It can be hard to resist sharing human food with our canine friends! Plenty of dog owners have given in to those big pleading eyes and shared a couple bites of their meal. If you've just busted out a package of Nutter Butters and your pup starts nosing around, you may be tempted to share one of these tasty treats with them. But are these safe to give your dog?
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What are Nutter Butters?
Nutter Butters are crunchy sandwich cookies made with peanut butter and a creamy filling. They are wildly popular in the United States and are found at just about every grocery store.
Can dogs eat Nutter Butters?
While Nutter Butters do contain real peanut butter, a favorite snack of dogs everywhere, feeding them to your dog is not advised. As a general rule of thumb, it's best to avoid giving highly-processed foods to your dog—and unfortunately, Nutter Butters are chock-full of processed ingredients. According to the Environmental Working Group, an analysis of the ingredient list shows that these cookies contain high amounts of sugar, saturated fat, and artificial trans fats.
While it's typically not harmful for humans to indulge in these types of sugary foods every now and again, dogs' bodies work quite differently from ours and they do not metabolize foods the same way we do. Feeding even small amounts of unhealthy foods to dogs can be bad for their stomachs.
What are the concerns with feeding Nutter Butters to dogs?
Nutter Butters should not be given to dogs as a treat due to the high sugar and fat content. Though they do not contain any ingredients that are actually toxic to dogs, they can cause stomach upset, vomiting, and diarrhea. Since they are made with wheat flour, dogs that are sensitive to wheat or gluten may have a particularly bad reaction. Keep an eye out especially for the chocolate-covered Nutter Butters, as chocolate can be very dangerous for dogs to ingest.
What should I do if my dog accidentally eats a Nutter Butter?
If your dog happens to sneak a Nutter Butter while you're not looking, there's no need to panic. Keep a close eye on them to monitor for any signs of stomach upset. If they are vomiting or have diarrhea, you may want to refrain from feeding them their next scheduled meal until these symptoms clear up. Always provide access to plenty of clean drinking water for them as persistent vomiting and diarrhea can lead to dehydration. As an added precaution, or if your dog is sick for more than a day, you can place a call to your vet to ask for their advice.
If your dog eats a chocolate-covered Nutter Butter, call your vet or a poison control line—they will be able to determine if a vet visit is needed based on your dog's weight and how much they ingested.
Alternatives to Nutter Butters
Even though you can't share your Nutter Butters with your pup, there are lots of other options for tasty, dog-safe peanut butter treats. If you really want to spoil your best bud, you can whip up some homemade treats with a handful of basic ingredients you likely already have in your kitchen. Make sure that any peanut butter you feed your dog does not contain xylitol, an artificial sweetener which is toxic to dogs.
Nutter Butters aren't toxic to dogs, but they don't earn a spot on the list of human foods that are okay to share with them. The high sugar and fat content of these processed treats can cause stomach upset or worse if ingested by dogs. Keep those peanut butter cookies for yourself, and try your hand at making a batch of homemade treats for your pup instead!