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Dogs and Peanut Butter: Not That Great Match You Were Told
By Jody L. Teiche – C.P.H.E. Pet Health Expert & Coach
How could something so good be so bad?! Peanut butter, that tasty snack you’ve been giving your dog has some pretty nasty toxins in it, and pet parents, you need to know (please don’t shoot the messenger!).
Here are the top 5 reasons I no longer give my dogs peanut butter and recommend my clients don’t, either:
- Peanut butter contains the deadly aflatoxin.
Aflatoxins are mycotoxins produced by a fungus called Aspergillus, one of the most carcinogenic substances on the planet. You can often see if peanuts contain aflatoxins by their moldy, discolored or shriveled appearance, but in peanut butter, that option goes away. So, you are left with hoping the facility that purchased the peanuts and packaged the peanut butter removed them all and that they were grown in an environment where the aspergillus mold doesn’t occur. Research has shown that aflatoxins can also cause liver cancer. What’s interesting from a Consumer’s Union study on different peanut butter brands and levels of aflatoxins, is the larger brands like Jif, Peter Pan and Skippy contained the lowest levels and the ones you grind yourself in the health food stores contained the highest. All in all, who wants to take the chance?
- Most peanut butter contains sugar.
We know simple sugars and added sugars are not healthy for us and they’re not healthy for our dogs, either. Sugar feeds all of the nasty “bugs” hanging out in your dog’s system like bacteria, yeast, viruses, parasites. Sugar can also cause food allergies, chronic inflammation, premature aging, and diabetes. And it feeds cancer cells. Some peanut butters contain xylitol which, many pet parents already know, is deadly to dogs. Even a small amount can kill.
- Peanut butter contains glyphosate.
Farmers spray their peanut crops just before harvest with Round-Up, the pesticide responsible for creating cancer in people and pets for decades. A recent study found that exposure can increase cancer risk by 41%. In 2015, the World Health Organization identified glyphosate as a probable carcinogen and certain countries have banned it from use.
- Peanut butter contains lectins.
Lectins are carbohydrate binding proteins present in most plants, especially seeds and tubers like cereals, potatoes, and beans. Their original purpose was protection, as they would produce an inflammatory response in the animal that ate them – so they wouldn’t eat them again. Humans and dogs are largely unable to digest them well. And, we’ve learned over time that lectins are inflammatory, toxic or both, affecting your dog’s gut microbiome. Some studies showed they can cause damage to the structure of the plasma membrane of the small intestine, where your dog’s nutrients from food are absorbed into the body. This can lead to something called leaky gut syndrome, where the mucosal membrane of the gut is breached, by small holes, allowing its contents into the bloodstream, which the body recognizes as toxic. This leads to chronic inflammation, which leads to dis-ease.
- Most peanut butters contain trans fats.
Also called hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils, these are unhealthy fats formed during the process of hydrogenation, where a plant oil and a nickel catalyst are heated, then the nickel is removed, leaving a product with a much longer shelf life. This toxic fat is linked to chronic inflammation, which has been shown to be a major factor in creating dis-eases like diabetes and heart dis-ease.
So, next time you’re shopping for something to put inside that Kong, opt out of peanut butter. Instead, here are some healthy options to freeze inside that Kong:
- Their everyday, high-quality food
- Kefir – high in probiotics, B complex vitamins like B1, B12, as well as vitamin A, D, K and biotin. The key minerals in kefir are calcium, phosphorus and magnesium.
- Raw fermented goat’s milk – high in enzymes, probiotics, powerful antioxidants, essential fatty acids, concentrated vitamins like K2 and trace minerals in a live, whole food form
- Blended berries with yogurt (plain with no added sugar)
I guarantee they’ll like at least one of these so much, they won’t even know their peanut butter has gone bye-bye.
Jody L. Teiche is a Pet Health Expert and Coach. She’s been helping pet parents naturally solve nutrition and health challenges in their dogs and cats, so they can avoid pharmaceutical drugs and have healthier, more energetic pets. Her site is TheHoundHealer.com, and her podcast, called The Hound Healer, is heard on PetLifeRadio.com, as well as all other major podcast platforms. To book a 30-minute free consult with Jody, go here. Her new website can be found at https://jodylteiche.com/
The American Association of Pet Parents (AAPP) is a national nonprofit dedicated to keeping pets happy, healthy and in their loving homes – and out of animal shelters.