You may wonder can dogs eat almond butter? The simple answer is yes, they can, as long as you take certain factors into consideration.
Almond butter is considered a healthier alternative to peanut butter. It has increased vitamins, minerals, and fiber content in the mix. The composition doesn’t bring much change to fats and calories. In addition, even the protein content is not much different.
An important difference is almond is a tree nut, while a peanut is a legume. It’s a crucial distinction when you count allergies. Some dogs are selectively allergic to legumes, while some are allergic to tree nuts.
Interestingly, you can allow your dog to have almond butter. Nevertheless, there should be caution, at least initially. although almonds are not toxic, not all dogs can digest them.
Almond Butter Vs Peanut Butter
You can find peanut butter in every 7-Eleven and grocery store. It is much cheaper than almond butter as well. But, when it comes to health factors, almond easily outscores all nut kinds of butter. This specialty food is made out of an expensive nut. Natural almond butter with no added sugar can be good for your dog. The separating type is preferred since it contains no hydrogenated oils, which are just plant fats.
Benefits of Almond Butter
When given in moderation, almond butter comes with plenty of benefits. It has a wide range of vitamins and minerals to boost your dog’s health.
- Vitamin B3 in almonds helps dogs to get a shiny coat, liver, and healthy eyes.
- Vitamin B6 helps in the production of red blood cells.
- Vitamin E in almond butter reduces cancer risks by fighting free radicals in the body.
- Vitamin E content helps build a stronger immunity system.
- Iron improves red blood cells and thus prevents anemia.
- Calcium and phosphorous in almonds helps build healthy bones and joints.
- Selenium present in Almond butter acts as an anti-oxidant.
- Zinc improves the immune system of your dog.
- Traces riboflavin to convert carbs into energy.
- Traces folate for genetic material.
For optimal benefits, choose almond butter that contains unsalted almonds only. Few brands or freshly ground almond butter at stores such as Wholefoods contain additional salt, sugar, oils, and sweeteners like honey.
If you buy from stores, make sure to check labels for ingredients. Check for preservatives, additives, and hidden sugars such as fructose, sucrose, etc… Each ingredient impacts the nutritional value of these butter. Healthier options come with tags such as organic, gluten-free, non-GMO, etc…
You need to strictly avoid them to ensure your pet stays healthy. In addition, never choose fat-reduced almond butter as well as almond butter containing Xylitol or any other artificial sweeteners. Such almond butter can make your dog fall sick. When ingesting Xylitol, death is a real prospect.
What Can Be Found in Almond Butter?
If you check the below table from the USDA FoodData Central Data. It shows what a branded version of almond butter contains. As we talk about in the article, it is always better to make your own homemade almond butter. It is literally just almonds in the homemade version. Branded store-bought options have a lot of other ingredients including sugar, preservatives, and other ingredients your dog does not need.
100g Serving of Almond Butter
|Total lipid (fat)||50g|
|Carbohydrate, by difference||21.88g|
|Fiber, total dietary||12.5g|
|Sugars, total including NLEA||6.25g|
|Fatty acids, total saturated||4.69g|
How To Give Almond Butter To Your Dog?
The best thing about organic almond butter is you can make dog treats with it. Dogs just love it when it’s pulled out of the jar. Have ready-made treats handy for a more convenient experience.
You can give a little improvisation to treats. For instance, you can make pumpkin almond butter dog treats. Make sure to not add sugars or sweet additives.
Other easier options are dog toys like Kong’s. They are perfect for keeping your dog busy and tiring them out.
If your dog digests excessive almond, they may experience some if not all of the below symptoms. These common side effects are easy to recover from if your dog is properly treated.
Diarrhea: Almonds can cause diarrhea and upset stomach when not taken in moderation. If your dog gets it, feed a balanced bland diet, and let the stomach settle. To combat dehydration, make sure your pet is getting ample fluids till recovery. Make sure their water bowl is always full.
Upset Stomach: Some dogs do not find digesting nuts easy. Hence too much almond butter can upset the stomach of your dog, if not consumed in moderation.
Vomiting: If consumed excessively, almond butter can cause vomiting in dogs. The key is to ensure adequate hydration and a bland diet until your pet recovers. If vomiting or diarrhea does not resolve in a day or two, seek the help of a vet.
