Can a Boston Terrier Eat Peanut Butter? 3 Things To Know

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by Lily Ferreras


Many dogs, including Boston Terriers, enjoy peanut butter. It can be a tasty reward after a training session OR a motivational aid whilst cutting your Boston’s nails! But, is it safe?

Can a Boston Terrier eat peanut butter? Boston Terriers can eat peanut butter as long as it is made of raw peanuts and it doesn’t contain certain ingredients like xylitol, sugar and salt.

Let’s see three reasons why peanut butter can be dangerous and if it’s safe for Boston Terriers to eat peanuts instead.

Can a Boston Terrier Eat Peanut Butter?

If peanut butter contains sugar, xylitol and/or salt it’s definitely toxic to your dog. These three ingredients are dangerous to your Boston Terrier, especially xylitol.

Be sure to read the ingredients before feeding your pooch peanut butter. Also, “Natural” doesn’t mean that it doesn’t contain added salt.

Instead, only buy peanut butter that is salt-free and doesn’t have sugar or other sweeteners added like xylitol. Also, dogs should only eat raw peanut butter, not roasted.

In moderation, dog-safe peanut butter is a source of protein, vitamins B and E, and niacin. 

These are some dog-safe peanut butter brands like:



I am not a veterinarian, so always check with your vet before changing your Boston Terrier’s diet to avoid unexpected consequences.

However, I do have knowledge on dog nutrition and dietary needs.


Why Peanut Butter Can Be Dangerous for Boston Terriers

There are three reasons why peanut butter can be toxic for your Boston Terrier (source):

#1 – Peanut Butter Can Contain Harmful Ingredients

Like I mentioned above, peanut butter is only safe if it doesn’t contain:

  • Sugar.
  • Xylitol.
  • Salt.

Sugar causes issues like:

  • Yeast (candida), bacteria and parasite growth.
  • Diabetes.
  • Food allergies.
  • Premature ageing.
  • Low-level inflammation.
  • Cancer, since it feeds cancer cells.

Xylitol, in particular, causes a rapid drop in blood sugar levels known as hypoglycemia. This can lead to liver failure and blood clotting disorders. Also, common symptoms of xylitol poisoning include muscle weakness and seizures.

Finally, salt should be limited in your dog’s diet.

Excessive salt intake leads to salt poisoning or water deprivation in dogs. As a result, your dog may suffer from vomiting, diarrhoea, and seizures.

Note: If you think your Boston Terrier has eaten xylitol, contact your veterinarian immediately.

#2 – Peanuts Contain Aflatoxins (Which Cause Cancer)

Peanuts contain aflatoxins, a cancer-causing substance that is also toxic to the liver. Aflatoxin is known to cause liver cancer in laboratory animals, which puts your dog at risk too.

However, the toxin level varies from brand to brand.

#3 – Peanut Butter Contains Unbalanced Fats

Peanuts and peanut butter are a source of fats. However, their fats are not balanced.

They contain way more omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3 fats. This can lead to inflammation, pancreatitis and weight gain in dogs.

Also, they contain trans-fatty acids, which is a toxic food substance that helps with food preservation. I.e., it allows foods to sit on shelves for an extremely long time.

These trans-fatty acids cause diabetes, heart disease, and chronic inflammation. So, check the ingredients and avoid hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils.

Finally, you should avoid roasted peanuts since roasting them causes the fats to go rancid.


How Much Peanut Butter Can Boston Terriers Eat?

Boston Terriers should eat peanut butter with limitations (treat your pooch to some peanut butter only now and then, not on a daily basis), provided that you are feeding your Boston Terrier peanut butter that is salt-free, sugar-free and xylitol-free… and made of raw peanuts.

Peanut butter poses some health concerns for dogs, including diabetes, cancer and obesity.

So, always check with your vet before feeding peanut butter (or any human foods for that matter) to your pooch. This is especially important if your Boston Terrier suffers from conditions such as diabetes or allergies.

Another important thing to remember is that treats should only be 10% of your Boston Terrier’s daily food intake.

Simply measure how much food your dog gets daily, and consider alternating between peanut butter and healthier treats, such as dog-friendly fruits or vegetables.

Here are some peanut butter serving options:

  • Stuff a spoonful of peanut butter (or use Stuff’n Easy Treat Peanut Butter tube) to seal a Kong toy (or similar stuffing toys) for some interactive feeding.
  • Offer a few slurps of peanut butter on a spoon or your finger as an occasional treat.
  • Put some peanut butter on a Lickimat Slow Feeder and let your Boston Terrier lick it whilst you are cutting his nails.

You can also use peanut butter to disguise medication. 😉


Should I Give My Boston Terrier Peanut Butter?

You can feed your Boston Terrier peanut butter if:

  1. Your dog is not allergic.
  2. Your vet doesn’t advise you against it due to your dog’s health conditions such as diabetes or obesity.
  3. It’s dog-safe peanut butter (raw, salt-free, sugar-free and xylitol-free).
  4. You only feed your Boston Terrier a teaspoon from time to time.

However, it’s perfectly okay to not feed peanut butter to your Boston Terrier.

Since this breed is prone to allergies, peanuts might be a food choice you want to avoid.

Peanut allergies in dogs can range from mild to severe. Common symptoms include:

  • Red and itchy skin.
  • Difficulty breathing.
  • Agitation.
  • Anaphylaxis (in severe allergic reactions). 

Read also: Boston Terrier Diet – where I discuss Food Allergies and the best diet for Allergic Boston Terriers.


Can Boston Terriers Eat Peanuts?

Boston Terriers can eat raw peanuts as long as they are shelled. They cannot eat peanuts that are salted, sweetened, rousted or seasoned with other flavourings.

However, due to their high content in unbalanced fats (peanuts are about 50% fat), your dog shouldn’t eat them regularly.

Can Eating Peanuts Be Dangerous for My Boston Terrier?

Peanut shells cause digestive problems that will lead to an upset stomach or a gastrointestinal obstruction. Also, they can be a choking hazard.

Apart from those issues, peanuts pose the same three dangers that peanut butter does:

  1. Peanuts can contain harmful ingredients when flavoured.
  2. They contain aflatoxins (which cause cancer).
  3. Peanuts are high on fat, which is also unbalanced.

Finally, remember that your dog could be allergic to peanuts.

P.S. While peanuts could be safe for some dogs, other nuts might not be safe, so avoid mixed nuts and mixed nut butter.

How Many Peanuts Can My Boston Terrier Eat?

As a general rule of thumb, dog treats (which peanuts can be considered to be) should only be a 10% of your Boston Terrier’s diet.

Since peanuts can cause health issues, you should limit the amount and frequency. For example, you can feed your Boston Terrier 1 to 2 pieces of peanut every now and then.

Again, consult your vet first and feel free to avoid giving peanuts to your pooch. I have never given peanuts to my dogs because I don’t think the benefits surpass the disadvantages.

Instead, consider other nutrient-rich treats that are lower in calories. 🙂

For More Information

From nuts to bananas, there is a wide selection of human foods that you can use as healthy rewards and snacks for your Boston Terrier available on our Can a Boston Terrier Eat Apples? 10 Other Safe Human Foods blog post.

Also, for harmful human foods, have a look at Can a Boston Terrier Eat Grapes? And 10 Other Toxic Foods.

Finally, for more safe and healthy rewards, check Boston Terrier Treats blog post, which includes raw, single-ingredient and commercial options.

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