Read This Before Giving Your Boston Terrier Peanut Butter!


boston terrier licking peanut butter

Peanut butter is a great treat for Boston Terriers and makes the perfect protein treat to hide in toys.

However, there are a few major ingredients you are going to want to avoid before giving it to them.

  1. Xylitol
  2. Aflatoxins
  3. Sugar
  4. Salt
  5. Oils

Is peanut butter safe for Boston Terriers to eat?

The short answer is yes. Peanut butter is safe for Boston Terriers to eat, but there are some things that need to be taken into consideration. 

A video of me explaining what to avoid in peanut butter.

First off, if your dog has allergies or sensitivities to legumes, tree nuts, seeds, fruits and pollen you may want to be cautious giving your Boston Terrier peanut butter. 

This is because there has been a high rate of cross-reaction to peanuts found. 

What ingredients should I avoid when giving my Boston peanut butter?

Xylitol

Xylitol has been one of those ingredients that have been found to be harmful to dogs. 

While many peanut butter brands have removed this ingredient there are some companies that have continued to use this ingredient in their product (source).

What is xylitol?

Xylitol is considered sugar alcohol and has been naturally found in vegetables and fruits like the cob of corn (source). 

It is commonly used as a sugar substitute in… 

  • Jellies 
  • Jello
  • Puddings
  • Chewing gum
  • Gummy vitamins
  • Candies
  • Mints
  • Protein bars
  • Kinds of toothpaste
  • Mouthwashes
  • Peanut butter
  • Diabetic-friendly foods 

It is said to have the same sweetness level as sugar, yet less calorically dense. 

Banana & Peanut Butter Dog Treat Recipe

What happens when xylitol is consumed in a dog?

In humans, xylitol does not affect insulin production, yet in dogs they continue to metabolize it as glucose, causing their bodies to release large amounts of insulin (source). 

This results in rapid drops in their blood sugar, which can be dangerous. 

In large amounts, it can cause liver failure, seizures, and even death. 

Results of the toxicity can happen quickly, as soon as 1 to 2 hours after consuming xylitol. 

How much xylitol can harm my Boston Terrier?

It can take a small amount, as little as 0.1 grams of xylitol per kilogram of body weight for a dog to be affected, so a 10-25 pound (4.5kg to 11kg) Boston Terrier will get sick with just eating 0.4 to 1.1 grams of xylitol (source).  

This is as little as half a tablespoon to 2 tablespoons of peanut butter that contain xylitol. 

What are some signs of xylitol poisoning?

Things to look for in xylitol poisoning would be…

  • Vomiting
  • Weakness
  • Disoriented
  • Lethargic
  • Passing out
  • Seizures

Aflatoxins

What are aflatoxins? 

Aflatoxins are a type of mycotoxin. Mycotoxins are naturally occurring toxins produced by molds or fungi that can be found to grow on certain foods and peanuts (source). 

Aflatoxins specifically target the liver and have been found to promote tumors (source). 

It is rare to have acute poisoning. Limited doses have not been shown to cause issues or be harmful, yet doses that do cause effects vary. 

Sugar

Some brands of peanut butter have added sugar. 

Extra sugar needs to be avoided because just like in humans, too much sugar to our Bostons can lead to health problems like obesity and or diabetes. 

Now, if your Boston is trying to maintain a healthy weight then I would recommend a more natural peanut butter without added sugar. 

Boston Terrier Breed Profile
Bella looking alert!

Oils

Oils are an important part of a Boston’s diet. But, you want to be aware of the added oils in peanut butter. 

The one common oil that is found in peanut butter is palm oil.

Palm oil is not poisonous to dogs but can give your Boston a laxative effect, leading to diarrhea, sickness, and even pancreatitis (source). 

It has been found that a diet high in fat can trigger pancreatitis in dogs (source). 

If your Boston has a history of chronic pancreatitis or at increased risk of acute pancreatitis I advise you to avoid peanut butter. 

Salt

As with many things in a Boston Terriers diet, it is all about moderation. 

Dogs do indeed need salt in their diets, but we do not want to over do it. 

Be aware that too much salt in your dog’s diet could lead to excessive thirst and other ongoing health issues. 

Many peanut butters have added salt. 

Monitor the amount of peanut butter that your Boston Terrier gets if the brand you purchase has added salt. 

What brands of peanut butter should I avoid giving to my Boston Terrier?

There are still a few brands on the market that contain xylitol that should NOT be given to Boston Terriers. 

Disclaimer: I always recommend reading the labels before giving any food to your Boston, in case a company decides to change their product.

  • Go Nuts, Co.
  • P28 Foods
  • Nuts ‘N More
  • Krush Nutrition
  • No Cow 

(source)

What type of peanut butter is best for Boston Terriers?

Gross things a Boston Terrier does

With all that being said, peanut butter is safe for Boston Terriers as long as it does not contain xylitol. 

