Christopher Roberts, DVM

Veterinarian Christopher Roberts, D.V.M. of Craig Road Animal Hospital in North West Las Vegas explains how a common canine treat can be dangerous.

By Christopher Roberts, DVM

We all love a little treat now and then, and so do our dogs. As many of you are aware, peanut butter is a healthy and safe snack for your fur baby. But did you know that some peanut butters can also be life threatening to him?

Xylitol is becoming an increasingly popular sugar substitute in many items that we eat. It’s just as sweet as sucrose and the amount of insulin released by the human body is negligible, which makes it a great sugar substitute.

But Xylitol can be deadly for dogs.

Xylitol is starting to show up into some peanut butters as well as other sweets such as cookies, cupcakes, and muffins. Sugar free gum almost always contains xylitol. Vomiting occurs almost immediately after xylitol indigestion. Within 30 to 60 minutes, your dog can experience hypoglycemia, low blood sugar. He can also experience lethargy, collapse, liver failure, and seizures.

This can all be caused by just a few grams of xylitol.

It is important to read the ingredients of what you’re giving your pets as well as making sure your human snacks aren’t in his reach. But peanut butter, when safe, can be given to your dog. Veterinarians often use it to help pill fussy dogs. It can also help give your dog nutrition he does need as well as being a tasty treat. Peanut butter contains Biotin which helps promote a shiny coat, healthy skin, and strong nails. The Vitamin E found in the product helps support a healthy immune system.

Did someone say “peanut butter”?

There are many peanut butter brands that are perfectly safe for your dog. If it says sugar free, you can almost bet that the product contains a sugar substitute and is not suggested to give to him. The easiest way to find out is by simply reading the ingredients on the label. There are many different ways to feed your dog peanut butter from giving them a peanut butter flavored treat to filling a Kong with peanut butter for him to play with.

So just remember to read the labels, keep human treats out of reach, and pay attention to what your dog is eating. Happy snacking!