Is Almond Butter Safe for Dogs?
Posted by Volhard Dog Nutrition on Oct 31st 2022
There are lots of reasons to stop feeding your dog peanut butter: fungus and aflatoxins, harmful fats, sugar, glyphosate, and lectins. But it's a common go-to treat for dogs. So here are some healthier alternatives to peanut butter that will help you in the treat department. They're also useful for disguising pills if you're giving your dog supplements or medication.
As well as being treat-worthy, almond butter as an alternative option offers varying nutrients for your dog. Almonds are a good source of vitamin E, magnesium, and riboflavin (aka vitamin B2). Your dog can eat almond butter, but not all dogs can digest it. So it's best to limit it to small amounts.
Can Dogs Eat Almond Butter?
Surprise, surprise, dogs love almond butter, both for its taste and vast array of essential nutrients! From vitamins B3 and E to calcium, antioxidants, and magnesium, almond butter packs quite a nutritional punch. But, at the same time, these nutrients are accompanied by high-fat levels, so keep your couch potato from overindulging in it. Likewise, ensure that your furry friend receives only the best on the market (i.e., natural almond butter) since certain manufacturers add unwanted ingredients to almond butter, such as the popular sweetener xylitol, whose toxicity levels in dogs are well documented. As long as you stick by our guidelines, the relationship between your dog and almond butter will be a fruitful one!
What Is Almond Butter and How Is It Made?
Almond butter is a member of the long and extensive list of other nut butters you might be familiar with, such as peanut butter, cashew butter, pecan butter, and walnut butter. Its production process is pretty straightforward: the raw/roasted almonds are turned into butter after undergoing a grinding process (don't worry, we'll teach you how to do it yourself!).
The Health Benefits of Almond Butter
Almond butter spans a comprehensive variety of healthy nutrients for the growth and development of each and every dog, such as:
- Vitamin B3 (ideal for treating inflammatory skin conditions);
- Vitamin E (any dog's bulwark against oxidative damage);
- Calcium (for strong, healthy bones);
- Antioxidants (the body's first line of defense against inflammation);
- Magnesium (helps the body absorb other nutrients, e.g., calcium, phosphorus, sodium, and potassium).
How Do Almond Butter and Peanut Butter Differ?
Now, a pet parent might ask, how does it differ from plain peanut butter? Although we might think of them as similar, certain traits separate almond butter from its more famous counterpart.
The first difference lies in their taste. Natural almond butter has something of a subtler taste than many other nut butters (including peanut butter), which your dog might prefer. Of course, if you have a peanut butter-loving hound, allow them to continue enjoying it! But if your pooch is finicky about taste, almond-made butter might be better at arousing their appetite.
The second difference lies in their nutritional composition. Although they share some nutrients, natural almond butter is the healthier choice due to its higher concentration of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. However, if you want your furry friend to pack some more protein, you can't go wrong with peanut butter.
Why Should I Make My Own Almond Butter?
Now, before dashing out to the grocery store in search of almond butter for your dog, first, we need to ask ourselves, is commercial almond butter the right choice for my dog? Not always. Most of the almond-made butters available in stores have a slightly altered composition — 90% almond and 10% other ingredients. Unfortunately, not all of these ingredients, such as salt and vanilla, are necessarily dog-friendly, which is why you should seriously consider the prospect of homemade butter over its commercial counterpart.
Avoid Xylitol, Every Dog's Nemesis
But the most dreaded ingredients found in commercial almond butters are artificial sweeteners like Xylitol. Often found in candy and sugar-free gums, Xylitol has the potential to upend your dog's gastrointestinal (GI) tract and lead to conditions such as:
- Liver failure.
A pet parent can never be sure about the contents of commercial almond butter, so please read the label carefully before making a purchase.
How About Almond Allergies?
Just like peanut allergies, almond ones can never be taken out of the equation, even though they are a rare occurrence. Pay close attention to your dog's reaction to almond butter — any changes in their health or behavior will tell you that they should stay away from it altogether. Start by feeding tiny amounts of almond butter to your dog in order to avoid severe allergic reactions.
Using Almond Flour Instead of Wheat Flour
Almonds benefit our dogs' lives not just in their buttery form — you can also try almond flour! Whenever you're looking to add a nutty flavor to your dog's homemade treats, substituting wheat flour for almond flour will get the job done. Also, if your dog has a problem with wheat or gluten and you've been looking for a wheat flour replacement for a while, almond flour is the ideal choice!
It's Time To Make Your Own Natural Almond Butter!
Does your puppy adore the taste of almond butter, but you're afraid to buy commercial versions? We've got you covered! As we promised earlier in this article, there's an easy, fun way to make your very own almond butter devoid of any salt, artificial sweeteners, or any ingredients unfit for your dog's diet!
DIY Almond Butter Recipe
- 2 cups of unsalted almonds;
- 2 tablespoons of coconut oil (optional).
- Hi-powered blender (e.g., Vitamix, Ninja) or a food processor.
How to prepare:
- Add almonds to the blender or food processor, and pulse to break up the almonds.
- Process until the mixture becomes creamy.
- As needed, turn off the processor to scrape the sides down.
- Optionally, add small amounts of coconut oil for flavor or a smoother consistency once the texture is creamy.
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 weeks.
Should I Feed My Dog Almond Butter? Definitely!
Most dogs adore almond butter, and there's no reason to keep its amazing health benefits away from your dog. It has a delicious taste, packs a variety of necessary nutrients, and makes for a scrumptious snack! Just be sure to avoid sweetened almond butter or any nut butters made with unhealthy additives. For more advice on dog nutrition, health, and training, make sure that you contact us and check out our blog!
Volhard Dog Nutrition and its expert nutritionists are now offering online consultations to help more dog parents discover why, what, and how to feed their dogs the healthiest of foods! Speaking to a Volhard nutritionist will help you understand the inseparable relationship between healthy food, a healthy body, and a healthy mind. If you're interested in contacting one of our Volhard nutritionists, don't hesitate to access our consultation page!