What you need to know before hiding your dog’s meds in PB
By Sarah Fisher
Our dogs are smart, and that means they’re usually astute enough to strategically eat around any medicine that may make its way into their food bowls. But though it might be tempting to hide your pup’s pills in peanut butter to get them to woof them down, it turns out that this common, seemingly harmless trick may actually have toxic effects.
Xylitol, an artificial sweetener found in numerous everyday, human-friendly products (such as peanut butter), has been under review by the Center for Veterinary Medicine at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the past several years, after they received a number of reports of dog poisoning via sugar-free chewing gum and other sweetened goods. The FDA has now released a warning that although xylitol is safe for human consumption, it is dangerous for pets.
This is due to the difference in how blood sugar is controlled in the human body versus in the bodies of our pets’.
According to the FDA:
“In both people and dogs, the level of blood sugar is controlled by the release of insulin from the pancreas. In people, xylitol does not stimulate the release of insulin from the pancreas. However, it’s different in canines: When dogs eat something containing xylitol, the xylitol is more quickly absorbed into the bloodstream, and may result in a potent release of insulin from the pancreas.
This rapid release of insulin may result in a rapid and profound decrease in the level of blood sugar (hypoglycemia), an effect that can occur within 10 to 60 minutes of eating the xylitol. Untreated, this hypoglycemia can quickly be life-threatening.”
What can you do?
Make sure to keep people-only items like breath mints, toothpaste, and chewing gum far from a dog’s reach.
Read the labels (even on ‘natural’ foods) for suspicious additives.
Look for all-natural treats to deceive your dog with instead, like the delicious and safe goodies from All Good Dog Food Co (we had to give another shout-out to this awesome company!)
Spread the word to make sure all your dog-owning friends are aware of this dangerous ingredient.
For a full list of symptoms to look out for and warnings about xylitol, visit the FDA consumer update page.