Peanut Butter

Health, News

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If you’re like many people, you enjoy giving your dog some peanut butter as an occasional treat. Some of us use it as a reward or to hide medication.

This has not been an issue up until now.   However, now with the introduction of xylitol, a sugar substitute that is appearing in some lines of peanut butters on the market, it makes whether or not it’s safe to give peanut butter to your dog(s) a serious life threatening issue.

Xylitol, a sweetener, gained popularity because of its ability to help prevent cavities & tooth decay; it also has a low glycemic index. While xylitol appears to be perfectly safe for people, it is extremely dangerous for dogseven in small quantities.
  •  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 & dangerous drop in a dog’s blood sugar (a condition called “hypoglycemia”). Hypoglycemia can show as staggering, appearing disoriented, collapse, weakness, & seizures.
  • Just slightly more than that, approx. 0.5 g/kg xylitol ingestion, can lead to debilitating, & sadly often deadly, destruction of a dog’s liver cells.

These quantities, or toxic doses, are based on the data that the animal-specific poison control hotlines have collected from reported cases*. To highlight that these are reported cases is important, because not every case of toxicity makes it to the vet, & not everyone that does go to the vet is called into the animal poison control hotlines. So the actual toxic doses could be even lower, & dogs with certain pre-existing medical conditions (such as diabetes, hepatitis, epilepsy & others) are likely to be even more sensitive to the toxic effects of xylitol.

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*Sources: New Findings On The Effects Of Xylitol Ingestion In Dogs from ASPCA-APCC 2006; Acute Hepatic Failure And Coagulopathy Associated With Xylitol Ingestion In Eight Dogs from ASPCA-APCC 2006, published in JAVMA (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2006; 229:1113-1117)

We encourage you to learn more about the danger xylitol poses to dogs & the array of products xylitol is commonly found in.  Share what you’ve learned here with other dog-loving people, dog park packs, & friends. If you think your dog has eaten xylitol, contact a vet or emergency clinic right away.  They’ll be able to guide you as to what to do next.

CEO Olivia ❤

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