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Why Do Dogs Like Peanut Butter So Much?

If you’ve ever watched a dog eat peanut butter, you’ve probably had a lot of fun.

They seem to contort their faces and work hard to get every tiny taste of it, no matter how long it takes.

And then, they’ll come back for more.

There’s no denying that pooches love peanut butter — why they love it is the question.

And the truth is that no one is sure of the answer.

We do, however, know certain things about peanut butter that might contribute to their love.

Let’s take a look.

What’s So Great About Peanut Butter for Dogs?

Following are some facts about peanut butter and theories as to why dogs love it.

Understanding Cravings

Let’s start by understanding what cravings really are and why they exist.

Our bodies need certain vitamins and nutrients to work properly.

When we are missing any of them, our body lets us know we need it, but our minds interpret it differently.

For example, let’s say that you are low on vitamin D.

Your body sends a message to your brain, but your brain doesn’t tell you, “Hey, you need some vitamin D.”

Instead, you’ll start craving a glass of milk or ice cream.

Cravings are how our minds interpret what we need.

The brain gets a message, and we interpret it into something we know.

Dogs work the same way.

They crave food items that provide what their bodies are lacking.

As we go through the ingredients of peanut butter, we’ll look more into how cravings might affect a dog’s love for the treat.


Peanut butter is made up of four basic things: salt, fat, sugar, and protein.


Some people think that it’s the salt in the peanut butter that dogs love.

After all, they do love to lick our fingers if we’ve eaten something salty, like potato chips.

However, this is probably not the case.

Unlike humans, dogs don’t have taste buds that are salt-specific.

Therefore, they might like the texture of salt, but they don’t taste it.

Some also theorize that they go for the salt to replenish the sodium in their bodies.

However, most dog food has plenty of sodium, so there should be no reason that they crave it.


Dogs — like humans — crave fatty foods, mostly because they taste better than others.

Some believe it is the fat in the peanut butter that dogs love.

This may be a contributing factor, but there are plenty of other fatty foods dogs don’t usually like.

Therefore, we probably can’t rely on this to be the main cause of their peanut butter addiction.


Peanut butter naturally has sugar in it.

Even if you get peanut butter without added sugar, there is still some present.

And pups love sweetness- they can smell it wafting through your home.

They also have receptors on their tongue that can taste sweetness.

So it’s not really surprising that they would want to chomp down on peanut butter.

It’s a safe bet that the sweetness has something to do with it, even if it’s not the only reason.


Dogs use protein to replace the skin and hair that they constantly shed.

They also need it for healthy muscles.

Though dog food does contain proteins, they can be difficult to digest.

As such, they can’t really be used as they need to be in the body.

All of this typically means a dog will crave things like meats and other protein-rich food items.

Peanut butter is not just full of protein — that protein is also easy to digest, meaning it can actually be used.

This alone might be why dogs love it so much.


While it’s fun for humans to watch dogs go crazy over peanut butter, we may not be the only ones being entertained.

Dogs can spend hours licking away at peanut butter, especially if you put it in a toy.

There is always a chance that the process is as fun for them as it is for us to watch.

The Smell

We mentioned above that dogs smell the sweetness of peanut butter.

However, if you are cooking or baking with peanut butter, that smell changes a little.

It can take on the aroma of caramelized meat, leaving your pooch standing in the kitchen, waiting for you to share.

It’s Different

Let’s be honest: dry dog food is probably not very exciting for your dog.

It’s, well, dry, and probably a bit flavorless.

It’s not hard to imagine a dog getting excited over something that’s flavorful and creamy.

Is It Okay for My Dog to Eat Peanut Butter?

In general, yes, it’s perfectly safe.

There is some peanut butter that contains xylitol or chocolate.

Any brands with these ingredients are not safe.

Otherwise, you can let your four-legged friend lick to his heart’s desire.


While no one knows the exact reasons pups love peanut butter, the fact is that they do.

It could be due to any of the reasons above, a combination of them, or something yet to be discovered.

Regardless of the reasons, unless your vet says otherwise, peanut butter is perfectly fine for your dog — in moderation, of course.

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National Canine Research Association of America