It's always fun to watch our pups enjoy a spoonful of peanut butter. But, beware of a fairly new ingredient in some peanut butter that could be deadly if your fur baby ingests it.

This warning comes from Ahana Brutlag. She is the Associate Director of Veterinary Services at Veterinary Centers of America.

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Some brands are using Xylitol in their peanut butter. If you're like me, you're like "what the heck is Xylitol?"

According to the Doc:

Xylitol is a naturally occurring substance that is widely used as a sugar substitute. Chemically, it is a sugar alcohol, and found naturally in berries, plums, corn, oats, mushrooms, lettuce, trees, and some other fruits.

Seems harmless, right? Wrong. Xylitol is tricky because it's a white powder that looks and tastes similar to sugar.

This ingredient is in more products than you may be aware of. It's in sugar-free gum, candies, breath mints, baked goods, pudding snacks, cough syrup, children's chewable or gummy vitamins, and supplements, mouthwash, and toothpaste, and yes, peanut butter.

For people, Xylitol is relatively harmless. But for our furry friends, it is extremely toxic.

Doctor Brutlag says:

Xylitol is extremely toxic to dogs. Even small amounts of xylitol can cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), seizures, liver failure, or even death in dogs.

Low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia, in humans will cause symptoms like dizziness, shaking, and lightheadedness. Usually, you can feel when your blood sugar is low. When that happens, it's easy to eat something sweet and even out. Hypoglycemia can be a serious daily issue for people.

K9s absorb xylitol rapidly, and even a slight bout of low blood sugar can be life-threatening to dogs. My dog was recently diagnosed with diabetes and the process of finding the right amount of insulin has been going on for months. The vet has been slowly increasing the insulin dose. When I asked why he can't just give the maximum dose, he said that the risk of low blood sugar is far more deadly than high blood sugar in dogs. Low sugar levels that would make us feel a little "off" could kill a dog.

If your dog consumes xylitol is usually takes 10-60 minutes before the poison affects a dog. Symptoms of xylitol poisoning in a dog include vomiting, weakness, difficulty walking, depression or lethargy, tremors, seizure, and a coma.

There is currently is no antidote designed for xylitol poisoning in animals.

If you ever believe that your dog ate food containing xylitol and the animal is displaying symptoms, you should contact your veterinarian immediately. You can always call the Pet Poison Helpline at 1-800-213-6680.

These are the top brands of peanut butter that contain xylitol:

  • Go Nuts Co.
  • Krush Nutrition
  • Nuts 'N More
  • P28 Foods
  • Protein Plus PB

Bottom line, if you decide to feed your dog any food that has artificial flavoring, LOOK AT THE LABEL for ingredients.

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