Should You Think Twice About Giving Your Dog Peanut Butter?
A recent article published by Diply.com recently revealed a dangerous trend when it comes to one “people food” that pet owners love to give their dogs: peanut butter. Peanut butter is loved by many dogs and their owners; it makes a great, relatively healthy treat, it can be used to administer medicine, and can even be used for training purposes. However, more and more brands are starting to follow a “sugar-free” trend, which in of itself is harmless. However the additive replacing sugar is not; this is xylitol.
Xylitol is a substance that naturally occurs in many fruits and vegetables such as strawberries and raspberries, and also is produced naturally by the human body. Food manufacturers use this chemical in their sugar-free foods due to the fact that it has about 35% less calories than table sugar by weight and 62% less by sweetness. This sugar alcohol is absorbed much more slowly by the body and has almost no effect on blood sugar; and for most people with normal digestive systems causes no ill effects.
Dogs are another story though; the ASPCA has conducted studies showing that this sugar substitute, even in small doses, can and does lead to life-threatening liver disease and coagulopathy (a bleeding disorder) in beloved pets. Even just 0.1 gram of xylitol per kilogram of the dog’s weight can cause a rapid drop in blood sugar for the dog, causing weakness, disorientation, staggering or collapsing, and even seizures, according to the Diply article.
What’s scary about this development is that peanut butter brands that were not previously using xylitol have begun to add it to their product; so if you’ve been feeding your dog peanut butter regularly, it’s time to check your labels and ensure your brand doesn’t have this additive. Many brands are attempting to reduce sugar while maintaining sweetness so even some old favorites may be getting a new label.
As a dog owner, it’s important to always stay up to date on the changes being made to not only pet products, but food products for human consumption that you may be giving your dog. In addition to xylitol, other food items that can adversely affect your dog include (but are not limited to) chocolate, coffee, grapes, avocado skin and pit, corn cobs, and cooked meat bones (chicken, beef, etc.)
Another important factor to remember is that a dog who doesn’t feel well due to something he ate is more likely to display unusual behavior, and may be more likely to nip or bite if startled or hurt by someone touching their stomach or mouth as a result. Our Canine Liability Policy covers injuries to people including scratches, bites, or causing them to fall; injuries to other animals are also included. Please contact us today for more information at (855) 534-6495.