Can Dogs Eat Peanut Shells?


Reading Time: 5 minutes

Found during the days of the Civil War, peanuts have become popular nuts nowadays. However, while enjoying these tasty nuts, humans often discard the shells as they are hard to chew and are not that delicious.

Before following the same practice, consider if you have a dog and whether he can eat peanut shells safely?

Can I Let My Dog Eat Peanut Shells?

Dogs can eat peanut shells safely, but it’s not a good choice to feed them some. They are not toxic but are difficult to chew and are not digested easily, making them bad as a dog treat.

Before carelessly eating peanuts in front of your dog, you should consider all the problems, from affecting the dog’s digestive system to posing other health risks.

Can Dogs Eat Peanuts and Peanut Butter?

Feeding peanuts and peanut butter in small quantities are perfectly safe for dogs. In the case of peanuts, know that salt is not safe for dogs. It’s better to feed them unsalted peanuts. In the case of peanut butter, make sure no ingredients are toxic to dogs.

For example, store-bought peanut butter has xylitol, a sugar substitute. However, it is an artificial sweetener that’s safe for human consumption but unsafe as a part of dog treats. Similarly, avoid chocolate peanut butter as chocolate is a big NO for dogs.

While feeding your dog peanut butter, make sure it does not have added sugars, additional chemicals, and preservatives.

Moreover, all the peanut butter jars are not created equal; some may have more sugar content or other toxic ingredients.

So, instead of checking all the ingredients of the peanut butter jar you bought to treat yourself, you can simply go for homemade peanut butter for your furry friend.

Peanut Allergy

Peanuts are packed with valuable vitamins and are generally safe for dogs. Still, a dog’s body can show an allergic reaction to them.

Signs of this allergy include; skin getting red with too much itching and swelling, difficulty in breathing, runny nose, bald spots, and digestive problems. Take him to a vet as soon as you observe any of these symptoms.

When you feed dog peanut butter, you might observe the same allergic reaction or even a more severe reaction.

This peanut butter allergy is because of the same reason mentioned above that doesn’t make it a good dog food for those suffering from allergies.

Related Contents:

Downsides of Peanuts and Peanut Shells on Dog’s Health

Peanut shell doesn’t fall in the category of safe snack for dogs. Though they are not poisonous, they are harmful in many other ways. The same is the case with peanuts.

These nuts are safe in small amounts when fed rightly, but there are some things to consider to make their consumption safe and sound for the dogs.

Choking Hazard

Dog parents should be aware of the common choking hazards in their pets. For example, when dogs eat peanuts or other nuts, one should keep an eye on them to monitor how much they are eating.

A hungry dog might try to eat a lot of whole peanuts at once, it can result in the obstruction of the throat. The best practice is to feed peanuts one by one to keep the dog safe from a choking hazard.

Injuries in the Digestive Tract

Peanut shells have a rough texture and might rub against the dog’s digestive tract resulting in internal injuries. In addition, they are not digested easily and can result in stomach perforation.

In simple words, it can lead to holes in the stomach, and the digestive materials and enzymes can be leaked into the body cavity.

As other parts of the body expect, the digestive system is not designed for accumulating and processing these substances; this can create fatal conditions for your pup. If not treated timely, it can lead to even death.

Salt Poisoning

Too much salt in salted peanuts can cause salt poisoning in dogs. As a result, they might suffer stomach pain followed by diarrhea and vomiting.

In addition, as sodium is the main component of common salt, too much sodium can trigger excessive thirst in them. When a dog drinks a lot of water to kill this thirst, it might make him feel full.

As a result, he might have a loss of appetite and show lethargy when you take him out for games.

Upset Stomach

A dog can experience an upset stomach because of many reasons. If he is allergic to peanuts, it might be one of the most common and earliest signs. The second reason might be overeating.

It can either be because the dog itself has overconsumed the peanuts, or you have fed him more mistakenly.

A dog might first show up with diarrhea and vomiting. He can also show the act of gulping something. In fact, he is resisting acid reflux.

Acid reflux occurs when the stomach throws the acidic material back into the esophagus, so call it nausea or onset of vomiting. Next, he might get sluggish and don’t have an appetite for anything.

High-fat Content

Dogs, too, require healthy fats as part of a well-balanced diet for a variety of physiological processes. They are crucial in nerve coordination as well as making up the majority of dog hormones.

A diet comprising 10-15% fat is more than sufficient for dogs. Obesity, pancreatitis, heart disease, and diabetes risk can all be caused by eating too much fat.

Peanuts, like other nuts, contain a lot of fat. Therefore, they should not be a regular part of your dog’s diet.

Macadamia nuts, for example, are extremely hazardous for dogs. It can be fatal for them if they eat even a few macadamia nuts. Joint stiffness, weakness in the back limb, pancreatitis, and spinal weakness are some of the main indications of their toxicity.

Cellulose Content

Peanut shells contain cellulose. It makes up about 48% of the weight of a peanut shell. Usually, the herbivores and the termites that feed on bark and woody substances with a high content of cellulose produce an enzyme cellulase in their body. This enzyme helps them in the breakdown and digestion of cellulose.

Dogs, as well as humans, do not produce this enzyme in their bodies. As a result, the undigested peanut shells can accumulate in the dog’s intestines. It can lead to intestinal blockage.

In such a situation, the dog will neither be able to digest it nor he can vomit it out. To cure the dog and protect him from danger might require surgery. Moreover, when such a condition arises, don’t try to induce vomiting without consulting a vet.

My Dog Ate Peanut Shells; What Should I Do?

Check out how many peanut shells your dog has eaten. If you suspect he has eaten peanut shells in large quantities, take him to a vet and seek professional advice as soon as possible.

If he has eaten one or two shells as they don’t have any toxic substances. However, eating peanut shells in this amount is safe only if your four-legged friend is large in size. For small dogs, this amount can be dangerous.

Instead of shells, you can treat furry friends with dry roasted and unsalted peanuts. Unfortunately, too many peanuts are also not safe. Just add a few peanuts to the dog’s diet as an occasional snack.


As a dog owner, you can let your dog eat peanuts as they are perfectly fine for them, but giving your dog peanut shells is just a silly act.

Until now, there is no evidence that these shells are poisonous, but dogs have been seen with many other health complications after ingesting them.

In addition, it can lead to serious problems like intestinal blockage that have no other remedy but surgery if it gets severe.

Similarly, peanuts and peanut butter are safe but only in moderate quantities. Too many fats in peanuts and sugars in peanut butter don’t make them safe as regular dog food. They are healthy only when treated occasionally.