Weight gain: Weight gain is a real issue, for all breeds of dogs. Almond butter has a high amount of fat and calories. Like any calorie-dense food, almond butter leads to weight gain. Moreover, if sweetened with sugar or honey, it increases calories even more. Reduce portion sizes if you wish to use almond butter as treat.
What If My Dog Eats Too Much Almond Butter?
If your dog gets an upset stomach or distress because of eating excessive almond treats, it should normally resolve within a couple of days. You need to provide a bland diet for your dog and ensure hydration until your dog completely recovers. If symptoms worsen and it doesn’t resolve within 2 days, consult your vet. Your vet will help you with a more efficient treatment plan.
Also, you need to factor in allergies with your dogs as well. Some dogs are allergic to almonds or other nuts. You should immediately pay a visit to the vet if allergic reactions happen. If they are closed, do not hesitate to contact animal poison control or an emergency vet’s office. They will give you the much-needed information or arrange for a visit.
How About Other Nut Butters?
There are plenty of options when it comes to nut butters. For example, almond butter, pecan butter, hazelnut butter, cashew butter, etc… Most of us love the entire catalog. But what happens when people, especially kids like something? They share it with their furry pets.
So we thought it was best we listed all the nut butters below and explained which ones are safe for dogs.
Are all or any of them a suitable dog treat? It all depends on the composition of the butters. Let us look at some of the available options and evaluate how safe they are to your canine friends.
Generally, Almonds are safe for dogs. But some dogs cannot digest them easily. Almonds sometimes cause gastric issues and upset stomach. If your dog is not reacting well to almond butter, stop giving them almond butter as a treat.
Cashews are safe for your dog as long as it is cooked first or roasted. While being raw, cashew contains toxins that are eliminated only when heated.
Under any circumstances, do not give macadamia butter to your dog. They are not just harmful but poisonous to dogs. They will make your dog shiver, get feverish, feel weak with their legs, and get diarrhea or vomiting. Even if they are not showing symptoms, contact the vet immediately, if they have consumed macadamia nuts.
Peanut butter is obviously safe for dogs. It can be easily found in every 7-Eleven and grocery store. The culprit is Xylitol, a sugar substitute for sugar-free products. If the peanut butter does not contain Xylitol, you can use it as a dog treat.
Pecan is something you need to keep away from pets. It contains elements that are not good for your dog’s liver.
Pistachio is a strict no-no. Considering its rising popularity with humans, it is often fed to dogs. Always keep it away from your pets. Pistachios contain Aspergillum mold which is harmful to your dog’s liver. Make sure your dog never gets in contact with this green food.
Hazelnut is also a safe option in nut butter. However, a whole hazelnut can choke dogs of smaller breeds. When given in smaller portions, it is safe.
Regardless of its variety – English, Black, or Japanese – walnuts should not be given to dogs. Besides causing stomach irritation, it is toxic to dogs. Moldy walnuts cause seizures and neurological issues in dogs. Do not let your dog come anywhere near walnuts.
Key Guidelines For Giving Nut Butter To Your Dog
Before giving any nut butter to your dog, read the instructions on the label. In most nut butters, artificial sweeteners like Xylitol are added to it. These are harmful to all dogs no matter the circumstance.
As butter already contains excessive salt and oil along with the nuts that are calorie-dense and high in oil. You need to make sure that they are only given in moderation since they are high in calories. Nut butters like almond butter can easily make your dog overweight.
The bottom line is when giving your dog something like almond butter it should only be given in moderation and not regularly given. You must be careful which brands you buy, as some can be ridiculously high in calories and fat. With some actually having toxic ingredients in them.
Nut butters, like peanut butter or almond butter, are commonly offered as treats or used to administer medications. However, it is important to remember that like nuts, nut butters are also high in calories, fat, and salt, so they should be used sparingly.
Read original article – PetMD
If you insist on feeding your dog Almond butter as a rare treat, you are best making it yourself. This way you will know exactly what was put in it. Almond butter is surprisingly not that hard to make. Check out the below video showing how to make almond butter. Skip the part about adding Salt, as dogs do not need extra salt.