PEANUT BUTTER AND XYLITOL

Warnings about peanut butter with xylitol have been circulating on various websites and social media posts recently. We checked to see what peanut butters contained xylitol and found that most brands do not contain xylitol. Five brands that do contain it are: Go Nuts, Co.; Hank’s Protein Plus Peanut Butter; Krush Nutrition; Nuts ‘N More; and P28.

Though this is good news for our peanut butter-loving dogs it is “bad” news for doggy parents because xylitol is a sugar substitute that is increasing in popularity. The Pet Poison Helpline (PPH), states that xylitol causes hypoglycemia and hepatic necrosis in dogs. The number of reported exposures has been increasing.

Xylitol is a natural sugar alcohol normally found in small amounts in many fruits and vegetables. It is popular because of its many beneficial properties: sweet as sugar but contains fewer calories, does not promote diabetes, and has plague-fighting properties. Xylitol is found in chewing gum, breath mints and dental products like toothpaste and mouthwash. It is also found in nasal sprays, OTC sleep aids, multi­vitamins, prescription sedatives, antacids, stool softeners and many other products like ice cream and chocolate. It is sold in bulk as a substitute for sugar in baking.

Since this is an ingredient found is so many products we need to be extra careful about keeping our dogs safe from ingesting it in any form. It is also a reminder that foods that are safe for us are not always safe for our pets.

Awareness is important – check labels looking for keywords that can indicate that a food contains xylitol. Other words or phrases to look for are “sweetened naturally” or “natural sweetener.” Chemically xylitol is classified as a sugar alcohol and that is another phrase to check for. Also be careful of products labeled “sugar free” or “no sugar added.”

Signs of xylitol poisoning in dogs include weakness, lethargy, collapse, vomiting, tremoring, seizures, jaundice, malaise, black-tarry stool, and even coma or death. If you suspect your dog ingested xylitol, contact your veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline immediately for life-saving treatment.

Resources:
http://www.petpoisonhelpline.com/uncategorized/theres-xylitol/
http://www.aspcapro.org/sites/pro/files/xylitol.pdf
http://www.preventivevet.com/dogs/is-peanut-butter-safe-for-dogs
http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2015/11/04/xylitol-poisoning-dogs.aspx


 

November is Canine Cancer Awareness Month

The devastating effects of canine cancer have been experienced by so many pet parents. It is difficult to grasp the pain and grief this disease has caused.

Chase Away K9 Cancer is a fantastic organization that works to not only fund research but also helps to support families going through this tough time with comfort, information and awareness.

Statistics show that cancer affects 1 out of every 3 dogs, and of those, over half will die from the disease. According to the National Canine Cancer Foundation, it is the leading cause of death in dogs over the age of 10 and that fifty percent of dogs over the age of 10 will develop cancer at some point.

Watch for the signs and symptoms of cancer. The sooner the disease is detected the better the chances of recovery.

Cancer - SignsWe look forward to the day where no one loses a best friend to cancer.

For more information and resources:

Chase Away K9 Cancer was founded in 2006 by Cera Reusser to bring together people and dogs to combat and eventually defeat this horrible disease. It is a division of the National Canine Cancer Foundation. Donations received fund canine cancer studies and help raise K9 cancer awareness.

The National Canine Cancer Foundation is a national non-profit corporation dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health issue in dogs by funding grants directly to cancer researchers who are working to save lives, find cures and treatment for dealing with canine cancer. #


 

Good Reasons to Foster

In a recent conversation a friend shared that his children were begging for a dog.  He stated his concern that he was depriving his children the joy of having a dog as part of their family.  However, he also said that he wasn’t in a position to make a life-time commitment now.  I asked if he had ever considered fostering a dog.  There was silence and then he said, “I didn’t know you could do that!”  His kids are true animal lovers and fostering could be a perfect solution for his children and for one lucky dog.

There are so many good reasons to consider fostering – here are just a few:

  • Fostering gives you the joy of having a pet without the responsibility of a long-term commitment.
  • Fostering gives you the satisfaction of getting a pet ready for their furever home by sharing your home, time, and friendship.  It provides foster pets with opportunities for socializing and training that are not available in a kennel or shelter.  Foster pets get a chance at becoming cherished pets.
  • Fostering is a great opportunity for families to work on a project that is fun and teaches responsibility.  The addition of a pet brings joy to a home even temporarily.  There is a sense of accomplishment when your foster becomes part of a furever home.  Your family may decide to foster another pet.  Fostering can also help a family find out if it is ready for the responsibilities of having their own pet.
  • Fostering offers financial support.  The rescue or shelter usually is responsible for the financial needs of the foster pet such as any necessary medical treatments your foster pet requires during their stay with you.
  • Fostering a pet gives you a first-hand understanding of the personality traits of your foster.  The knowledge you gain about your foster pet will help the rescue or shelter find the best furever home for your foster.

Fostering is a major of time and effort.  Welcoming a foster pet into your home will require changes to your lifestyle.  AND saying Good Bye will be difficult.  Yet so many foster pet parents and families agree that the rewards of fostering outweigh the costs.

Check the  Animal Rescues & Shelters section for more information on individual rescues and shelters.

Fosters Save Lives