More than 38 percent of households in the U.S. today own at least one dog. The average dog owner spends a whopping $1,480 a year on their beloved pet. Some of this spending goes towards things like vet care, grooming, or boarding. But a portion goes to pampering our pets with special snacks, toys, treats, and more.
If you love pampering your pet, you're likely constantly looking for tasty, healthy snacks for them to enjoy. Peanut butter has long been a special treat for dogs. But with the growing popularity of other nut butter alternatives, you might find yourself wondering whether any of these can be a healthy choice for your pet.
Almond butter for dogs is a relatively new concept. If you've already tried almond butter for yourself, you no doubt know that it's a tasty alternative to peanut butter. But is it safe for your dog to enjoy, too? Keep reading as we answer whether almond butter is safe for dogs, how to choose an almond butter, and what you need to know to let them enjoy a taste.
Can Dogs Eat Almond Butter?
Can dogs have almond butter? The answer isn't exactly straightforward. That's because different types of almond butter contain different types of ingredients. And just like humans, some dogs may have different dietary restrictions and needs than others.
Dogs and Digestive Issues
Digestive issues are common in some dog breeds. For some, it's a result of breeding. Others may develop digestion issues as a result of their diet.
Oftentimes, dogs will develop an upset stomach or experience vomiting as a result of eating human food, or from eating too much. That's because many of our foods contain ingredients that our dogs' ancestors wouldn't have eaten, like high-fat foods, sugar, and artificial ingredients.
If your dog is prone to digestive issues, it may not be able to have treats or human foods, including nut butter.
Food Allergies in Dogs
Just like humans, dogs can develop food allergies, too. In dogs, the symptoms of exposure to an allergen usually include itchy paws and skin, vomiting, or diarrhea. The most common food allergies that dogs can have include proteins, like those found naturally in meats like beef and chicken, eggs, and dairy products.
However, just like us, dogs can develop an allergy to any food.
Deciding if Your Dog Can Have Almond Butter
Dogs with no allergies to the ingredients found in almond butter, and who have no digestive issues, can likely have almond butter. You'll need to choose a dog-safe almond butter (more on this later in this article). As with any new food, you'll also want to start with a very small amount and monitor your pet after feeding them.
Start with a small spoonful of your choice of almond butter. Give it to your dog to lick on its own. Don't put it on other foods. Then, keep an eye on your dog after they've eaten it.
Giving your dog the almond butter on its own will allow you to narrow the cause if they do have a reaction after eating it.
What's in Almond Butter?
Before we answer whether a specific almond butter is okay for dogs or not, we need to check out the ingredients. Good almond butter is low in sugar and high in protein and is free of artificial sweeteners. That last part is very important because certain artificial sweeteners can be deadly to dogs.
Xylitol is an artificial sugar alternative. It's often used in products that are labeled sugar-free, because it's technically not sugar, even though it is sweet. Sweeteners like xylitol are also known as sugar alcohols. And they can be very dangerous, or even deadly to dogs when ingested.
Artificial sweeteners such as xylitol are commonly found in cough syrup, mouthwash, and toothpaste, as well as many different types of medications. They can also be found in baked goods, sugar-free desserts, such as those labeled "skinny," and peanut butter. Some other nut butter may also include xylitol in place of regular sugar.
Xylitol is safe for humans to ingest, but not dogs.
Can Dogs Eat Almonds?
If you know anything about dogs and almonds, you might be surprised to learn that almond butter for dogs is safe. However, this is because the almonds in almond butter have been roasted and ground.
Many nuts are actually toxic to dogs if ingested whole and uncooked. Macadamia nuts, for instance, are very toxic to dogs. Ingesting even a small amount can leave dogs weak, vomiting, and even hyperthermic. Black walnuts are also toxic and can cause neurologic symptoms if eaten by your dog.
While not all nuts cause the serious, life-threatening symptoms that macadamia nuts and black walnuts can cause, other raw nuts can cause a more mild reaction. This includes raw cashews, pecans, and almonds.
Almonds are not directly toxic. However, because most dogs won't properly chew the nuts before eating them, raw almonds can cause an obstruction in the stomach. In small dog breeds, raw almonds can also pose a choking risk.
However, when almonds are roasted and then ground, as they are in almond butter, they become safe for dogs to eat!
Choosing Almond Butter for Dogs
Now that you know that almond butter can be a safe snack for dogs, it's time to choose the right almond butter. As we've mentioned, not all nut butter is created equal. Some may contain harmful ingredients, like xylitol, that can pose a health risk to your pet.
But almond butter may contain other ingredients besides xylitol that can be dangerous for your dog to eat.
For instance, American Dream makes a variety of ultra-delicious flavored almond butter. Take our S'Moreo for instance. This decadent treat starts with our creamy almond butter. Then, we add a sweet Nutella core, layers of fluffy chocolate marshmallows, and honey graham crackers.
