Xylitol in some peanut butter brands pose risk to dogs

If your normally perky pooch seems to be sick or is not acting normally, check your cupboard for the potential reason why. Some brands of peanut butter started using xylitol, which is toxic to dogs.

Xylitol is an artificial sweetener that is substituted for sugar in foods, making them sugar free. It is one of the more healthy choices for sweeteners because it doesn’t raise a person’s blood sugar or insulin and feeds friendly microbes in the digestive system. 

Xylitol is made from birch wood and is used in chewing gum, mints, and other candies. This allows those who have diabetes or are looking to lose weight lower their sugar intake. 

But, for our furry friends, Xylitol is extremely toxic. Small amounts of xylitol can lead to low blood sugar, seizures, liver failure and can even result in death. According to “The Huffington Post,” xylitol is 100 times more toxic to dogs than chocolate.

Dogs can be mobile garbage disposals, so there are many products to keep out of the way of your pup: sugar free candies, gum, mints, some peanut butters, toothpaste, fruit drinks, puddings, jellies, etc. Only certain brands of these products include xylitol. 

Popular gum brands like Orbit, Mentos, Ice Breakers and Trident include xylitol in their sugar free gum. Also many peanut butter brands like Go Nuts, Krush Nutrition, P28 Foods and Protein Plus PB include Xylitol in their sugar free peanut butters. Even Jell-O includes xylitol in its sugar free options.

Xylitol ingestion for dogs causes an increase in blood insulin, which can last from a couple hours to a couple days. One of the main reasons it affects dogs is because xylitol does not break down in a dog’s digestive system. The quicker a dog that ingests xylitol is treated, the better chance it has to survive. 

If one suspects a dog has had an intake of xylitol, there are some ways to watch. Symptoms include diarrhea, bruising, vomiting, collapsing, depression and weakness. If the dog is not treated in time, death could result.

Mainstream peanut butter brands like Jif, Peter Pan and Skippy are okay for dogs, but always check the label of new items before feeding them to man’s best friend.