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Peanut Butter Safety for Small Dog Breeds: Xylitol Poisoning

Our partner daycare, The Beach Dog, has done a lot of research and has published multiple pieces of content in regards to the safety of peanut butter and the dangers of xylitol poisoning in dogs. The question then becomes is peanut butter more dangerous to small dog breeds? The answer comes down to xylitol dosage as compared to the weight of your dog. In short yes. But its not the peanutbutter. It’s an ingredient called xylitol. For the longer explanation as to peanutbutter safety for small dog breeds read on…

The FDA has listed their findings in xylitol dosage as compared to the weight of your dog.

“The hypoglycemic dose of xylitol for dogs is considered to be approximately 0.1 grams per kilogram of body weight (about 0.045 grams per pound). A typical stick of gum contains 0.3 to 0.4 grams of xylitol, which means that a 10 lb dog could be poisoned by as little as a stick and a half of gum.”~

While there is very little individualized research posted online in regards to the dangers of peanut butter and xylitol poisoning in small dog breeds, the data speaks volumes. Toxicity is established by the dose as compared to the weight of your dog. The consensus as to what weight category establishes a small dog breed varies. PetMD categorizes a small dog breed to be 20 lbs or less, while other platforms stretch that weight to 25 lbs or less. Regardless, the toxicity levels of xylitol poisoning for a dose of 0.3 to 0.4 grams of xylitol means can trigger toxicity in a 10 lb dog. Therefore it’s safe to say that xylitol is hugely dangerous to the small dog breeds.

In the dog world we mention peanut butter and xylitol poisoning at the forefront of awareness because we love to give our dogs peanut butter. Most dogs love it, and it’s also a favorite go-to in order to get our dogs to take eatables that perhaps they refuse to eat. Peanut butter is a great way to hide medications and trick your dog into eating his or her dose. So while the buzz on the dangers of peanut butter and your dog are real, it’s important to understand why. Xylitol is an additive in some brands of peanut butter. Xylitol is a sugar alcohol substitute that is often used as a healthier alternative than real sugar or artificial sugar. Buyer beware: while it might be a healthier alternative for humans, it can be lethal to your dog. Here’s why.

While xylitol, in humans, has no adverse effects, xylitol in dogs stimulates a rapid production of insulin. This rapid production of insulin results in hyperglycemia.

Symptoms include:

  • Vomiting

  • Weakness

  • Lack of coordination or difficulty walking or standing

  • Weakness/sluggishness or lethargy

  • Tremors

  • Seizures

  • Coma

Peanut butters to AVOID:

⚠️Go Nuts

⚠️Krush Nutrition

⚠️Nuts 'N More

⚠️P28 Foods

⚠️No Cow (formerly D's Naturals).

The safest way to avoid xylitol poisoning when supplementing your small dog breed peanut butter, is to buy one brand and stick with it. Here are some brands that are xylitol free.

Dog Safe Brands of Peanut butter, ✔️Jiff ✔️Skippy  ✔️Smuckers ✔️Peter Pan

If you're looking for xylitol free peanut butters from the healthier marketed peanut butters try these:

🐶Whole Foods 365 Everyday Value Organic Peanut Butter.

🐶Trader Joe's Peanut Butter (No Salt)

🐶Teddie Super Chunky Peanut Butter.

🐶Poochie Dog Peanut Butter.

In closing it’s important to mention: even if you're buying one of the healthy alternatives, always check the ingredients. Avoid any additives containing xylitol. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center recommends avoiding any ingredient that includes the letters “xyl,” the synonym for xylitol:

Avoid peanut butters with these ingredients : 1,4-anhydro-d-xylitol Anhydroxylitol d-xylitol xylite xylitylglucoside Zylatol

Unfortunately xylitol can also be hidden in non “xyl,” ingredients. Also avoid birch bark extract, birch sugar, or wood sugar. If you have any questions or concerns about your dog and xylitol poisoning never hesitate to contact your veterinarian. The Little Beach Dog’s intention with this article is to provide awareness, we are simply a daycare provider where the small dog breeds go.


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