Xylitol Food Additive Harmful to Household Pets

Image of chewing gum.

People love sweets and so do many dogs. In fact, some dogs love their family's sweet treats and sneak bites of it when the humans aren't looking. You or your children probably also share goodies with your family pet. Many sweets are made with the substance called xylitol.

Xylitol is used to manufacture many sweet tasting products including: chocolates, cookies, cakes, ice creams, other baked goods and hard candies. You'll find it in toothpaste and hygiene products, some vitamins, gums and mints. In fact, xylitol has been included in products that are sweet in nature and may be labeled as sugar-free.

You may be aware that xylitol is available for bulk purchases and large quantities may be regularly maintained in your household for your family's baking and food preparation needs.

Why? Xylitol is a sugar alcohol being used as a sweetener. Xylitol is often used in products for ingestion by diabetic individuals and it has less calories than regular sugar. The xylitol makes the product taste sweet and doesn't have the same effect on blood sugar that sugar products have.

Eric K. Dunayer indicates in New Findings on the Effects of Xylitol Ingestion in Dogs, that even though xylitol is safe for people, the lives of dogs can be threatened by ingesting it. Just two or three sticks of xylitol gum could be toxic to a 20-pound dog.

Dogs can experience liver failure due to xylitol toxicity. The substance can create changes in their blood sugar, impair it to create hypoglycemia and derail their liver so that it will not filter properly. The liver is the primary organ that controls detoxification and supports proper blood clotting throughout the body.

The United States Food and Drug Administration warned pet owners that xylitol toxicity can be harmful to their dogs. The FDA also issued this warning about ferrets. Because of the known tendency of xylitol to be toxic to dogs it is critical to keep all products containing the substance out of their reach. The consequences of ingesting xylitol can be catastrophic. If you think your dog has ingested xylitol immediately contact your veterinarian, local poison control center or the pet poison hotline at 800-213-6680.

Call to schedule your pet's wellness or urgent care exam now: (952) 758-6722

Testimonials

  • We have been clients of New Prague Animal Care for over 13 years. They have provided exceptional and compassionate care for our “pack” (6 dogs and 3 cats). As a professional dog trainer, breeder of Best in Show and Master Hunter Retrievers as well an owner of multiple kennel/ doggy daycare facilities (30+ years), I have worked with numerous veterinary clinics both in the Twin Cities and nationwide. Dr. Steve and his crew rate among the finest I have worked with. The clinic has all of the fea

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  • My dad has taken all of his dogs there for years, and I take mine there as well. Dr. Lavalle's bedside manner is amazing, and his staff are so genuine and caring. I always have, and will continue referring people to take their pets here. They are hands down the best veterinary care in the area!

    - Amber C
  • Have taken our dogs to Dr. Lavallee for over 10 years and he is great with each of them. He and his staff are very caring and helpful.

    - Barb S
  • Middle of a snow storm a few days ago. My little puppy was injured. I live in Faribult. Vet offices were closed in town. They actually called me while in route to see if I was ok. They were so good with the puppy. The cost was very reasonable. Called today to see how everything was going. I really was very impressed with this office. I recommend this place.

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    Read More - Wendy E
  • Awesome experience! My pets love the care they get from Dr. Lavallee and his staff! They are not just a number; they care for them like my babies are family! Would highly recommend them!

    - SGGM
  • Found a 6-wk old kitten on the side of the highway and brought it in at 7pm on emergency basis. I was blown away by the compassion of Dr. Johnson's team. What a great experience. True animal people!

    - Anna H
  • Moved to New Prague and found this place for our dog.. Such great service, friendly staff, amazing Dr. and very accommodating to all of our needs!! Highly recommended by my pet family!!!

    - Kerri N
  • We love New Prague Animal Care, they are always so kind and caring, from the phone calls to when you walk in. We take our Siberian Husky Bandit in and he gets so much attention, well loved. We've had to take him in twice for emergencies, the in house testing was great, Dr. Johnson was able to resolve the issue almost immediately. I wouldn't take him anywhere else.

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    Read More - Myra C

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