Gone are the days when they were viewed as mere pets- German shepherds have now evolved to become an integral part of the family. We want them to accompany us wherever we go, train them to respond to our language, give them the privilege to star in movies, love and care for them, share a bed, and enjoy the same treats.
Now, if this is the case, chances are that you have at some point tried to find out what treats are good for your dog and which ones aren’t. For instance, for the peanut butter lovers, it’s easy to wonder whether it’s good for your furry colleague. Worry no more- we are here to feed you with every detail you may want to know on this.
So, can German shepherds eat peanut butter? The simple answer here is- Yes. However, not every peanut butter is good for your four-pawed friend. Some options contain ingredients that may bring about life-threatening conditions in dogs when consumed.
Why Peanut Butter Is Good For German Shepherds
German shepherds are very loyal breeds. In return, we should give them the best love and care. So, why should we give these four-legged buddies peanut butter? Well, below are some of the reasons.
Peanut Butter Is Very Nutritious
German shepherds are large and muscular dogs. Also, they belong to the working-class category of dog breeds. Therefore, their diet needs to have an appropriate mix of proteins and fats to help them build muscles and generate enough energy for their daily tasks. But that’s not all they need in their food; magnesium, phosphorous, zinc, vitamins, and other essential nutrients also play a vital role in ensuring the wellbeing of German shepherds. Amazingly, a spoonful of peanut butter packs all these nutrients and many others. Therefore, as you give your furry friend peanut butter, you are simply supplying essential nutrients to his body in the form of a tasty treat.
Peanut Butter Is Very Delicious
Dogs are perfect companions. In fact, they are famously described as “men’s best friends.” But don’t get it wrong; it doesn’t mean that they can’t befriend females. In this case, “men” doesn’t literally stand in for males, but for humans. That aside, as part of the closest and most loyal friends that come our way, we always want to give them the best in return, including the tastiest delicacies. Now, one of the treats that your German shepherd will love is peanut butter. It’s a highly valued delicacy, not just by German shepherds but also by other dogs that get along well with nutty foods.
It’s Provides A Means of Administering Medication
There are many similarities between us and dogs. For instance, we all want to love and be loved back. Also, we all don’t like taking medicine, even with the knowledge that it is made to work for our good. If your furry colleague is showing some resistance when trying to give him medicine, you can easily trick him with the help of this tasty treat. If the medicine is in liquid form, you can mix it with a small amount of peanut butter and then present it in the fun treat. However, if it’s in pill form, putting it inside the spread will be a smart way to get the work done- Your dog will enjoy taking the butter when also ridding you of the hassle of having to force him to take medicine.
It Makes Working on Your Canine Easier
Even the most trained dogs will show some resistance when it comes to trimming and bathing them. One of the ways you can make this work easier is by giving them peanut butter. Since it’s a tasty treat, giving your dog peanut butter will be a great way to distract them and give you an easy time to cut their nails and wash them. Nevertheless, to get enough time to do all these without giving too much of it to your furry friend, you can use clever ways to give the peanut butter. For instance, you can consider smearing it inside hollow bones and other hard-to-reach areas. This way, you will keep your dog engaged for long to give you ample time to do whatever you are doing.
What Amount of Peanut Butter Is Good For Dogs
Peanut butter is a type of calorie-rich food. It contains enormous amounts of protein and fats. While these 2 ingredients are the most essential components in a dog’s food, they should be given at healthy amounts. Too much protein and fats increase the chances of your German shepherd developing health issues such as obesity, a condition that creates a favorable ground for other life-threatening conditions such as high blood pressure, hyperthermia, hip dysplasia, and many others. Having that said, what amount of peanut butter is good for your lovely GSD?
Well, it depends on the age of the dog. For GSD puppies, peanut butter isn’t good for them. The reason here is because the young canines have stringent dietary requirements and their digestive system is still developing. Therefore, giving them peanut butter may cause several issues with their digestive system and health as a whole. Nevertheless, for the large pups with over 50 pounds of weight, a tablespoonful of peanut butter a day should work well for them. However, if it’s the first time you are feeding your canine peanut butter, it’s wise that you start with small amounts for the first few times and see how they will respond to it before you can increase the amount to the recommended quantity.
When Is The Ideal Time To Give Your Dog Peanut Butter?
Peanut butter is a treat like any other. Therefore, there is no specific time that it will work better for your dog than at other times. I mean, whether you want to give it to your dog in the morning, afternoon, or after training, it will all depend on what you think is the most convenient time for you and your GSD. However, if your dog is under the prescription of any drug, it will be good to wait and give the peanut butter at this time. It will turn the job into a breeze.
Best Way To Feed Your German Shepherd Peanut Butter
There are many ways you can use to give your GSD friend this great treat. For instance, when the temperatures soar in the summer, you can consider freezing it and giving it to them as something to help them cool off.
Also, you can consider mixing it with other sweet treats to make the entire experience more experience. Mixing it with their breakfast or lunch is also another great way. Actually, adding peanut butter to their meals will make them more delicious and exciting.
Potential Risks Of Peanut Butter
Although most peanut butters are safe for your German shepherd, there are a few that you should never give to your GSD or any dog. Therefore, before you let your canine work on that empty peanut butter jar the next time he follows you to the kitchen, ensure that it doesn’t contain harmful ingredients. So, what ingredients should you watch out for? Well, for the case of peanut butter, Xylitol serves as the greatest enemy to their well-being.
Xylitol is a type of artificial sweetener used in place of sugar in some sugar-free substances such as toothpaste, chewing gums, baked products, breath mints, and many others. Although most manufacturers don’t use Xylitol in peanuts, there are a few who have opted to use it in their peanut butters as a way of improving their taste.
Xylitol works fine for us humans. However, when it is a major threat when introduced into the bodies of our adorable canines. That said, how exactly does Xylitol put the lives of our pups on the line?
Normally, when a dog eats food containing this ingredient, it triggers the production of insulin to help lower the high amount of blood sugar. However, instead of producing the right amount of insulin, the body responds with rapid production of the hormone in large quantities. The excess insulin then lowers the blood sugar to extremely low levels, leading to a condition known as hypoglycemia. This condition can develop as fast as within 10 minutes to an hour after ingestion.
That said, how do you know whether the peanut butter that you have contains Xylitol? Well, it’s pretty simple- Just go through the list of ingredients on the label of your peanut butter to see if you will see this compound. It is also wise to always check out for this ingredient before you feed your GSD with any other product.
Signs of Xylitol Poisoning
In case you are doubting that your dog has eaten food containing Xylitol, you can tell by looking at the symptoms of Xylitol poisoning. They are simply signs of hypoglycemia. They include but are not limited to:
- Impaired vision
- Racing heart
- Jaundiced gums.
- Muscle tremors.
- Exercise intolerance.
- Ataxia (loss of full control of body movements; staggering)
If you see one of these signs, ensure that you seek the attention of a veterinarian as soon as possible to curb the condition from worsening.
Although some peanut butters will work fine for German shepherds, others contain harmful substances such as Xylitol. These peanut butters cause a condition known as hypoglycemia which may go as far as causing death when not treated immediately. But even with the Xylitol-free peanut butters, too much of it can also lead to conditions such as obesity since they are generally very rich in fats.