If your Frenchie is anything like Claude, I can imagine he or she will be begging you for food as soon as the sniff of a tasty treat presents itself. Frenchies are really greedy (in a good way) and act like they’ve been starved at every available opportunity! And that’s where things can get tricky… because it’s hard to say no to these guys.
My son loves peanut butter sandwiches, and a few months back dropped one on the floor. Before he could get a chance to grab it, Claude the Frenchie was in like a flash and gobbled the whole thing up in one bite.
We’d never fed our French Bulldog peanut butter before, so my immediate reaction was to freak out a little, as I didn’t know if it was safe for him… here’s what I found out.
Can French Bulldogs eat peanut butter safely?
French bulldogs can eat peanut butter, but only in moderation and not every day. You must avoid feeding peanut butter to a Frenchie if the product contains xylitol as this ingredient is dangerous to dogs. Most peanut butters will contain aflatoxins, harmful fats, and sugar which are not good for a dog.
You must avoid peanut butter with xylitol!
Before you even think about feeding your Frenchie peanut butter as a treat (and he will love it!) check that the product does not contain xylitol. Xylitol is sugar substitute that is safe for humans but can cause health problems for dogs.
Many peanut butters now include the xylitol ingredient and it won’t often be clearly labelled, so please make you check before taking any risks.
But why is xylitol in peanut butter bad for French Bulldogs?
Firstly, it can act like a laxative. Whilst that isn’t dangerous, a Frenchie on a laxative isn’t something I would wish on my worst enemy.
But joking aside, just a small amount of xylitol can cause low blood sugar levels in a dog, leading to liver failure and seizures… both of which could be fatal to your beloved Frenchie.
Peanut butter is safe for a French Bulldog with no xylitol then?
No, not strictly speaking.
It’s all about moderation, as with any “human” type food you decide to feed your dog.
Whilst peanut butter (minus the xylitol) can be a good source of fiber and protein to a Frenchie, it’s not something I would recommend as a staple part of their diet.
A small tablespoon of peanut butter every now and again is a lovely treat for them, but don’t give it to them every day.
What about French Bulldog puppies and peanut butter?
For those of you with a younger dog, I would say that you can feed peanut butter to a French Bulldog puppy in very low amounts, but I would question why you would want to do this.
Their stomachs aren’t as robust as an adult dog, and Frenchie puppies have a tendency to react to unusual foods by vomiting more often that their grown-up counterparts.
Is peanut butter good for French Bulldogs?
Here’s the thing, yes, peanut butter can contain some goodness, but the negatives far outweigh the positives.
Which is why I keep banging the drum for moderation here.
You can buy peanut butter cookies, stuffing, and various other treats that your Frenchie would love to wolf down given half the chance, but don’t do it regularly please.
Even if you manage to find a peanut butter brand with no xylitol in it, there are still some nasties that could have an adverse effect on your French Bulldog’s health if eaten in large quantities.
Toxic ingredients in peanut butter include:
- Aflatoxins: these are mycotoxins that occur naturally but are cancer-causing. Aflatoxins can cause liver cancer, and this has been tested by scientists in laboratory conditions on animals. Peanut butter has loads of aflatoxins in, even the nice organic stuff that is more expensive than the cheap brands. You can read more about this on the Cancer.org website.
- Harmful fats: most peanut butters are produced with trans-fatty acids in them in order to keep the product fresher on the shop shelf for longer. Check the peanut butter before giving it to your Frenchie as toxic fats like this can cause diabetes and heart disease. Look out for hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils on the label. If it has these, don’t give it to your dog.
- Sugar: you won’t find many peanut butters on the market that aren’t packed with sugar. Dogs really should not have sugar in large amounts as it can lead to various health problems. Keep the peanut butter treats down to a minimum.
What peanut butter is best for a French Bulldog?
In moderation, there’s probably no real harm in giving your Frenchie some peanut butter to eat once a week.
Since we had the peanut butter sandwich situation, we’ve let Claude have peanut butter in his Kong toy perhaps once a month. We use Kongs with Claude as they keep him entertained and busy if we need to leave him alone for a couple of hours (see which Kong toy we bought).
But that’s it.
The peanut butter we choose will be:
- No xylitol
- No hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils
- Low in sugar
- Low in salt
I also asked my vet about how safe it was to feed a French Bulldog peanut butter. He agreed with everything that I have laid out in this guide but had one last piece of great advice which I’ve quoted below.
“When manufacturers roast the peanuts, it will make the natural fats go rancid. If you can, try to feed your Frenchie raw peanut butter that you have made yourself. That way you can be certain there’s no sugar or hydrogenated fat in it.”
It will still have a trace of aflatoxins in though, so for peace of mind, please make peanut butter an irregular treat in very small portions.
What brand of peanut butter is bad for dogs?
I found a list of peanut butters online that contain xylitol as at the 13thof May 2019. Some of these manufacturers may have now updated their ingredients, but this was accurate at the time I wrote this blog post.
- No Cow (formerly D’s Naturals): Salted Caramel Sundae Peanut Fluffbutter
- Go Nuts, Co: Peanut Butter Natural Flavor
- Krush Nutrition: Nutty By Nature Peanut Butter Thick & Creamy
- Nuts ‘N More: Peanut Spread Peanut Butter Flavor
- P28 Foods: High Protein Spread Peanut Spread
- P28 Foods: High Protein Spread Signature Blend
I would also check the ingredients on any of the following products:
- Peanut butter cookies and cupcakes
- Peanut butter brownies
- Peanut butter hummus
- Peanut butter protein balls
Is it ok to give my dog peanut butter every day?
I don’t recommend this at all, and we only let Claude have peanut butter once a month. I hope you’ve got a good basis now for why I say this.
However, I did see a quote on another website which goes against my advice which I wanted to include to give you a slightly different opinion.
“Peanut butter is high in Vitamin E, Vitamin H, and heart-healthy fats which can help give him a lustrous coat. However, high fat means high calories, so it’s best to limit his daily intake to about 1 or 2 teaspoons a day, depending on your dog’s size. Speak to your veterinarian to determine a recommended daily allowance that will keep your pooch’s diet healthy and balanced”
The quote above was from the Cuteness.com website and whilst I don’t agree with it, they sourced a lot of their information from vet and pet studies.
To conclude, yes, French Bulldogs can eat peanut butter, but I wouldn’t make a habit of it.
Your Frenchie will love the taste, and I don’t see the harm in it as a very rare treat from time to time. But if you love your dog and want the best for them, opt for something different with more nutritional value in it.
Handy Hint: I recently wrote a new guide about what types of nuts are safe for Frenchies to eat, and which ones could be toxic. Click here to read that dietary safety guide on nut consumption.