Lots of us use peanut butter to hide medications for our dog. A new trend is starting with some niche-brand, “natural” type peanut butters. The larger national brands, such as Jif, Skippy, and Peter Pan, as well as the store-brand generics, are unaffected. It’s the smaller brands that have begun adding a sweetener called xylitol. This is a safe, no-calorie sweetener for people, but is highly poisonous to dogs! Xylitol causes dogs to experience very low blood sugar, to the point of seizures and coma. It also injures the liver and kidneys. It is actually more toxic than chocolate!
Before you buy peanut butter, check the label. Even if you don’t see “xylitol” on the label, check for the following synonyms: 1,4-anhydro-d-xylitol, Anhydroxylitol, birch bark extract, birch sugar, d-xylitol, xylite, xylitylglucoside, and Zylatol.
The brand names that currently contain xylitol (and this is subject to change, which is why label-reading is important!) are:
Go Nuts, Hank’s Protein Plus Peanut Butter, Krush Nutrition, Nuts ‘n More, and P28.
Web-DVM guest blogger Dr. Karen Louis is a practicing small animal veterinarian. See more of her articles at her blog at VetChick.com.