An Urgent Matter: We need to talk about what may be in the peanut butter you give your dog
Peanut butter is a huge staple in my house. One of the perks of living with a dog is letting him clean out the peanut butter jar--a job I despise. It is widely known that I would rather walk on my lips than to clean one out to get it ready for the recycling bin. When we had our dogs , I would hand the jar off to one of my furry pals and they would get the job done. It was a win-win. They got a snack and I didn’t have to get grossed out.
With most brands of peanut butter, this is completely safe to do (and quite entertaining I might add). However, there are brands out there which contain a sweetener called xylitol.
WHAT IN THE WORLD IS XYLITOL???
According to xylitol.org, this substance is a naturally occurring carbohydrate that can be extracted from plant materials. It is added to ‘people food’ such as peanut butter as an alternative to sugar. You can also find it in some baked goods, candies, and even toothpaste.
BUT WHY IS IT BAD FOR MY DOG? AACK!
The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center website explains that if a dog were to ingest xylitol, it would cause a sudden increase in insulin in the bloodstream which in turn causes a decrease in blood glucose levels which is known as hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia can cause vomiting, lethargy, and seizures. If high levels of xylitol are ingested, then the dog can go into liver failure, or die. All very scary stuff.
SO WHAT DO I DO?
Being vigilant and reading labels is your first line of defense. No one is 100% immune from accidents though. If your dog accidentally ingests xylitol, contact your veterinarian immediately and seek medical attention.
NOW I’M NERVOUS.
Don’t be. That is no way to go through life. Educate yourself so you know what to do and what to look out for. To read more on xylitol, please visit xylitol.org. To learn more about poison control safety tips, please visit The ASPCA Poison Control Website at aspcapro.org/poison. They have a 24 hour hotline and that number is (888) 426-4435. Should you ever require their services, a $65.00 would be charged to your credit card. Another good idea is to have your vet’s number listed in your contacts so that you don’t have to fumble for it in an emergency.
Now that you know about xylitol, tell a friend or better yet...share this blog post on social media. It could save a life.