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My four-year-old Maltese, Trixie, adores peanut butter and I have started giving it to her as a regular treat. Is it OK to feed peanut butter to dogs?

Anna Cherry advises…

Trixie is definitely not alone and many of our readers will also have dogs who guzzle down this glorious gloop in the blink of an eye. Peanut butter can also be a bit of a lifesaver for owners with pill-dodging dogs, as it makes a great camouflage for tablets.

But, is it good for them? Sadly, it’s not the healthiest treat to feed your dog, as it’s packed with calories and high in fat, sugar and salt – hence it’s irresistible appeal!

So, although it is safe to feed to your furry friend, it should always be given in moderation and only as a special treat. The high fat levels in peanut butter mean that it is not an appropriate treat to feed to those that suffer from pancreatitis (which can be triggered by fatty foods) or hyperlipidaemia, and it is bad news for the waistline of overweight or obese pets.

The good news is, it’s not all doom and gloom. You can make Trixie’s peanut butter fun last a bit longer on less by popping a small amount inside her favourite chew toy and popping it in the freezer – this is also perfect for soothing teething pups.

A final thought: if you do decide to feed your pet peanut butter, then you need to be careful about what type you give. Many of the low-calorie or ‘light’ versions often contain xylitol, which is toxic for our canine companions – so always read the label carefully. Also, if your dog has a heart problem, it’s a good idea to pick a low-salt variety, to avoid exacerbating the condition.

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