Dogs and peanut butter, is there a more classic combo? I’m sure you’re picturing your best friend licking peanut butter off a spoon as you’re reading this. But with so many other nut butters on the market today how do you know what is safe to feed your pet?
Almond butter is a peanut butter alternative that is sometimes said to be healthier for humans due to its increased vitamins, minerals and fiber. It is very similar from a calorie, fat and protein content perspective.
Like peanut butter, it is high in calories and fat. While peanuts are a legume, almonds are a tree nut. This point is an important distinction when considering allergies. Some people (and dogs) are allergic to peanuts and peanut butter while others may be allergic to tree nuts.
You can allow your pet to try your almond butter but you want to use some caution at first. While almonds are non-toxic to dogs, not all dogs can digest them well.
Benefits of Almond Butter
If your pet tolerates almond butter there may be some benefit to feeding in moderation. These can include:
- A shiny coat, healthy eyes, and liver from the B3 in the almonds.
- Decreased cancer risk: Almond butter contains vitamin E which helps fight free radicals in the body.
- Stronger immune system due to the almonds vitamin E content.
- Healthy bones and joints due to the calcium and phosphorus in the almonds.
- Upset Stomach
As some dogs don’t digest almonds well, too much almond butter may cause your dog to have an upset stomach if they eat too much.
This side effect could accompany an upset stomach if your pet eats too much almond butter. If your dog gets diarrhea, be sure to feed a bland diet and let their stomach settle. Also, as it can be dehydrating be sure your pet is getting proper fluids while he or she recovers.
Like diarrhea, vomiting could occur if your pet eats more almond butter then it’s body can handle. Again, you’ll want to provide a bland diet and adequate hydration while your pet recovers. Should the vomiting or diarrhea not resolve themselves you’ll want to seek medical attention for your pet.
- Weight gain
Almond butter is high in fat and calories and like any other calorie-dense food it can lead to weight gain. Additionally, if the almond butter is sweetened with sugar or honey this increases the calories and will also cause your pet to gain some weight. Keep portion sizes small and use almond butter as a treat to prevent excessive weight gain.
To achieve the maximum benefit, choose almond butters that only have unsalted almonds. Some brands or even almond butters that are freshly ground at stores like Wholefoods may have additional oils, salt, sugar or another sweetener like honey. You want to avoid these as your pet doesn’t need the additional ingredients and they can actually make them sick.
Be sure to never feed your pet reduced fat almond butter or any almond butter containing the artificial sweetener, Xylitol. These almond butters could make your pet sick and if your pet ingests enough Xylitol it can actually kill them.
Side Effects of Dogs Eating Almond Butter
If your pet eats too much almond butter they may experience:
What to do if your pet eats too much almond butter
If your pet has an upset stomach or some GI distress due to eating too much almond butter it should resolve itself within 24 - 48 hours. You’ll want to offer a bland diet and plenty of water to help support your pet’s stomach. If symptoms worsen or don’t resolve you’ll want to contact your vet so he or she can help you with a better treatment plan.
If your pet is allergic to almonds and almond butter and eats enough for an allergic reaction. Call your vet right away. Should they be closed you can also contact animal poison control or an emergency vet’s office. They will tell you what to do and if you need to bring your pet in for care.
The Ollie blog is devoted to helping pet parents lead healthier lives with their pups. If you want to learn more about our fresh, human-grade food, check out MyOllie.com.