Pet owners forge such a strong bond with their pups that they blur the line between a furry friend and a baby. Some human foods are safe for dogs, but some can be toxic.
Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are a typical comfort food for humans, and you may be tempted to share it with your dog, but this is a bad idea because of the amount of sugar in these products.
Can dogs eat peanut butter and jelly? Let’s find out.
Can Dogs Eat Peanut Butter?
Dogs love peanut butter, and nutrition-wise, peanuts are loaded with protein and lots of good fat. Most popular peanut butter brands also include lots of salt and sugar in their recipe, creating problems. Adding too much sugar and sodium to a dog’s diet can be detrimental to its health.
A dog’s diet mainly includes protein and a few carbohydrates. Anything additional is considered foreign to their digestive systems and may be hard to process.
Dogs require a little bit of sugar in their diet, but if you’re giving them regular peanut butter, then you may be poisoning them with too much sugar. Some brands of peanut butter tend to go overboard when adding sugar to peanut butter.
The best way to solve this is to either buy dog-safe peanut butter, certified by an animal nutritionist, or make them special sugar-free, less salty peanut butter.
Extra sugar in a dog’s diet can cause health issues such as rotten teeth, diabetes, add excess fat to sugar, and you may end up with an obese dog in the long run. This isn’t the biggest issue with peanut butter, though, as some manufacturers substitute sugar with xylitol, and this artificial sweetener is perfectly safe for you but toxic for your dog.
In dogs, xylitol (xyl) triggers a rapid increase in insulin, which, depending on the amount they’ve ingested, causes hypoglycemia.
Signs and Symptoms of Xylitol Poisoning
So you’re worried that your dog is suffering from xyl poisoning? Well, these are the signs to watch for:
- General body weakness
When you notice these symptoms, first get some corn or maple syrup and rub it on your dog’s gums to raise their blood sugar levels. This is a first-aid technique, after which you should rush your dog to your vet or animal poison control.
To prevent this kind of poisoning, check the ingredients label of the peanut butter you want to feed your dog and look out for xylitol. If there is, don’t feed that brand to your dog.
How Much Peanut Butter Can You Give a Dog?
Peanut butter is the equivalent of ice cream or chocolate for kids, and it’s a fantastic treat, just not for daily use. Peanut butter should be used as a treat for dogs and vets have introduced a10% diet rule for dogs whereby your dog should get 90% of their daily calories from healthy food and 10% from treats.
Most dogs don’t enjoy getting groomed so peanut butter can be an excellent way to distract them as you do it. Coat a chew toy with peanut butter and let the dog lick away as you clip their nails. You can also use it to mask their pills.
Every dog is unique, and some dogs, although rare, have peanut allergies. When introducing a foreign food to a dog, start with a tablespoon of peanut butter and watch for any possible reactions in your pooch.
Can Dogs Eat Jelly?
We just discussed dogs and sugar, and despite them needing it in their diet, dogs don’t require as much sugar as jelly contains. There are several types of jelly. Some are fruity, while some are synthetic.
The synthetic option is safer than fruit-based jelly because you won’t have to worry about fruit poisoning, but it can be more harmful. After all, that would mean your dog is mostly feeding on sugar.
The worst thing is that most food manufacturers use xylitol as a sugar substitute. Imagine feeding your dog xylitol-laced peanut butter and jelly.
Dogs like strawberries, and this tiny fruit is actually a healthy dog treat. With strawberry jelly, first, the jelly may only contain artificial flavoring, which means that your dog may not get the benefit, and there are the excess sugars that make up the jello.
If your strawberry jelly contains real strawberries, then its preparation negates its health stats. The fruit already contains fructose, then add that to the simple sugars from the sweetener and it’s a disaster waiting to happen.
For dogs, eating grapes in excess may lead to kidney failure. Now grape jelly may not have any grapes since some of these sweets have artificial flavors, but is it something you want to risk with your dog?
Aside from the grape debate, grape jelly is a sweet treat, and you shouldn’t feed anything more than a teaspoon of jelly to your dog at any given time.
What Happens if I Have Been Feeding My Dog Jelly?
Does your dog look sluggish these days? This may be the cause. If your dog has been consuming just a tiny amount of jelly, then this may not be so much of a problem. If you’ve given them a lot of peanut butter and jelly over time, take your dog to the vet to be checked.
Healthy Treats for Your Dog
Adog treat can be a form of reward for a well-behaved dog or something to show some extra love. Examples of healthy treats you can give your dog are:
Cooked Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are naturally sweet, and your dog will enjoy them. We have emphasized the cooked part because feeding your dog raw potatoes may harm them. Roast some sweet potatoes over the weekend and give your dog a piece over the week. The good thing about these is that they stay fresh in the fridge for longer.
Watermelons are mostly made of sugary water and are perfect for hot summers. Before feeding your dog a piece of watermelon, remember to remove all its seeds,
Peanut Butter Popsicles
Remember to use healthy peanut butter when making these. Freeze some peanut butter pieces and let your dog cool itself with them during the summer.
Apples will provide nutrients and fiber to your dog but only feed them in small amounts.
So, can dogs eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches? The safest answer is no. There are way more health risks than benefits your dog may get from peanut butter and jelly. Maybe, consider feeding them xylitol-free peanut butter once in a while or as a healthy treat to ensure your dog is healthy and lives longer.