Most dogs love peanut butter — and their owners love seeing the funny faces they make when they eat it. But not all peanut butter is safe for pets, and all dog owners should know about this potentially deadly ingredient.
Xylitol, a sweetener used in many foods, including peanut butter, yogurt, toothpaste and chewing gum, is safe for humans but potentially deadly for dogs. If ingested, it can cause seizures, liver failure and death, warned one animal hospital, which called xylitol "extremely toxic" to dogs.
Most peanut butters are free of the sweetener, but its use as a low-calorie alternative to sugar is increasing, which means dog owners need to be vigilant when it comes to what their pets are eating. Peanut butter brands that contain xylitol include Go Nuts, Co., Krush Nutrition, Nuts 'N More and P28 Foods.
Symptoms of xylitol poisoning in dogs include vomiting, muscle weakness, difficulty walking and tremors — and they usually begin within 15-30 minutes of consumption. Anyone who suspects their dog may have accidentally eaten something containing xylitol should contact a veterinarian or call the Pet Poison Helpline.