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Dog Owners Beware – New Peanut Butter Brand Contains Deadly Xylitol

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Kitsune loves peanut butter.  I give it to him once in awhile as a kong stuffer, and one of his favorite treats are my homemade peanut butter cookies.  In most cases, peanut butter is safe to feed dogs in moderation.  However, a new brand of peanut butter includes the deadly (to dogs) ingredient xylitol.  I wrote about the dangers of xylitol back in April.  It's a sugar substitute that is commonly found in sugarless gum, candy, toothpaste, and many other 'sugarless' products.  It's safe for humans, but even in small amounts can be very dangerous to dogs.

So far, the only brand of peanut butter (that I'm aware of) to contain xylitol is a brand called Nuts 'N More.  I've seen it sold in GNC.  I didn't look too much into it, but apparently its draw is that it's high in protein (for people who work out a lot and need the extra protein).

**Please see my update at the bottom of this post.  I have been made aware of other peanut butter brands that also contain xylitol**

I'm not knocking the product, I'm sure there are plenty of people who will enjoy it.  I just wish they'd put some kind of disclaimer on the packaging.  Sure, not everyone has dogs, and not everyone would feed their specialty peanut butter to their dogs, but some people do, and some people would.  Nuts 'N More does list xylitol on its ingredient list, which is a good start, but not all pet owners are aware of the ingredients toxicity.

Checking the ingredients in a product before giving it to your pet (or even eating it yourself) is a good practice to get into.  But lets be honest, it's not something everyone does all the time.  Peanut butter is generally considered to be a dog safe product, and someone going on that assumption may, unfortunately, feed this brand to their dog without being aware of the danger.  It takes only 0.1 gram of xylitol per kilogram to cause hypoglycemia in dogs, and about 0.5 grams per kilogram to  destroy your dog's liver, often leading to death.

I can understand the draw of using xylitol in products made strictly for humans, but hope that including it in peanut butter doesn't become a new trend.  I'll update this post if I learn of any other brands who include it.  For now, share the dangers of xylitol with fellow dog owners.  It's important that they become aware of the danger, so they know what to look out for to protect their pet(s).

June 22nd Update: I was recently informed about two additional peanut butter brands that contain xylitol.  One is Krush Nutrition, whose peanut butter is called "Nutty by Nature".  Krush Nutrition at least has a warning about the dangers of xylitol on their website, although I don't know if they have one printed on their actual products.  The other brand is P28, who makes high protein (peanut butter) spreads that also contan xylitol.

If anyone knows of any additional brands please comment and let us know!  All the brands I've discovered so far seem to be marketed as healthier alternatives to regular peanut butter, although I'd recommend, just to be safe, checking all brands before feeding them to your pet.

  • George

    Perhaps people should be required to get a license before getting a pet. To get said license, one must take one year course on all the things that might kill their pet...or perhaps one should just have common sense and no feed their pet 'human food', thus removing this silly idea of labeling said human food 'unsafe' for pet consumption.

    • I don't think there's anything wrong with feeding pets some 'human foods'. 'Human food', in many cases, is healthier for them than commercially made pet foods. I agree that education is the key here, but it's an ongoing process. In the past, xylitol isn't something that was being added to foods like peanut butter. I can see where you're coming from about labeling human food unsafe for pets being silly. But so many people own pets these days. Putting a small warning on the label wouldn't hurt anyone, and it might save some animals. It's probably not going to happen, so again it all comes down to education.

      • Saltydog

        re "It's probably not going to happen, so again it all comes down to education"... yes, labeling or elimination of xylitol is not going to happen if persons who love canines can do no more on this issue than shrug, suggest that persons should be educated, and suggest that companies can't be expected to act on their own!

        Without an ounce of outrage, then yes, nothing will happen.

        • We have to be our pets advocates. We can't expect that other people, companies, etc are going to have their best interests at heart. One person showing outrage isn't going to impact a company's decisions. But many might! That's one of the reasons why I believe that education is so important. The more people you can get to speak out about an issue, the more likely companies are going to start listening.

          • Saltydog

            Re "one person showing outrage isn't going to impact a company's decisions." Between us, don't we have *two* persons ready to show outrage?

          • Yes! And the more people we make aware of the problem, the more of them speak out, the more likely companies will start listening to us.

    • ImmerTreue

      Peanut butter is often used in training with dogs. Frozen peanut butter inside of a kong is one means of training a young dog to play with such toys. Inexpensive and not at all unhealthy.

      • Nancy

        There are dog cookie recipes with peanut butter you can bake yourself too.

    • Brenda

      Our Vet gives PB to our dogs after their shots.

    • CFraser

      Food is food. Processed food however is different and require reading labels and trusting the manufacture process. There have been a number of contaminated dog foods in the last few years. So, it is not just about give a pet "human" food. As with people, homemade from fresh ingredients is the safest.

