Peanut butter and dogs go together. That’s how it has been for as long as anyone can remember. However, as more and more artificial sweeteners come on the market, even peanut butter is no longer automatically safe for your prized pooches. Some of the new peanut butter could kill your dog.
The problem isn’t the peanut butter itself, it is a sugar alternative called xylitol. Xylitol can be acquired from corn or birch. While the medical community seems to agree that xylitol is mostly safe for humans (although too much can cause diarrhea in humans), it can be deadly for dogs (and possibly ferrets). Xylitol has been around for a while in diabetic, low carb, and “sugar-free” products such as chewing gum and cookies. Even toothpaste and dental floss can contain xylitol. Like other sugar alternatives, xylitol is also sold in bulk to be used in home cooking. Dogs don’t realize the difference in xylitol or sugar though and the results can be deadly. Peanut butter containing this sugar alcohol is new to the market however and because of peanut butter’s perceived safe for dogs image, veterinarians and pet owners are concerned.
According to the Pet Poison Helpline website, some symptoms and results of xylitol poisoning are: weakness, lethargy, collapse, vomiting, tremoring, seizures, jaundice, malaise, black-tarry stool, coma, and death.
Some brands of peanut butter sweetened with xylitol include: Nuts ’N More® and Krush Nutrition, and P28. Don’t rely on this list to be the only brands that may start adding xylitol to their products.
Always read the label and never give your dog anything containing xylitol.