Delicious for usbut potentially dangerous for dogs. That's because chocolate is toxic to dogs. Ingesting it is rarely fatal, but it can make your dog very sick, and require a trip to the vet.
What about our Pumpkin Cheesecake? While pumpkin can be a healthy ingredient for dogs to enjoy, to make our delicious Pumpkin Cheesecake almond butter, we add a swirl of rich brown sugar, with notes of comforting cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Brown sugar isn't toxic to dogs. But it isn't a good idea to give it to them on purpose, or frequently.
When choosing a nut butter to share with your pet, you'll want to avoid any extra ingredients, like chocolate, marshmallows, candy, or other flavors. Instead, stick to the basics.
The Best Almond Butter for Dogs
The best choice of almond butter for dogs is one that sticks to the basics; like our Just Plain Nutty Almond Butter. Each jar features just two ingredients; roasted almonds and sea salt. No added sugars, artificial sweeteners, or extra ingredients like chocolate here!
Every creamy bite is gluten-free and vegan. We make our nut butter in small batches, guaranteeing freshness in each jar. Once opened, each jar will keep for up to 6 months, or up to 1 year if unopened.
This makes our almond butter a healthy option for adding to smoothies, enjoying on toast, swirling into yogurtor sharing with your pup!
Almond Butter Benefits
Enjoyed in moderation, there are a number of almond butter benefits your dog could be reaping.
Almonds are a healthy snack for humans because they are high in monosaturated fats, which can help lower your "bad" cholesterol and raise your "good" cholesterol. Eat them regularly and they can lower your risk for heart disease. The vitamin E in almonds can reduce plaque buildup in your arteries, which is also essential for a healthy heart. The calcium in almonds helps to support healthy, strong bones, too.
Your dog can't eat raw almonds. But luckily, the health benefits of almonds remain, even when your roast and grind them into nut butter!
Your dog can't have globs of almond butter daily. But a spoonful or two on occasion can make for a healthy special treat!
Consider adding almond butter to a Kong-type toy, or spreading it on an antler or other bone. This can make the nut butter last longer, and make it both a snack and an activity to keep your pup occupied.
Is Almond Butter a Good Alternative to Peanut Butter for Dogs?
Peanut butter has long been a popular snack for dogs. It can be used for training, for use in enrichment toys for dogs, and even to make it easier to give dogs medications in pill form. But what if a human in your home is allergic to peanut butter?
Peanuts are the second most common allergy in children today. Research shows that this allergy is on the rise. Around 1 in every 200 adults, and 1 in every 50 children, suffers from a peanut allergy.
Almond butter may be a great alternative.
You'll need to choose a dog-safe almond butter. But the same is true for peanut butter too. Many types of nut butter, including peanut butter, are made with dangerous sweeteners like xylitol, so it is important to check the ingredients before selecting a nut butter for your pet.
Our Just Plain Nutty Peanut Butter is a great choice for sharing with your familyincluding both two-legged and four-legged family members! Each jar of this delicious, creamy peanut butter is made with just two ingredients; peanut butter and sea salt. This makes it a safe choice for sharing with your pet.
Other Nut Butters Dogs Can Eat
Other kinds of nut butter are also safe for dogs. Similar to almonds, cashews can be toxic to pups if ingested raw. However, roasted cashews, like those used in cashew butter, are safe to share with your dog. Our Just Plain Nutty Cashew Butter is made from roasted cashews and sea salt. This makes it a safe choice for dogsand a delicious, healthy option for humans, too!
That's because cashew butter is a high fat content butter; monosaturated fatty acids, that is! These are great for helping to balance your blood pressure and blood sugar, and regulating your cholesterol levels. It can even aid in supporting a healthy immune system and metabolism.
Almond Butter for Dogs
Almond butter for dogs can be a safe and even healthy snack or reward!
Like any nut butter, including peanut butter, not all almond butter is safe for your pup. Some contain dangerous ingredients, like the artificial sweetener xylitol, or tasty additions like chocolate or Nutella. Some dogs may also not be able to safely enjoy almond butter. Dogs with allergies to almonds or nuts, or those with digestive issues, should avoid almond butter.
But if your dog doesn't have allergies or digestive issues, and you choose a safe almond butter, your dog can enjoy a spoonful from time to time! Almond butter is great for getting your dog to take medications in pill form, or for use as a fun treat inside a Kong or similar toy.
Almond butter is also a great alternative to peanut butter for families who have a peanut allergy in the household.
Ready to treat your dog and your family to a tasty swirl of almond butter? Our Just Plain Nutty Almond Butter is a great option if you plan to share. Otherwise, grab a jar for your pet or for using to make healthy snacks like smoothies. Then, add a few tasty, sweeter alternatives, like our Frosty Pebble, Confetti Cake Pop, or Buttery My Cookie Flavors. You can enjoy these on toast or crackers, or dig in with a spoon for a tasty, nutty dessert you won't want to put down!
Shop our full selection of almond butter today to find your new favorite!