping dog owners in Brazil, her native country, and Canada.
The natural path to maintain the systemic health of our companion pets has her attention. This is the subject of her studies as well as nutrition based on the Nature.
When asked what to expect for the future, she says ‘Dogs tell me every day to live in the present. This is what I’m doing with gratitude for being part of these dogs’ journey. I feel honoured for writing this story’.