Free Consultation


Can Dogs Eat Peanut Butter? The Good, Bad and Ugly

Can Dogs Eat Peanut Butter? The Good, Bad and Ugly

The Good: A Basenji’s Healing Powers

My beloved Basenji, BJ, has been gone since 1990, but I still laugh and weep when I remember his antics. Despite developing diabetes, losing his sight, and needing twice-daily insulin injections, this intrepid soul stayed by my side for 14 wonderful years.

Like many Basenji owners, I was unprepared for the realities of living with this fascinating breed. BJ had been found, abandoned, in a crate in the basement of a vacant building when he was just three months old. As a young, single woman, I fell head over heels for his sweet story and took him home.

Shortly after I adopted him, my beloved grandmother passed away. I was lying on the sofa, crying, when this little dog climbed up on my chest, put his face just inches from mine, scrunched up his brow in that classic Basenji look, and began to cry along with me. Real tears streamed down his face as he mirrored my emotions. It was a moment I’ll never forget.

When I got married and we moved out of the city, we tried keeping BJ confined to the family room while we were at work. But when we returned home that first day, he had burrowed almost completely through the wall to the backyard. If the house hadn’t been made of brick, he would have been long gone. Wallpaper was also peeled in other areas, and I saw new springs in the sofa where none had been before.

Obviously, crating him wasn’t going to work. The next day we gave him free rein, and when we got home, there was BJ sitting proudly at the top of the stairs. Displayed neatly and with military precision was a lineup of our shoes. He had gone into both closets, carefully brought each one out, and lined them up in pairs on the landing. This, we understood immediately, was a warning: Leave me alone again, and these hostages will be history. We immediately bought a crate.

I could regale you with BJ stories forever, and I’m sure other Basenji owners could, too. Now I have a sweet, loving long-haired dachshund, but someday I’ll return to the fascinating, challenging world of Basenji-dom. I Have Dogs is a great resource for anyone considering this unique breed.

The Bad: Chewing, Chewing, Chewing

Some Basenji behaviors just can’t be trained out of them – like taking off in hot pursuit of a squirrel, getting into the garbage, shredding tissues, bolting out the door, or counter-surfing. As Basenji owners, we learn to have a good sense of humor about these quirks.

Take our first Basenji, Zena, for example. She loved to grab the end of the toilet paper and run. It was cute the first time, but not so much after that. We quickly learned to keep the TP out of her reach.

Then there was Cooper, who we got at 10 months old. He chewed a hole the size of a dinner plate in a thick, durable leather chair – and I was in the next room watching him! I had no idea a dog could be capable of such destruction in such a short time. We made sure he got plenty of exercise, but Cooper just loved to chew. To this day, I still find little tooth marks all over the house.

Last Thanksgiving, our sixth Basenji, Cody, figured out how to open the kitchen cabinet where the garbage can lives. (Hmm, I wonder what he was after?) He’d bounce his paw against the door until it opened just enough for him to stick his nose in. Don had a tough time finding a child lock that could outwit Cody, but he finally managed it. And yes, Cody can tip over that steel drum garbage can too. It’s not the contents that matter – it’s what he thinks might be inside.

Our seventh Basenji, Lexi, is at the upper end of the naughty scale. Anything left even close to the edge of the kitchen counter is fair game. And can she jump cat-like from the window seat up to the counter? You bet! We’re neat, clean people, but Lexi just loves to nose around up there. Luckily, she’s also on the upper end of the sweet scale, so I guess it balances out. As the saying goes, “Girls just want to have fun!”

So in short, Basenjis can be a very challenging breed – some more than others. You have to be ready for the chewing, the counter-surfing, the garbage-raiding, and all the other mischievous behaviors that come with this unique canine companion. But with patience, humor, and a good set of child locks, the rewards of Basenji ownership far outweigh the challenges.

The Ugly: Destruction on a Grand Scale

When I rescued my Basenji, Penny, she was in terrible shape – infested with mange, hookworms, roundworms, and severely malnourished and dehydrated. I had high hopes that with time and care, she’d blossom into a happy, healthy dog. But the first few weeks were rough.

Penny was hairless, skittish, and had terrible diarrhea that first day. I thought, foolishly, “How much trouble could this sick little thing cause if I leave her alone for 20 minutes?” I’d heard the stories about Basenji separation anxiety and destruction, but I figured a sickly pup like Penny couldn’t do too much damage.

Boy, was I wrong. That weak, bald, timid creature (who couldn’t even climb stairs at the time) managed to completely destroy the room where I left her unsupervised. She removed all the molding, ripped out the baseboards, gutted the sofa, trashed the window screens, shredded the mini-blinds, ripped the screen door off its hinges, severed tree trunks, tore up the carpet, destroyed throw pillows, shredded chair seats, and even tipped over a glass-topped coffee table. The repair and replacement cost? A whopping $1,200.

And this was all while Penny weighed barely 15 pounds and had to be spoon-fed! The morals of my story are:

  1. Never underestimate the destructive power of a Basenji, no matter how sick or small.
  2. Crate your Basenji religiously – even for short periods.
  3. Don’t assume a Basenji will “get over” separation anxiety. They never forget that you’re the weaker, inferior human.

If you can respect these constraints (which will vary from Basenji to Basenji), you can live in harmony with your beast. But you must always remember that these dogs are the true masters, and we’re just bumbling along, trying to keep up.

The Bottom Line on Peanut Butter

So, can Basenjis eat peanut butter? In moderation, yes – peanut butter can be a tasty, nutritious treat for your canine companion. It contains biotin to promote a shiny coat and healthy skin, as well as vitamin E to support the immune system.

However, you need to read labels carefully. Some peanut butters contain xylitol, a sugar substitute that can be deadly to dogs. Stick to regular, xylitol-free peanut butter, and only give your Basenji small amounts as an occasional treat. With their mischievous nature and strong jaws, it’s best to keep the peanut butter jar well out of their reach.

Owning a Basenji is a wild, unpredictable ride – from the heartwarming moments of connection to the jaw-dropping feats of destruction. But for those of us who love this unique breed, it’s a journey we wouldn’t trade for anything. With patience, humor, and a good supply of child locks, the Basenji’s many charms far outweigh the challenges. So grab a spoonful of safe, xylitol-free peanut butter, and get ready for an adventure!

Tags :
Share This :

Get Updates with our



Join our passionate community of dog lovers. Embrace the journey of companionship with Ihavedogs, where every dog gets the best of care and love.