Could Peanut Butter Kill Your Dog?

Xylitol is getting to be a popular alternative health sweetener for people. But, it’s not only unhealthy for dogs, it is often fatal. The danger comes when dogs and humans share the same foods and people don’t know the risks of dogs ingesting xylitol. While it’s traditionally found in low-calorie gums and mints, it recently has been seen in many brands of peanut butter, a popular treat for dogs.

The Preventive Vet, Dr. Jason Nicholas, provided the picture below of “Chocolate vs. Xylitol.” As you can see, it doesn’t take much gum with xylitol to kill a dog. While people don’t intentionally feed their dogs gum, I read a story of a Yorkie that went sniffing through her pet parent’s purse. Sadly, she ate a few pieces of gum and was dead in 24 hours. Labs are famous for eating everything, edible or not. Mine live up to their reputation, so now I make sure there is no diet chewing gum in my home. If a visitor brings it in a purse, the purse will remain out of their reach. With the ASPCA receiving 10 calls daily about dogs getting sick and dying from xylitol, I don’t want to take any chances.


Where can you find xylitol?

It’s probably already in your home, even if you didn’t know you purchased it. In addition to peanut butter and gum, it can be found in toothpastes, honey, chocolate, candy, mint and medication. Read all ingredients. And, if you are cooking with xylitol, make sure both the xylitol container and the baked goods are out of reach of your dogs.

What are symptoms?

Dr. Jason Nicholas reports:

“Mild hypoglycemia will typically cause weakness and a lack of coordination. More pronounced hypoglycemia, such as that which often happens with xylitol ingestion, can lead to seizures, coma, and even death. Xylitol can cause a dangerous drop in your dog’s blood sugar in as little as 30 minutes! As if that weren’t enough, if a dog eats just 0.5g/kg of xylitol (still a very small amount—see the table and picture below) they are at risk of suffering from acute hepatic necrosis, meaning sudden liver death. It is a severely debilitating, and frequently fatal form of liver failure.”


What can you do if your dog eats xylitol?

Call your vet immediately. They may have you induce vomiting. If your dog develops hypoglycemia, he will need intensive medical monitoring. Dr. Nicholas reports that recovery is more likely with early, aggressive treatment. But, plan on a 24 to 48 hours vet stay accompanied by a high emotional and financial price-tag.

Thank you for sharing this post to educate other dog lovers about the dangers of xylitol. You might just be saving a few precious lives.

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Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus3 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Jennifer H.
Jennifer H3 years ago

I have used the old "hide the pills in peanut butter" trick for years. Time to double check ingredients. What a pain that toxins are showing up in everything.

Nikki Davey
Nikki Davey3 years ago

In other words, feed your pets on proper animal foods not human stuff !!

Quanta Kiran
Quanta Kiran3 years ago


lesley turnbull
lesley turnbull3 years ago

What about raccoons? Does anyone know if peanut butter with xylitol in it will hurt them? Probably. I sometimes leave a PBJ for the raccoon (if I don't have any meat the peanut butter will provide him protein - I know many will say I shouldn't even be feeding him. I have to or he will try to eat my ducks. I don't want him to get too hungry. Some predator got into their kennel cage and bit two of them when they were young. He got in but couldn't get them out. I thought feeding him would solve the problem of at least one predator since he comes by every night anyway.

Linda Jurick
Linda Jurick3 years ago

Thank you for the information.

Michelle A.
Michelle a3 years ago

Thank you!!

Lisa Zarafonetis
Lisa Zarafonetis3 years ago

Aw geez!!! Something else to add to the ever increasing list of sh!t to worry about !!! *~*

Manuela C.
Manuela C3 years ago

Scary! I don't usually have those items at home, but I'll be extra careful. I knew it was dangerous, but I had no idea the small amount it took...