In moderation, peanut butter can make a great source of protein and an easy treat to give your dog. 

Some brands are “healthier” than others for your dog. 

I always recommend reading the ingredient labels and check for added sugars, oils, salts, etc. 

The more natural the brand the better it will be for your Boston. In our household, we get the Kirkland Signature Organic Peanut Butter. It has two ingredients, peanuts, and salt.

The ultimate brand would be one that contains just peanuts. Can’t be safer than that.

List of 4 peanut butter brands that contain only peanuts:

  • Crazy Richard’s 100% Peanuts All Natural Peanut Butter
  • Spread The Love Naked Peanut Butter
  • Trader Joe’s Creamy No Salt Organic Peanut Butter, Valencia
  • Teddy All Natural Smooth Peanut Butter

How to make homemade peanut butter for your dog (with NO added oil!)

Making your own peanut butter would be the best way to ensure there are no added sugars, oils, or preservatives. 

Here is a simple recipe to follow. 

It takes less than 5 minutes to make from start to finish and is silky smooth!

INGREDIENTS
  • 3 Cups of raw peanuts (ensure they are dry roasted or you will need to bake them)
  • Add salt to taste (I would add this only if you plan on eating some)
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Place the peanuts into a food processor. Here are some food processors on Amazon, food processors.
  1. Blend until smooth and creamy or to the texture you like. The blending takes approximately 7 minutes.

Emily and I use this method to make homemade almond butter as well.

How much peanut butter can I give my Boston Terrier? 

In general, it is recommended that treats and snacks should only make up 10 % of a Boston Terriers diet. 

Peanut butter should be a compliment to their regular diet, never a replacement. 

The range for caloric intake for a Boston Terrier is approximately 300-600 calories. 

The perfect serving size of peanut butter for your Boston Terrier is ½ tablespoon to ¾ tablespoon per day.

What is better for my Boston Terrier crunchy or creamy peanut butter?

This can be up to your Boston’s personal preference. Bella loves creamy peanut butter. 

We don’t give her crunchy since she is older and her teeth are not in the best shape. Creamy makes it easier and a more enjoyable treat.  

There has been a concern for small breeds, like Bostons choking on crunchy peanut butter.

Especially since Boston Terriers have been known to be quick eaters. 

With the average serving size being less than a tablespoon, I find it hard to believe that with such little quantity would cause a Boston to choke.

With all that being said, creamy is the safer way to go. 

Is peanut butter and jelly ok for Boston Terriers? 

My wife loves peanut butter and jelly sandwichs. Sharing food and treats with our Boston’s can be a great way to bond. 

Word of caution when it comes to peanut butter and jelly. Never give your Boston grape jelly.

Grapes are toxic to your Bostons. Read all about why grapes are poisonous in this article by the Boston Terrier Society, Boston Terriers And Grapes.

Secondly, a sugar-free jelly may contain xylitol as a sugar substitute. I recommend reading the label closely.

In our house, Bella has never had processed jelly. 

It is safe to give your dog a small amount of strawberry jelly here and there, but I would recommend using fresh fruits like bananas or apples as a pairing to peanut butter.  

Here is a dog treat recipe with peanut butter in it

This is my weird banana treat idea.

Me and Sofia making the treat.

Get the recipe here, Banana & Peanut Butter Recipe.

What dog toys allow me to put peanut butter in them?

Peanut butter can be a great treat to help you give your dog medicine, or trim its nails. 

Placing the peanut butter on a plate and letting them lick it off is fine.

But putting it in a toy helps keep your Boston more occupied and is more stimulating.

Best Toys you can put peanut butter in:

  • Kongs
  • PetSafe Twist ‘n Treat Busy Buddy Dog Toy
  • Bojafa Dog Teething Toys Balls
  • Nylabone Stuffable Dog Toy
  • Pawaboo Dog Lick Pad

Final thoughts…

Peanut butter is safe for dogs, but you want to be sure to read the labels, avoiding xylitol, palm oil, and too many additives. 

Making your own peanut butter or getting an all-natural brand is best. 

Your Boston Terrier will love to eat some creamy all-natural peanut butter in a toy, with a ½ to ⅗ tablespoon serving size. 

Lick away! 

Give Your Boston Terrier Exactly What They Want! 

A totally customized box of themed toys and treats for your Boston every month. Plans start as little as $22.00 per month. 

Start by going to the BarkBox website and entering your Boston’s name, weight, breed, birthday, allergies, and email.

No worries! If your Boston isn’t 100% happy with their BarkBox, they’ll work with you to make it right. 

No muss, no fuss, no disappointed pups.

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Donnie Gardner

Donnie Gardner is the owner of the Boston Terrier Society. He has been raising Bella the Boston since 2010. He resides in Kansas with his wife, daughter, and Bella. His favorite activities are hanging out with family, traveling, running (but has bad knees), and reading non-fiction books.

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