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.