There's an urgent snack warning for pet owners to heed--and it involves a food that many people have been giving to their dogs for years.
That food is peanut butter, which many pooches love and which some owners use to help disguise medications their dogs have trouble ingesting. P.B. has made it to the "proceed with caution" list because of one important ingredient: xylitol, an artificial sweetener.
Luckily, not all peanut butters contain xylitol, but it's important to steer clear of the ones that do; the ingredient can cause a dog's blood sugar to drop rapidly and ultimately lead to liver failure. "A lot of times, they start shaking, shivering, they can start vomiting, they can become very depressed, and ataxic where they're kind of wobbly--and it can even lead to seizures and coma," Dr. Leah Hill, a veterinarian in Merced, CA told ABC30 News.
While xylitol is perfectly safe for humans--and is gaining in popularity because it's a tasty sugar substitute for people with diabetes and has a low glycemic index--it's a big no-no for pooches (though experts say cats don't seem to be affected). Most major brands don't use it, but be sure to check your ingredient list just in case, and avoid the smaller brands that do include it.
To you and your pooch, we say: Safe snacking!