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Peanut Butter for Dogs? Trick or Treat?

Should we feed dogs peanut butter in their diet? Rowan looks at the issues of including peanut butter inside dog diets

For those of you who are brimming with curiosity , eager to learn and do the best by your pet,  but low on time, let me cut to the punchline. Halloween is long gone, as should be peanut butter for dogs or humans for that matter. I can explain why treating your dog with peanut butter is in fact a trick. A dangerous health trick and it needs to stop now. 

Yes I know it’s beyond delicious . So delicious it could be charged with taste entrapment. But there are much less dangerous alternatives which YOU can enjoy without running the gauntlet of risks below. Here are my top five reasons to ditch the peanuts right now.

1: Lectins. 

Firstly Peanuts are not a nut at all, but a legume. Does that matter? YES. Please believe me on this. It really does. Legumes are super high in lectins. lectins create inflammation, contribute to leaky gut, the doorway to all those nasty auto immune disorders, food intolerances, itchy skin, arthritis and worse. People constantly underestimate the impact of lectins. Halloween is over, Christmas is approaching, please treat yourself early with a huge present, cut lectins out of your and your pets diet. Watch the magic happen.

If you want to learn more about how one of America’s leading Cardiologists has reversed heart disease in countless patients by cutting out lectins rather than parts of them,  then read The Plant Paradox by Dr Stephen Gundry

2: Taurine

Taurine is an amino acid. It’s billed as an “essential amino acid” for cats and a “non essential amino acid” for dogs. The difference between essential and non essential being that it needs to be sourced from the diet or can be synthesised by the animal from other elements. 

I have a theory that this is in fact “a semi essential amino acid” , yes,  totally new phrase you heard here first. My theory is that some breeds of dog are better at synthesising this amino acid than others, and this difference is shown in breeds that are predisposed to DCM (Dilated Cardio Myopathy) or not.  For example Golden Retrievers.  I can explain why and this leads us to reason three. 

3: Heart Health What’s DCM? :

DCM or Dilated Cardio Myopathy is a condition where heart irregularities with the dog lead to an enlargement of the heart chambers. This can promote fluid accumulation in the lungs amongst other unpleasant health threatening effects. (I am deliberately skipping over the details to keep this brief and will pen a separate blog on this in the next few days)

The good news is that emerging research shows a potential solution in supplementing with taurine. 

Taurine is found in raw meat, especially poultry and marine proteins. It is also quite “fragile” and is easily destroyed by cooking, excessively long freezing or processing. 

If you want to read more about this then check out Dr Karen Becker’s excellent article here

Needed yet another reason to ditch kibble and adopt  raw template ?Welcome to reason #727

4: Heart Health

What more heart health? Apart from the taurine, the DCM, the inflammation, itchy skin and other auto immune paths opened up by lectins, one of the key associations is heart disease. There’s a combination of reasons we will touch on briefly here and I will cover in further detail on facebook lives over the next few weeks. So keep your eyes peeled and remember to join the facebook group Bella & Duke which is open to non customers also.  If you are already a facebook group member why not invite a friend who isn’t, and save their pet’s heart too?

Back to the heart. Not only do lectins create inflammation in the obvious places like toe joints, hips and knees, they also create this in the heart. They are associated with “systemic inflammation” and that includes the lining of the aorta, and the heart itself. This is far from optimal for an organ that never stops beating… until it does. 

If you needed convincing further, please be aware that peanuts are routinely fed to mice and rats to induce heart disease as part of laboratory studies. 

Ready to start treating yourself and your pet better than a lab rat? 

Another key component is the profile of fats found in peanuts, which leads us to reason four.

5: Fats and fat balance.

We have all heard about the importance of maximising omega 3 fats in both our diets and those of our pets if we want to be healthy. Except it isn’t quite as simple as “painting over problems with vats of fish oil”. 

We only have a certain capacity for the 3, 6, 9 family of fats and it is essential to get these in the correct ratio. Omega 6 fats play an equally important role as their omega 3 counterparts, it’s simply that they tend to be already “over” represented in virtually all of the foods we are exposed to. 

Yes we can add Omega 3’s in. Far better to lower the omega 6’s we are exposed to. Far better still to do both. Redress the balance. 

Peanuts represent the perfect fat storm in a teacup, containing virtually exclusively Omega 6. If you like numbers, peanuts contain approximately 5000 times more omega 6 than omega 3. Unhealthily unbalanced. 

And the fat fact that broke the camels back is that these omega 6 fats are roasted and processed at high temperatures rendering them rancid, corrupted and damaging to DNA. 

Speaking of DNA damaging mutative effects, let’s leap over to reason number 5, Mould. 

6: Dangerous mould, Aflatoxin. 

Aflatoxin is rife in the peanut industry, and what’s even scarier is that this toxic mould is even more present in the organic alternatives, these having not being sprayed with glyphosate or other dangerous chemicals.  Both of these are often referred to as “mutagenic” which means it create cell and DNA mutations.  

A clue , these mutations are not healthy. 

This is quite literally a no win situation. Damned if you do damned if you don’t. You have the option of dangerous cancer causing chemicals or dangerous cancer causing mould. The best option here is to swerve the peanuts and any products containing them. 

This is a brief description of glyphosate symptoms in dogs, a common herbicide used in Round Up and most of the other major brands,  

According to the National Pesticide Information Center, these include weight loss, lethargy, excessive drooling, vomiting and diarrhea. Moreover, tests show that about 15 percent of dogs that eat grass treated with glyphosate-formulated products develop serious symptoms of toxic reaction.

And this is what the Australian government department of Agriculture has to say on Aflatoxin 

Aflatoxin is the name for a group of toxins (carcinogenic compounds) that are produced by two fungi called Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus. These toxins occur naturally and have been found in a wide range of commodities (including peanuts) used for animal and human consumption. Depending on the levels, the toxins can severely affect the liver and they are a known human carcinogen (i.e. causes cancer)

Neither sound appealing to me. Peanuts anyone? 

So the next time a friend mentions “Its fine, its organic”, or “I checked and theres no xylitol in it”, or “but they deserve a treat”, you now know better. 

Please share if you care. Let’s spread the word! 

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One response to “Peanut Butter for Dogs? Trick or Treat?

  1. I have to leave my dog crated for a couple of hours a day whilst I work. When I go I leave him with a frozen peanut butter KONG, which he loves. Could you suggest a similar alternative to peanut butter that I could use?

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