Published: January 26, 2023  

Last updated: February 6, 2024  

Peanut butter is a staple in our house… for humans and dogs. Kong filling isn’t complete without a spoonful of yummy peanut butter. And when the jar is empty, we add water and use it as a meal topper for the dogs.

I’m sure you’ve seen the warnings on social media about how peanut butter can be toxic to our beloved dogs… but it’s not the peanut butter, it’s one ingredient, xylitol.

Did you know that peanut butter is not the only food or product that has xylitol in it? There is a slew of household items that contain xylitol, from toothpaste to chewing gum. See below for an expanded xylitol list.

The odds that your peanut butter has xylitol in it are slim… but of course, always check the ingredient list.

yellow lab getting ready to lick the peanut butter jar
Do you think Bear is excited to get a lick of peanut butter?

What is Xylitol?

Xylitol is a sugar alcohol derived from plants and used as a natural sweetener as a replacement for sugar. Commonly found in “sugar-free” products:

  • Breath mints
  • Candy
  • Chewing gum
  • Chewable or gummy vitamins
  • Ice cream
  • Liquid compounded medications
  • Mouthwash
  • Peanut butter
  • Sugar-free desserts

Don’t be fooled… xylitol can also be identified as birch sugarbirch sap, birch bark extract, or wood sugar. Making it even more confusing to the consumer. 

What brand of peanut butter is xylitol free?

Many brands of peanut butter do NOT contain xylitol, in fact, it’s probably easier to list the peanut butters that DO contain xylitol.

Most major brands such as JIF, Smuckers, and Skippy do NOT contain xylitol.

Two ingredients that are commonly used in peanut butter are palm oil and sugar. I don’t think I need to explain why sugar is bad for you or your dog. Palm oil is highly processed and very high in saturated fats, not good for you or your dog.

Here are the three xylitol-free, sugar-free, and palm oil-free peanut butter brands that I have given my dogs and recommend:

My Dog-Friendly Peanut Butter Top Picks

  • Kirkland Signature Organic Peanut Butter (Costco)
  • Smucker’s Natural Creamy Peanut Butter
  • Great Value Organic Creamy Stir Peanut Butter (Walmart)

Each of these peanut butters contains only peanuts and salt. I prefer the Kirkland Signature Organic Peanut Butter since it is organic, and I can buy it in bulk making it a little cheaper.

IMPORTANT: It gets tricky because each brand has several versions of peanut butter. So, reading the label is very important to ensure you are picking the best peanut butter. And remember, xylitol can also be identified as birch sugarbirch sap, birch bark extract, or wood sugar.

The best peanut butter should contain peanuts and salt and nothing else.

Dog Peanut Butter Specialty

In my research, I found that Chewy carries a peanut butter made special just for your dog. These are a fun way to add some new flavors and make great Kong fillings.

The Bark Bistro Company has created Buddy Budders in these yummy flavors:

How do I know if peanut butter has xylitol?

The best way to know if your peanut butter has xylitol is to read the label. Yes, you need to read that teeny tiny print and look for birch sugarbirch sap, birch bark extract, or wood sugar.  

 

Xylitol peanut butter brands include Nuts N’ More Peanut Butter Spreads, P28 Foods Formulated High Protein, Peanut Butter Spread, and
Go Nuts Peanut Butter

What peanut butter has xylitol?

Below is a list of xylitol peanut butter brands that I could find that contain xylitol. Most are marketed as healthy or high-protein spreads.

 

So you see, three brands have xylitol, out of what may be hundreds of safe peanut butter on the market.

NOTE: If you find a different peanut butter brand that contains xylitol or birch sugar, please comment below and let me know so I can add it to the list!

So why are the social media scare tactics singling out peanut butter? I don’t have the answer to that one.

Will you help me spread the word that xylitol is in more than peanut butter? 

Share our graphic on your favorite social media platform,

infographic of dog eating peanut butter, and icons of common products that contain xylitol

or share thisxylitol is toxic” poster from the FDA.

How do you know if xylitol is in food?

The easiest way to know if a food or product contains xylitol is to read the ingredient label. Learning to read the labels on your food and your dog’s food is key to staying healthy.

P28 Peanut Butter ingredient list: dry roasted peanuts, whey protein isolate, peanut oil, xylitol (natural sweetener).

My journey of learning to read the labels began when we learned our dog Ginger was allergic to many foods. Since then, I have become a big-time label reader and try to stay away from anything I cannot pronounce! Another story for another time.

Wrapping it up: Xylitol, birch sugar, birch sap, birch bark extract, or wood sugar

Keeping xylitol out of your house is the best surefire way to keep your dog safe from accidentally consuming it.

Learn to read the labels of all your products, not just peanut butter.

Sugar-free gum, mints, and candy are other common products that dog owners aren’t aware contain xylitol. 

Xylitol can be deadly for our dogs, so don’t risk it and keep the sugar-free products out of your home. Better safe than sorry, right?

About the Author

Debi McKee

Debi McKee is the expert behind Rescue Dogs 101 where she guides you in your journey of adopting and raising a rescue dog every step of the way. She is a mom of 3 human kids and 4 dogs and volunteers for a local dog rescue and Humane Society. Click here for more about Debi and her passion for helping you and your dog.

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