This Peanut Butter Ingredient is Killing Dogs

February 15, 2017

Not all peanut butter is safe for dogs

Xylitol is a very popular artificial sweetener often found in peanut butter and ‘low sugar’ foods. It is also responsible for poisoning and killing a horrifying number of dogs in the U.S.

What is xylitol?

Xylitol is a sugar alcohol, an organic compound that can be extracted from natural sugars or manufactured synthetically at an industrial level. Due to its low production cost, sucralose-like sweetness and aesthetic white appearance, xylitol is one of the most popular artificial sweeteners in the food industry.

The use of xylitol in our food products has grown in recent years in response to growing demand for “low calorie”, “low sugar” and “light” sugar food and beverages.

Is xylitol dangerous for dogs?

Yes, xylitol is extremely dangerous for dogs and can be life threatening. Just 0.1 grams can prove toxic for pups, causing a drop in blood pressure, liver damage and even death.

According to Dr. Jason Nicholas, a vet writing for Preventative Vet, the smallest morsel of xylitol can poison or even kill a dog: “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”

What foods contains xylitol?

Xylitol can be found across a wide assortment of food products. The most common products containing xylitol include peanut butter and other nut butters, chewing gum, ice cream, breath mints, chewable vitamins and toothpaste.

Peanut butter brands known to use xylitol include Go Nuts, Co., Krush Nutrition, Nuts 'N More, P28 Foods, and Protein Plus PB.

See an extensive list of foods containing xylitol here.

What are the symptoms of xylitol poisoning?

Dogs that ingest xylitol can experience symptoms in as little as 30 minutes. Common symptoms include disorientation, weakness, staggering and seizures (often due to a sudden drop in blood pressure).

If you suspect your dog may have ingested xylitol, immediately call Animal Poison Control at (888) 426-4435.

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