Recently there has been a lot of canine related news about xylitol, a common ingredient in many chewing gums, and the serious negative effects it can have on a dog’s health. Now, certain food manufacturers are beginning to add xylitol to peanut butter. Sadly, many pet owners use peanut butter as a treat, to hide their dog’s medication in, and as an ingredient in homemade dog foods and snacks.
Xylitol is a substitute for sugar that is commonly found in a lot of candies, chewing gums, and desserts. It is also found in certain vitamin supplements and medications for humans. The reason that you are hearing more about xylitol recently is because it has been growing in popularity as more and more companies look for natural sweeteners as a substitute for refined sugar.
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Manufacturers have begun adding the chemical to peanut butter to try and make it lower in calories for consumers looking for a healthier option. Xylitol-free peanut butter is healthy for pets to eat in moderation. It is a great source of protein, but it also contains fats and sugars that should not be a regular part of your dog’s diet.
Canines do not metabolize xylitol the same way that humans do, and that is why it so dangerous for them to ingest the compound. It can cause a life-threatening drop in blood sugar, as well as liver damage in some dogs. Although mainstream peanut butters are not included in this warning just yet, it may be added to the larger, more popular brands eventually.
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Some websites are claiming that tne brand of peanut butter that is including xylitol is Nuts ‘N More, a brand sold at GNC [these claims have not been verified by TopDogTips]. GNC specializes in supplements and foods for people who work out a lot and require more protein in their diets. The brand clearly lists xylitol as an ingredient, but there is no other marking on the packaging, so unsuspecting dog owners may have no idea it could harm their pup.
Currently xylitol is only found in smaller brands of peanut butter that are mostly sold in specialty food and health food stores. However, because of the detrimental effects it can have, dog owners are being warned to read the labels of their peanut butter very carefully before feeding it to their pet or adding it to any homemade foods or treats.