T’is the season for DIY gifts –and a popular one among dog owners is homemade dog cookies. Whether you’re making them yourself or you’re the recipient of a batch of homemade goodies, you must be careful to screen the ingredients for toxins.
Perils of Peanut Butter
One would think that peanut butter is nothing more than pureed peanuts, and in a small percentage of peanut butter products, that is the case. More often, however, peanut butter has been adulterated with a myriad of substances, some of which cause disease, or, in the case of dogs, immediate death.
“Surely you jest: Death? Really!?” you say?
One issue with peanut butter is the fact that most brands add sweeteners such as sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and most recently a chemical derived from hardwood trees: xylitol.
I discussed Xylitol, in an earlier post. If you did not catch that one, please take the time now to read it. But in a nutshell the take away point is this: xylitol is highly toxic and often fatal to dogs. It confounds blood sugar moderation and this leads to massive kidney and liver damage/ failure in dogs.
Please read labels to be sure that the snack you are feeding your dog is non-toxic to dogs. The number one ingredient to screen for is Xylitol. Also on the list is chocolate (the darker the more dangerous), grapes/raisins (these are a roulette game for dogs– 33% of dogs are deathly allergic to grapes/raisins. Do not run those chances with your dog, please.) Read my article(s) on toxins in this blog.
Here is a (most likely incomplete) list of peanut butter that contains xylitol:
- Nuts ‘N More Peanut Butter (sold on Amazon)
- P28 Foods Formulated High Protein Spread, Peanut Butter (sold on Amazon)
Also, according to the website, Preventative Vet, the following peanut butters also contain Xylitol:
- Krush Nutrition
- Hank’s Protein Plus Peanut Butter (which stopped production on Oct. 20, 2015 after a voluntary recall was issued after it was found they were operating without a Rhode Island food business license.)
- Go Nuts, Co which notes their product contains no sugar- When a product announces this, be sure to check to see if xylitol is standing in as the sweetener as is the case here.
A few days ago I visited several grocery stores to see what each offered with regard to peanut butter. I was not surprised to see a host of GMO ingredients in the vast majority of the products: (rapeseed, cottonseed, soybean oils). Some of them contained other ingredients I would regard as unfit for consumption– human or otherwise: hydrogenated vegetable oil, canola oil, and in the case of Peter Pan, Corn syrup solids Soy protein concentrate.
Due to the profoundly disturbing impact the production of palm oil has on the environment (deforestation), species extinction (particularly orangutans, rhinos, tigers and elephants), and its contribution to human rights abuses I have eliminated any of the peanut butter products that contain Palm oil.
So, which Peanut butters would I eat (or feed to my dogs)? Here’s an incomplete list in the order in which I would prioritize my purchase choice:
|Naturally Nutty||Organic USA Roasted Peanuts, Organic Flax, Organic Hemp.
— No added sugar. No GMO ingredients either!
|Smucker’s Organic Creamy Peanut Butter||Organic roasted peanut, less than 1% salt|
|Peanut Butter Pure-Pure Natural since 1917||Peanuts! Just peanuts!|
|Kirkland Natural Peanut Butter||Dry roasted peanuts, sea salt|
|Wild Friends Foods Peanut Butter||Roasted peanuts, Sea salt|
|Teddie Smooth Old Fashioned All Natural Peanut Butter||Roasted peanuts, Salt|
|Powdered Peanut Butter, 2 pack HONEY Peanut Butter (I’m putting this at the bottom of the list because I don’t know how it would perform in dog cookie recipes.)||Roasted peanuts, Sugar, Salt, Natural flavor|