Is Almond Butter Safe for Dogs?
Dogs certainly can eat almond butter just the same way that they eat peanut butter. It is something to be given as treat and not something that would be part of their regular diet. In fact, any type of nut butter can be eaten by dogs with one or two exceptions.
My dog loves to be given a treat just as much as I love having one. He loves to savor his treat, sitting in one of his favorite spots enjoying the finer things in life. It’s for this reason that I make sure that the treat my dog gets is nutritious, safe and tasty at the same time.
Looking around for alternatives to peanut butter I came across almond butter, cashew butter and a host of other nut butters. However, almond butter seemed to be one of the best out of these for the occasional treat for my dog.
Nutrition value of almond butter
Almond butter packs a punch when it comes to nutrition. It is high in monounsaturated fats or healthy fats. It also contains iron, potassium, calcium and manganese and is an excellent source of Vitamin E. In addition, I found out that it is considered a fairly good source of phosphorus, copper and riboflavin as well as dietary protein. According to the USDA, one tablespoon of almond butter contains 98 calories.
I compared almond butter and peanut butter and I was pleasantly surprised to find out that almond butter has a significant lead when it comes to Vitamin E and iron. Vitamin E promotes general health and wellbeing of canines and also helps to maintain a shiny coat and healthy skin. Higher levels of magnesium nourish the nervous system. These are all positive features that I would love my dog to benefit from.
More advantages of giving your dog almond butter
Comparing almond butter to peanut butter and other nut butters will give you an idea as to the many advantages it has over the others.
- Peanut butter is not something that is recommended for dogs on a regular basis as it can increase the incidence of acute pancreatitis.
- Nut butters based on walnuts, macadamias and pistachios are most likely to be bad or even toxic to your dog.
- Almond butter is a good source of omega 3 fatty acids and can be given to your dog on a regular basis in small quantities.
- It is good for red blood cells in your dog. Vitamin B6 and the iron in almond butter ensure healthy red blood cells and prevents anemia.
- The calcium in almond butter promotes strong bones and teeth and keeps them healthy.
- Almond butter is also a good source of selenium which is an antioxidant.
- The immune system is boosted by the zinc present in almond butter.
- It adds more fiber to your dog’s diet than other nut butters.
Always choose safe almond butter products
Giving my dog almond butter seems like a good alternative to peanut butter. This is mainly because it is healthier than peanut butter. However, you have to be careful when choosing the type of almond butter from the store. I always read the labels to check whether there are dangerous additives – I mean dangerous to dogs that is – in the almond butter. One example of an additive that is dangerous to dogs and not to humans is the popular sweetener xylitol. When you read a label if it says ‘sugar free’, ‘no added sugar’ or ‘reduced sugar’ more often than not it will contain xylitol. Xylitol is an additive that can cause hypoglycemia, liver failure and even be fatal to some dogs.
All-natural almond butters are the best to give your dog straight from the jar or made into treats. You have to be careful of any type of flavoring or additive that makes it unsafe.
How much almond butter to give your dog
One thing to keep in mind is not to overdo things. Too much almond butter can cause a string of problems for your dog as it will hinder the digestion process. This can even lead to intestinal distress in severe cases. If your dog shows signs of an upset stomach, has a loss of appetite or passes gas more frequently you have to take note as these are all signs of too much almond butter. Some dogs may even vomit at this stage.
How to give almond butter and in what quantities
Almond butter can be introduced into your dog’s diet very slowly till his stomach gets used to digesting it. When I say slowly, I mean both small quantities and long intervals between each treat. This helps your dog’s digestive system to get used to it giving the best results health wise.
If your dog is anything like my dog, you will be tempted to give that additional spoonful of almond butter when you see the joy with which it devours the treat. No, this is the time to be careful and ration how much of it is given. A good way to achieve this regimen is to make a treat with almond butter such as baked goodies. It is also a more convenient option for you to bake some crunchy biscuits that are good both for you and your dog to enhance that tea-time in the afternoons. One recipe that never fails is to make a batch of crunchy cookies using canned pumpkin and almond butter.
This is the time to get creative. You can mix a little almond butter with the kibble and see the enthusiasm that your dog will show at mealtimes. Another alternative is to fill a chewable toy with the right amount of almond butter that is ideal for your dog so that he can enjoy it over a period of time.
Great results with good care
Over a few weeks you will see the results in your dog’s shiny, healthy coat of fur and the spring in its step as the benefits of almond butter starts to show.
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