Posted by: | October 22, 2015

Important Warning for Dogs Eating Peanut Butter

It is very common for pet parents to feed their dog(s) peanut butter.  Most of us do it as a special treat or reward for taking medication.  Until recently, most of us just assumed it could be dangerous because of the high amounts of sugar and calories.  However, there is now a new danger to consider, Xylitol.

Xylitol is a sweetener used in foods as a sugar substitute.  It has been growing in popularity in the food industry over the years because it is being recommended by doctors for patients with diabetes.  We can now find it as an additive in things from sugar-free gum to daily foods many of us consume regularly.  Although Xylitol appears to be perfectly safe for humans, it is extremely dangerous to dogs, often fatal, even in very small quantities.

Just how deadly can xylitol be?  Just this past spring in Wisconsin, a two year old golden retriever got into its mom’s purse to find a pack of Ice Breakers gum containing xylitol.  The dog suffered sever liver damage to the point it had to be put down the next day.
Ingestion of as little as 0.1 gram (g) of xylitol per kilogram (kg) of body weight (0.1 g/kg) can cause a rapid and dangerous drop in a dog’s blood sugar (a condition called “hypoglycemia”). Hypoglycemia can show as staggering, appearing disoriented, collapse, weakness, and seizures.

Just slightly more than that, approx. 0.5 g/kg xylitol ingestion, can lead to debilitating, and sadly often deadly, destruction of a dog’s liver cells.

Symptoms of xylitol toxicity usually develop within 15-30 minutes after consumption.  Some signs include:

Vomiting, Tremors, Seizures, Weakness, Depression/Lethargy, Difficulty walking or standing, or coma.

Here are a few of the peanut butters containing Xylitol:  Go Nuts, Co., Hank’s Protein Plus Peanut Butter, Krush Nutrition, Nuts ‘N More, and P28.

It is always important to read the ingredient label on anything you would consider feeding your dog.  There are many things humans can consume which may be dangerous for them.  That being said, not everything intended for them may be healthy either.  For example, many commercialized dry dog foods, treats, rawhide chews, etc., can be dangerous to their health.  I encourage all pet parents to research and stay informed on the common dangers their dogs could consume.  For example, there are many dog food/treats recalls issued every single year.  How would you expect to find out if there were a recall on your pets’ food?

Thank you for caring!

Tim Heise
– Certified Pet Care Specialist
Absolute Pet Care LLC – Best of Scottsdale 2013, 2014 – Pet Sitting
Scottsdale, AZ
480 560-3753 (Office Hours 9am – 5pm M-Th)

Tim Heise

Tim Heise

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