If you’ve read through the homemade treat recipes on my blog and in my cookbook, Proud Dog Chef: Tail-Wagging Good Treat Recipes, then you may have seen natural peanut butter listed in a few. Peanut butter is not only delicious and nutritious for humans, but dogs also love the sweet, sticky stuff!
While a moderate amount of natural peanut butter is fine for dogs, it’s important to read the ingredient label very carefully. Some manufacturers have started adding the sugar substitute xylitol to peanut butter. Xylitol is safe for humans — it actually reduces the calorie content in treats many people love, it’s ok for diabetics, and it can help prevent tooth decay (which is why most sugar-free gum contains xylitol). What’s ok for us, though, isn’t necessarily good for our fur babies. Xylitol is toxic to dogs, even in very small amounts.
The Dangers Of Xylitol
If your pooch consumes xylitol, it could lead to a steep drop in blood sugar, liver damage, and even death. If you think that your dog has eaten xylitol, it’s critical to see a vet or animal ER immediately. In as little as 30-60 minutes, the effects of xylitol can be deadly. I actually have a good friend whose 3-pound Chihuahua got into some sugar-free gum. She called me freaking out because her pooch was uncontrollably shaking and seemed out of it. I told her to get to the vet immediately. Luckily, she took action fast enough and her Chihuahua is alive today.
The Peanut Butter Brands To Lookout For
The website Preventative Vet has been keeping a close eye on peanut butter companies that include xylitol in their products. Here is their most recent list:
- Nuts ‘N More
- Hank’s Protein Plus Peanut Butter
- Krush Nutrition
- Go Nuts, Co.
Always Read Ingredient Labels
Xylitol can also be found in gums, breath mints, candies, jams, and more. Even if a food is labeled “safe” for dogs to eat, you’re still urged to read the ingredient label and make sure it doesn’t contain xylitol!