It’s quite common to use peanut butter to give your dog medication. It sticks to the pill and is downright delicious.
A new trend is starting with some off-brand, “natural” type peanut butters. They are including a sweetener called xylitol. This is a safe, no-calorie sweetener for people, but is highly poisonous to dogs! Xylitol causes dogs to experience very low blood sugar, to the point of seizuring and coma. It also injures the liver and kidneys.
Xylitol is most commonly found in sugar free gums and some other sugar free candies. Since we don’t give those to dogs (on purpose, anyway) we’ve made owners aware, but the risk of being poisoned is lower. Xylitol being in peanut butter opens a whole new can of worms, since that’s something we often give intentionally to our dogs!
Before you buy peanut butter, check the label. Even if you don’t see “xylitol” on the label, check for the following synonyms: 1,4-anhydro-d-xylitol, Anhydroxylitol, birch bark extract, birch sugar, d-xylitol, xylite, xylitylglucoside, and Zylatol.
The brand names that currently contain xylitol (and this is subject to change, which is why label-reading is important!) are:
Go Nuts, Hank’s Protein Plus Peanut Butter, Krush Nutrition, Nuts ‘n More, and P28.