Most dogs love peanut butter. As soon as we take the jar out of the cupboard the office dogs come running, and stare longingly until we finally succumb and feed them a spoonful. No one really knows why they’re so obsessed, but the fact that they spend the next hour frantically licking their lips suggests that the subsequent hours of pleasure have something to do with it…
Whilst the majority of peanut butter available is perfectly dog-friendly, some brands have started to use a sweetener that may prove harmful to your dog’s health.
Xylitol is a low-calorie sugar alternative, sourced from birch trees, that is used in many everyday food items, such as sugarless chewing gum and candy. Whilst these are products that we all know shouldn’t be fed to dogs, peanut butter is often not considered alongside these foods, and so it’s vital to ensure that we are not putting our pets at risk.
Xylitol affects your dog by causing a rapid drop in blood sugar levels, causing disorientation, staggering, seizures and collapse. In fact, the ingredient is more harmful than chocolate for your dog, meaning that a smaller dose can have a more significant impact.
If you have been feeding your dog peanut butter then don’t worry – symptoms usually occur within 15-30 minutes, so there’s no need to worry at this stage. The majority of store bought brands are xylitol-free, so will pose no danger to your pooch. However, if you do change brands the next time you shop, it’s vital that you check the ingredients list thoroughly before you drop it in your basket.
Remember, some dogs can also carry peanut allergies, so it’s important that, if you’re feeding your dog peanut butter for the first time, you are cautious of this possibility. There are also a variety of dog-specific peanut butters available on the market if you’re particularly concerned about any potential danger, and want a foolproof alternative to the human original.
Signs of Allergic Reactions in Dogs
- Repeatedly Impacted Anal Glands
Here is a comprehensive list of products that may contain xylitol
- Peanut Butter
- Sugar-Free Gum
- Hard Candy
- Breath Strips
- Mouth Wash
- Certain Medications (often jelly based)
- Throat Sweets
- Some Youghurts
- Some Protein Bars