Does Peanut Butter Help Dogs With Diarrhea?

Photo by Mike Mozart on Flickr

Dog diarrhea is a fairly common cause of distress in dogs and every dog owner knows how unpleasant an episode can be. The intensity, frequency and severity of the illness is largely  dependent on the cause and will also vary from dog to dog.

In most cases, an episode of dog diarrhea will be due to food allergy or food sensitivity and it’s usually a mild one that goes away in no time. But whatever the cause and however long it lasts, dog diarrhea is not fun for anyone, not for the pet parent and definitely not for the afflicted dog. But does peanut butter help?

Does peanut butter help dogs with diarrhea?

Preventing your little cutie from having the runs may not be entirely possible but knowing how to make them feel better and relieve their discomfort will make so much difference, but unfortunately peanut butter doesn’t help.

Since diarrhea is an irritation of the digestive system, vets advice that the first response to dog diarrhea is taking away all forms of food and making sure the dog has nothing to eat during this period. This is because, feeding your pet during an episode of diarrhea may further irritate the digestive system which will worsen the condition and cause more discomfort for your dog. 

Fasting your dog for at least 12 to 24 hours will help ease the irritation on the digestive system and allow it to repair itself. This fast is only from food and not water. Diarrhea can lead to dehydration, therefore you need to give your pet fresh, clean water to help them stay hydrated. 

When the fast is over (between 12 and 24 hours), start feeding your dog only small quantities of home-made bland diet, this can be boiled rice with boneless chicken, cooked white potatoes or scrambled white egg. 

These meals should contain no form of seasoning, and no butter or oils as they can further irritate the digestive system and trigger another bout of diarrhea. Continue with the bland diet and unflavoured Pedialyte for a few days (2 to 7 days) before gradually introducing their usual meal.

Could peanut butter constipate dogs?

No, peanut butter will normally not constipate dogs. Dogs love to snack on peanut butter and it can be a healthy treat for our furry friends. But with all good things, moderation is very essential. One of the causes of constipation in dogs is too much or too little fibre in their diet and peanut butter happens to be a good source of protein and fibre. 

If your dog starts to constipate after eating peanut butter, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the butter alone is responsible for the problem as it could be something your pet ate earlier that’s causing the problem. However, don’t let your constipated dog have any more peanut butter, give her some canned pumpkin and water to help with bowel movement.

What is xylitol and why is it dangerous for dogs?

It’s no secret that dogs love peanut butter and it can be a good source of protein for your furry friend. Peanut butter contains many healthy nutrients for dogs, vitamin B, niacin, and vitamin E. But some peanut butter brands contain an organic sweetener, xylitol, which can be very dangerous for dogs. 

Xylitol is a type of carbohydrate that occurs naturally in some fruits and vegetables. This substance is extracted and used as a low-calorie sugar substitute because it’s as sweet as sugar but contains fewer calories. Xylitol also has many health benefits for humans, but the same cannot be said for our furry friends. In dogs, xylitol can cause very serious health conditions that can be fatal without treatment. 

When a dog consumes a product containing xylitol, it triggers the release of large amounts of insulin from the pancreas which then tremendously lowers the blood sugar level of the dog. This condition is known as hypoglycaemia and is characterized by weakness, staggering, seizures, lack of coordination and collapse, this can happen a few minutes to one hour after a dog consumes xylitol. 

The only way to avoid xylitol poisoning in dogs is by making sure your dog never consumes any product that contains xylitol such as certain chewing gums, chewable vitamins, breath mints, toothpaste, and peanut butter brands.

What brands of peanut butter have xylitol in them?

It’s important that we shield our furry friends from what could kill them and one way to do that is by avoiding products that contain xylitol which is much more toxic than chocolate to dogs.

Peanut butter brands that label their product as low-sugar or sugar-free often contain xylitol because manufacturers use xylitol as a healthy sugar substitute. 

There are about five peanut butter brands that are known to contain xylitol, and they include; Nuts ‘N More, Go Nuts Co., Krush Nutrition, Protein Plus PB and P28 Foods. These nut butter brands are obviously very healthy for humans because xylitol has many health benefits, and it’s okay if one of them is your favourite brand. But ensure you don’t feed them to your dog. 

Not only peanut butter can contain xylitol, in fact the most common cause of xylitol poisoning in dogs is chewing gum, especially sugar-free gum such as Icebreakers and Trident. To protect your dog from xylitol poisoning, keep any xylitol-containing product out of their reach.

What brands of peanut butter are safe for dogs?

While most people prefer very sweet peanut butter, the best peanut butter for dogs are those that contain only dry roasted and unsalted peanuts. However, any peanut butter that is chocolate and xylitol-free should be safe for dogs. Peanuts are generally a good protein source both for humans and dogs, and they contain many essential minerals. 

Dog-friendly peanut butter are those that are completely free of additives and some good brands include  CB’s Nuts, Crazy Richard’s, Whole Foods’ 365 Everyday Value organic peanut butter or the Buddy Budder from Bark Bistro which is specially made for dogs.

If you’d like to occasionally share your peanut butter with your furry friend, then it’s very important to check the label and peruse the list of ingredients before choosing the best peanut butter for your family. 

If the label says “No-artificial sweeteners” or “all-natural”, this doesn’t make it okay for dogs because xylitol is a natural substance found in certain fruits and vegetables. For dog-friendly peanut butter, look for 100% roasted peanuts and nothing else.

Is there a safe amount of peanut butter for dogs to eat?

Although peanut butter can be safe and even healthy for dogs, provided it doesn’t contain the offending ingredient xylitol. But even without xylitol, dogs should consume nut butter with moderation. 

Peanut butter is a good source of protein but at the same time, it contains a generous amount of natural fats and when eaten too much can put your dog at risk of unhealthy weight gain. 

As a healthy treat for dogs, peanut butter should make up less than 10% of the dogs diet and should be given mainly as a reward for good behaviour. Also, it shouldn’t be the only treat you give your dog, it’s best to occasionally substitute peanut butter with other healthy treats like apple slices, carrots, watermelon, bananas, green beans and other healthy fruits and vegetables. 

Why do dogs get diarrhea?

The major cause of diarrhea in dogs is usually food sensitivity or food allergy mostly caused by dietary indiscretion on the dog’s part. When a dog raids the garbage, or eats what it shouldn’t, the digestive system may become inflamed and irritated which will result in a bout of diarrhea

Dog diarrhea can also be due to a more serious problem such as a viral infection, organ dysfunction, parasites, inflammatory intestinal disease, or sometimes it could be a symptom of an underlying illness. An abrupt change in diet can also upset a dog’s stomach.

What other foods help to stop an upset stomach? 

Following an episode of dog diarrhea, it’s advised that only bland meals should be given to the dog. Foods that help relieve an upset stomach in dogs include, plain boiled rice with boneless meat, plain canned pumpkin, peeled boiled potatoes, egg white, yoghurt and cottage cheese. 

These food choices provide dogs with enough calories to maintain a healthy energy level while soothing the irritation in their digestive system and helping them heal faster. These meals should be completely bland with no form of seasoning including salt, pepper, or oils. 

Closing Thoughts

Dog diarrhea is always an unpleasant experience but peanut butter or butter of any kind doesn’t help. Letting your dog go without food for some hours after you notice the first signs of diarrhea is the best way to help the digestive system recover and heal by itself. 

Foods that help with dog diarrhea are only bland meals because they have a very low probability of further irritating the digestive tract. Although peanut butter doesn’t help with dog diarrhea it’s still a healthy treat option for canines if it contains only 100% roasted peanuts.