Does your dog love peanut butter? Most dogs do and it can be a healthy way to reward your dog when given in moderation. There are many recipes out there that use peanut butter ranging from dog biscuits to frozen peanut butter yogurt bars. Dogs even enjoy peanut butter by itself and will lick it off a spoon or clean a finished container of peanut butter for you. However, a new ingredient some nut butter products are using could kill your dog.
So What’s the Issue?
There is an artificial sweetener that is being used in some nut butters called xylitol. This is being used as an alternative to sugar which is good for people with diabetes. It also has the added benefit of helping to decrease bacteria and acid in the mouth, which is great news for dental hygiene. However this spells bad news for dogs as even small amounts of xylitol can kill them. It drops the dog’s blood sugar causing hypoglycemia which can potentially lead to death.
Check Your Labels
While most pet parents know to check labels for any dog food you plan to feed your pet, this newest issue with the peanut butter shows just how important this really is. Even if you already have peanut butter at home and your dog has not had any issues it you should still make sure that you check the label. You do not want to poison your dog with the food you give them. This does not mean that you have to throw out the peanut butter, but rather don’t give this to your dog.
If you need xylitol in your peanut butter for medical reasons and want to give your dog peanut butter, then make sure you buy another jar for your pet that does not contain xylitol. Another option is to make your own. This is a great way to control the ingredients in the nut butters, especially the salt and sugar. There are many recipes out there for making your own nut butter or you can do it at certain grocery stores such as Whole Foods.
What to Do if Your Dog Eats Peanut Butter with Xylitol
If your dog has consumed any nut butter or any product that contains xylitol the best thing you can do is to contact pet poison control right away or take them to an emergency vet. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center’s phone number is 1-888-426-4435. They are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to take calls and give you the help you need to deal with the situation. However, you will still need to take your pet to the vet, so make sure that you take your dog to the vet right away. You may want to call poison control on the way to the vet.