Do you know what xylitol is? Are you (fully) aware of the danger it poses to dogs? You wouldn’t be alone if you answered “no” to either, or even both of these questions. In our ongoing Pet Safety Awareness survey over 50% of the respondents weren’t aware of xylitol or the danger it poses to dogs until they took the survey! By comparison, you’d be hard pressed to find a dog owner who isn’t aware that chocolate can be toxic to dogs. Right?
Yet xylitol can be far-more-dangerous to dogs than chocolate! The picture below shows the minimum amount of dark chocolate that could cause death in three different weights of dog — compared to the minimum number of pieces of xylitol-containing sugar free gum that could have the same devastating effect.Read More
If you're like many people, you might want to give your dog some peanut butter as an occasional treat. Or you might want to use peanut butter as a trick or reward to get your dog to take their medications? In many cases this is perfectly fine (so long as it's not in excess — as too much can cause pancreatitis and/or contribute to obesity).
However, with the introduction of a unique line of peanut and other nut butters onto the market — Nuts ’N More® — the answer to the question of whether or not it’s safe to give, even a small quantity of, peanut butter to your dogs is no longer a straightforward one. Why? Because of the sweetener that’s been used to replace the sugar in this line of peanut and other nut butters. That sugar substitute is called xylitol.
Update (August 6, 2015): The list of peanut and nut butters containing xylitol that we have uncovered has now grown to FIVE! We have reached out to all of them to discuss this dog hazard and to secure increased awareness on their product packaging and websites. We will continue to keep you updated with progress. Here are the five companies (in alphabetical order): (1) Go Nuts, Co., (2) Hank's Protein Plus Peanut Butter, (3) Krush Nutrition, (4) Nuts 'N More, and (5) P28. While these are "specialty butters" that are mostly sold in nutrition stores and online (currently), the subtle presence of xylitol in these butters definitely highlights the importance of reading ingredient labels on products you bring into your home, and especially doing so prior to sharing anything with your pets and if your pets ever get into anything they shouldn't have. Please don't assume that things which are safe for you are also safe for your pets. As you'll see below, this can be a very dangerous assumption with xylitol!
I know, it seems a bit curmudgeonly to declare “houseguests” as a pet hazard. After all, it's Christmas! And isn't this holiday about nothing else if not spending it with friends, family, and loved ones?
It is indeed — both for you and your pets. From the perspective of the health and safety of your pets though, it truly is important for you to be aware of all the dangers that your friends, family members, and other loved ones will most certainly (albeit inadvertently) expose your pets to during this year’s Christmas festivities.
Topics: Dog Safety, Cat Safety, pet safety, toxicity, Xylitol, holiday pet safety tips, Hepatic Lipidosis, Vomiting, Poison control, Christmas pet hazards, Pet safety and houseguests, Diarrhea, Batteries
Gifts, holiday foods, and food preparation materials aren’t the only dangers your pets are likely to face during the holiday season. Along with the presents, wrapping, and large meals common this time of year, this is also often a time for a revolving door of house visitors and overnight guests. And whether those guests are neighbors and friends popping in briefly from down the street, or friends and family coming to stay from across the country, many will inadvertently bring with them toxins and other pet hazards that could ruin your holiday and deplete your bank account. With some important awareness and some simple precautions, you’ll be able to welcome your friends and family warmly and with open arms, without compromising your pet’s safety and well-being.Read More
Topics: Dog Safety, Cat Safety, pet safety tips, pet safety, Lilies, Xylitol, holiday safety, Cats, chocolate toxicity in dogs, Dog, Dog Tips, Cat Tips, Christmas pet hazards, Pet Hazards at Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving Safety, Christmas pet dangers, Pet safety and houseguests, Poinsettias
The veterinary and pet communities have done a great job educating pet owners about the dangers of certain foods to pets. You won’t likely meet a dog owner who isn’t aware that chocolate can be toxic to dogs. This is great, but it's really just the tip of the “toxic iceberg”.
There are many other lesser known substances out there that are no less dangerous to pets – and most of them you have in your house right now. Take Xylitol, for example. Xylitol is a sugar substitute that, because of its anti-cavity properties for our teeth, is commonly found in gum, mints, toothpastes (including children’s), and mouthwashes. Since it’s also considered a good sugar substitute for diabetics, xylitol is commonly used in sugar-free baked goods too, such as cookies and muffins. It’s even found in some brands of chewable vitamins - and it's now starting to show up in PEANUT BUTTER, too!Read More
Easter is a great time to celebrate with family, but if you have pets, there are a few extra things you might want to think about if you want to keep them happy, healthy, and safe.Read More
Topics: Dog Safety, Cat Safety, pet safety tips, poisonous plants for dogs, poisonous plants for cats, pet safety, Lilies, Are Grapes Safe for Dogs, Easter Lily, Easter Flowers, easter, Xylitol, holiday safety, holiday pet safety tips, easter dinner, Blog
Please do not ask emergency or other specific medical questions about your pets in the blog comments. As an online informational resource, Preventive Vet is unable to and does not provide specific medical advice or counseling. A thorough physical exam, patient history, and an established veterinary-patient-client relationship is required to provide specific medical advice. If you are worried that your pet is having an emergency or if you have specific medical questions related to your pet’s current or chronic medical conditions, please contact or visit your veterinarian, an animal-specific poison control hotline, or your local emergency veterinary care center.
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