    • Softball Mom

      In truth it is actually healthier to feed dogs per say raw and natural foods. Exactly what do you think they ate before dry kibbles were made which are not very healthy for dogs in most brands.The important thing here is if your going to do so, is simply knowing what is safe to give to them. No different then we as humans. We at some point had to learn what was safe to eat and what wasn't......

    • Ron Sheppard

      In this case, you aren't simply feeding the dog "human food", you are feeding the dog a processed chemical that is mean to replace something you want less of in your diet. Time has proven things like that aren't good for anyone that consumes them more often than not regardless whether they are pets or people.

    • Nancy

      Excuse me. Commercial Dog food is garbage. Do you remember the dogs that died from ingredients in Dog food that came from China? NO I make my dogs food all natural, raw chicken, gut meat (heart, Liver, kidney), brown rice, mixed vegetables, chopped fresh collard greens, eggs, and yogurt. My vet tells me my dogs are some of the healthiest he has seen. He asked what I fed and he said great diet. Everything I listed is used for People food.

      Really some people should just do a little bit of research first before putting your foot in your mouth.

  • Saltydog

    I'm hard pressed to understand how a manufacturer rationalizes the introduction for sale of a product, widely used as a treat for dogs, with a special additive that can kill them.

    Sure, educate consumers, but surely we can expect corporations to give careful consideration to the trauma that an optional additive can have on their customers--their dogs.

    Why not educate the businesses that engage in this negligent practice? Write to nuts 'n more, Krush Nutrition (makers of "nutty by nature"), and P28 and educate *them* about your concerns!

    • I think the issue would have to get a lot of attention before any of the companies considered taking action. I know at one point there was a lot of attention being brought to this issue so hopefully that will impact the companies that manufacture these products.

      That's why I personally feel that consumers should be made aware. Not only will being informed help them keep their dogs safe, but the more people who are aware of this issue I think the more likely it will be that the companies will do something about it.

      • Saltydog

        Yes, if lots of dogs get sick and many die, then consumers will gradually be made aware of the unnecessary risks posed by these companies' products. Perhaps many will communicate their concerns/outrage to the companies doing the poisoning, and perhaps the companies will gradually do something about it, i.e., cease putting canine toxin in their products.

        This slow strategy, which we might describe as "let some get sick and die and hope for change", assumes that companies are wholly indifferent to the welfare of their customers and their customers' pets. It assumes that only a very few customers are willing to act today based on what they know.

        Obviously, this strategy would be judged wholly inappropriate if humans were the direct victims of toxic foods, rather than dogs. The strategy assumes that dogs deserve very much less care than humans when it comes to food safety!

        Possibly the companies involved make that assumption. Do you? Do we?

        • I think there are many consumers out there that can/will be made aware of the issue before their dogs get sick/die. That was my hope when I made this post, that pet owners could be made aware of the issue before having to watch their pets suffer. I have over 5 years of posts on this site and this one continues to be one of the top viewed posts so I'm really hoping that readers are learning of the dangers of xylitol in time to prevent tragedy.

          Do you think that me writing letters would really sway the companies enough for them to change their labeling or, better yet, change their ingredients? Because I guarantee you that they already know of the issue. I can write letters sure, but I think it's going to take a lot more than that to really make an impression on the companies that are including xylitol in their products without warning labels.

          Thus informing the general public serves two purposes - it gives the public the information they need to protect their pets, while also brings more attention to the issue in general. If just a small percentage of my readers also write letters to the companies, it's going to be a lot more impactful than just me doing so. Strength in numbers!

          Do I think that dogs deserve the same amount of care as humans when it comes to food safety? I do! But that doesn't mean that companies do. Most companies these days care about making a profit first and foremost. To impact the companies we have to show them that consumers are taking note of their decisions and that doing the right thing, in this case at least labeling products that contain ingredients that are dangerous to pets, is worth their time.

  • Savanna Jones

    why is it in peanut butter in the first place and what is it actually good for

    • It's pretty much used as a sugar substitute. It's used to sweeten a lot of products that are sold as being sugar free.

      • SG Fitzpatrick

        A lot of dentists are pushing this stuff HARD. This always makes me think it is new, not really 100% safe, and what the frilly hell would make anyone feed peanut butter to a dog? I was googling something I have now forgotten, was typing, Google thought I needed to read about dogs and peanut butter. Disturbing! No PB for puppies and absolutely no capitol for them! Not for humans either, unless you just like gurgly, ouchy tummies.
        I just keep wondering why anyone feeds peanut butter to their dog! Too bizarre.

        • Ron Sheppard

          I'd guess about 80% of dog owners give their dogs peanut butter from time to time. It's pretty normal.

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