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Protecting Your Pooch from Xylitol

May 15, 2019

Dogs are wonderful creatures. They protect, love unconditionally, and will do just about anything for a yummy treat. However, with several brands of peanut butter now containing xylitol, those treats could poison your dog and cause severe liver damage. Here’s what to look for and how to keep xylitol out of your dog’s diet.

What is Xylitol?

It’s a natural sweetener that comes from birch or corncobs, and is used in gum, candy, baked goods, toothpaste, as well as some low-calorie peanut butter brands. It’s fine for humans. But for dogs, xylitol is 100 times more toxic than chocolate, according to a Wall Street Journal story published in 2015.

How Does Xylitol Affect Canines?

When a dog ingests xylitol, it rapidly lowers their blood sugar, causing severe weakness, lethargy, lack of coordination, seizures, or full collapse. Effects can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 12 hours. If a dog consumes enough xylitol, it can cause liver failure. The bigger the dog, the more xylitol it takes to cause adverse reactions, but it doesn’t take much.

Some experts estimate that just three grams of xylitol can poison a 65-pound dog. That much xylitol can be found in a single pack of gum. That means a smaller dog could be affected even more by small doses of toothpaste, chewing gum, or peanut butter containing the sweetener.

The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center urges dog owners to call their veterinarian or a poison hotline if they think their canine may have ingested xylitol, especially when large doses may have been consumed. The ASPCA has a list of 700 foods that dogs should not be fed.

This list is as follows:

  • Low-calorie Peanut butter
  • Toothpaste
  • Vitamins
  • Sugar-free honey
  • Pre-packaged cookies and treats
  • Low-calorie ice cream
  • Electrolyte energy drinks and waters
  • Protein bars and powders

Most Peanut Butters Do Not Contain Xylitol

The brands that do contain the sweetener include brands Go Nuts, Krush Nutrition, Nut ‘N More, and P28 Foods. Be sure to read the label on your favorite brand of peanut butter before giving any to your dog.

What to Do if Your Dog Ingests Xylitol

Experts suggest getting your pet to the veterinarian right away. If you cannot make it there within the hour, induce vomiting. Your vet may put your dog on IV fluids and keep them for up to 24 hours.

You’ll Find Safe Dog Treats at Coastal

We have aisles packed with pet beds, food, treats, toys, and a whole lot more. Remember, your four-legged friend is always welcome at Coastal. Just keep them on a leash and expect our employees to lavish them with plenty of attention.