Peanut butter is a great treat for your dog.  Stuff some in a Kong toy and watch as they enjoy the challenge of getting it cleaned out.  Until recently, peanut butter has been safe for dogs but that is changing and label reading is a must.

Some peanut butter manufacturers are marketing “lower sugar” peanut and nut butters as a healthier alternative for those attempting to lower their daily sugar intake.  As a substitution for sugar, many of those are adding Xylitol.

Xylitol a sweet-tasting crystalline alcohol derived from xylose, present in some plant tissues and used as an artificial sweetener in foods.  Although professionals say it is safe for human consumption, it can be deadly for you dog.

According to Preventive Vet, Xylitol is more toxic in dogs than chocolate.  Although Xylitol is not included in the National Geographic chart, consider that it take significantly less Xylitol than chocolate to reach toxic levels that may lead to organ failure (see below). You may also view the toxicity of chocolate to dog weight on an interactive chart provide by National Geographic.

Just as we are on the lookout for onions, grapes garlic, raisins and chocolate before giving food to our dogs, we must also be aware of the pretense of Xylitol. As of this post, there is no definitive list of peanut butters that may contain Xylitol.  If one becomes available, this post will be updated.  Meanwhile, read the labels and out of an abundance of caution, do not allow your dog to consume any foods containing Xylitol.

According to Preventive Vet, much of the problem is that people are simply not aware of this ingredient and its risk to a dog’s health.  Because Greyhounds can be hyper sensitive to chemicals, the risks associated with the ingestion of Xylitol may be more severe.

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