If you have a dog, you've probably filled up their KONG toy with peanut butter a time or two but could the sweet stuff be dangerous to your pup? It can be if it includes this ingredient. 

January is a month where many people try to make healthier choices to meet New Year's Resolution. If part of that new routine includes picking sugar free foods, you may not want to share that new brand of peanut butter you added to the pantry with your dog if it includes an ingredient called "xylitol." Commonly found in common household products breath mints, cough syrup, children’s chewable vitamins, mouthwash and toothpaste, this ingredient has become a popular replacement for sugars in peanut butter over the last few years.

In a post from West Vet's website, Dr. Victoria Ochoa, one of the clinic's small animal internists explains that xylitol is perfectly safe for humans and can lead to fewer cavities than regular sugars. However, it's toxic to dogs and has an extremely negative affect on their blood sugar levels. Within 30 minutes of ingesting the ingredient, dogs may start acting spacey, stumble, collapse or experience seizures and eventually progress to liver failure or death.

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If you get your dog to an emergency vet clinic like West Vet quickly, they can survive the hypoglycemia they're experiencing but may live with liver problems for the rest of their lives. We all know that chocolate is dangerous to dogs, but xylitol is nearly 100 times as deadly. If you've recently changed the brand on peanut butter you're buying for yourself, double check the label before sharing with your furry friend.

If you're afraid your dog consumed this deadly ingredient West Vet is open 24 hours a day on Chinden and can be reached at via their emergency line at 208-375-1600. You can also look for help from the Pet Poison Hotline at 800-213-6680.

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