If you know this, you know more than most pet owners …

Most people never ask the question, “Can dogs eat peanut butter?” So most people don’t know that one of the top selling dog treats of all time is really bad for dogs.

Like really bad.

Yet pet store shelves are stacked with peanut butter flavored products. Peanut butter cookies, peanut butter stuffing … and even those of us who choose to bypass commercial foods, have been fooled into thinking that the occasional Kong stuffed with organic, sugar-free peanut butter is an awesome treat for dogs.

So if you’ve been feeding your dog peanut butter as a treat and you’ve never wondered, can dogs eat peanut butter? … you might not like to hear what I’m about to say. But I think when I’m done, you might want to move peanut butter to the naughty – and downright dangerous – snack food list.

Here’s why peanut butter is toxic to your dog …

1. Most Peanut Butter Contains Aflatoxins (Which Cause Cancer)

Don’t know what aflatoxins are? These are naturally occurring mycotoxins that are produced by a fungus called Aspergillus.

And peanuts have them in spades.

is peanut butter bad for dogs

Mycotoxins are one of the most carcinogenic (cancer-causing) substances on the planet … and they’ve also been shown to be toxic to the liver. Aflatoxin is known to cause liver cancer in laboratory animals … and it would probably do the same in your dog.

And don’t think you can avoid aflatoxins by buying that fancy, fresh store-made peanut butter;

According to Dr. Andrew Weil,

A few years ago, Consumers Union looked into the question of aflatoxins in peanut butter and found that the amounts detectable varied from brand to brand. The lowest amounts were found in the big supermarket brands such as Peter Pan, Jif and Skippy. The highest levels were found in peanut butter ground fresh in health food stores.

But before you break out the Jif, you might first want to read more …

2. Most Peanut Butter Often Contains Harmful Fats

Trans-fatty acids are one of the most toxic food substances today. Trans fats are the result of a highly toxic process that makes foods more stable, allowing them to sit on shelves for an extremely long time. Hydrogenation is the process of taking a plant oil, adding a nickel catalyst, heating it, and then removing the nickel catalyst.

The result is a highly toxic fat that causes diabetes, heart disease and chronic inflammation.

You’ll know if your dog’s peanut butter contains trans fats if it has hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils in the ingredients. If it does, then don’t buy it!

And as if trans fats weren’t bad enough, roasting nuts can also cause the fats in peanuts to go rancid. So if you must feed peanut butter, then at the very least, make sure it’s raw and doesn’t contain hydrogenated fats.

But of course, you’ll still have to deal with the aflatoxins …

3. Most Peanut Butter Contains Sugar

Think of white sugar as food for all of the nasty things we take our dogs to the vet for …

… like yeast (candida), bacteria, parasites – and cancer! The more we eat, the more they feast!

most peanut butter contains sugar

Sugar can also cause diabetes, food allergies, premature aging and low level inflammation. And it feeds cancer cells.

Speaking of inflammation, that’s one more reason why peanut butter isn’t a great snack choice for your dog …

While peanuts are high in good monounsaturated fats, their omega 6 to 3 ratio is terrible! One cup of peanuts contains 35578 mg of omega-6 fatty acids and only 196 mg of omega-3 fats. Omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids  (PUFAs) can trigger inflammation, so too much is not good.  And the most common inflammatory conditions in dogs include allergies and joint disease.

Sound familiar?

And, here’s something you might not know – there are peanut butter manufacturers adding xylitol to their ingredients.

(Related: What’s So Dangerous About Xylitol?)

So why not skip the Skippy and give your dog a bone – or dehydrated liver and other more nutritious and delicious snacks?