Peanut Butter and Xylitol

Ingredient is Toxic To Pets

Many pet owners give peanut butter to their dogs and cats, often as a treat or as a means to conceal medication.

In fact, peanut butter is given to pets so often, one of the most frequent online searches is “are peanuts safe for dogs?” Peanuts — and peanut butter — are safe for dogs. It’s an ingredient now included in some peanut butter brands (and other edible products and medications) that is extremely toxic to our pets.

Check Ingredients for Xylitol

The toxic culprit is called xylitol. It can be found in products such as:

  • Peanut butter and other nut butters
  • Vitamins, especially children’s vitamins
  • Candy
  • Energy drinks
  • Ice cream
  • Jell-O® sugar free pudding
  • Chewing gum
  • Nicotine gum
  • Dental/oral care products, including toothpaste
  • Chewable dietary supplements
  • Nasal sprays
  • Stool softeners
  • Rx suspensions/melts (i.e. Neurontin®, Abilify®, Allegra®, Mobic®, RioMet®, clonazepam, Emtrivia®)
  • OTC liquid medications
  • OTC digestive aids (Beano®, antacids)
  • Barium liquid and pudding

Which Peanut Butter Brands Include Xylitol?

Dog eats table scraps

Currently, three peanut butter brands contain xylitol:

  • Nuts 'n More
  • Krush Nutrition
  • P-28 Foods

Be sure to read the nutritional ingredients. "Natural sweetener" may be a clue that the peanut butter is sweetened with xylitol, which can be labeled as "sugar alcohol,” its chemical classification.

Xylitol is Extremely Toxic

While xylitol may be safe for people, it's not safe for pets. Even a very small amount of xylitol could send your dog into hypoglycemia—a dangerous drop in blood sugar—that is often fatal, and destroy liver cells.

If your dog ingests xylitol, immediate veterinary care is recommended. Signs of xylitol toxicity include disorientation, staggering, panting, collapsing and seizures.

To learn more about xylitol poisoning, read our in-depth article.