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The Dangers of Xylitol

Xylitol – What is it? How dangerous is it?

The super quick answers are; it is a sugar substitute and it is extremely toxic to dogs even in small quantities.

xylitol gummiesXylitol is a sugar free sweetener found in a growing number of products such as:

  • Sugar free gum
  • Baked goods
  • Supplements
  • Mouthwash
  • Candies
  • Toothpaste
  • Mints
  • Protein bars
  • Sports drinks
  • Bulk Xylitol powder bags similar to cane sugar
  • Sugar free condiments such as ketchup, jams, BBQ sauces
  • and now it is even found in some Peanut Butter!

One of the challenges in keeping our dogs safe from Xylitol is knowing which products contain Xylitol. Read the labels and if you choose to bring a product home that contains Xylitol, spread the word to your household about which products contain Xylitol and discuss steps to keep it out of reach of determined dogs.

It is very difficult to know how much Xylitol is in any given product, so when it comes to Xylitol the “better safe than sorry” adage works best.

The signs of Xylitol poisoning include; weakness, vomiting, tremors, seizures and jaundice, but unfortunately they mimic many other diseases or conditions. Any time you suspect your dog has ingested Xylitol in any form, it is critical to transport them (along with any packaging from the Xylitol product) immediately to your veterinarian or veterinary emergency hospital. It takes a relatively small amount of Xylitol to cause toxicity or acute liver failure and veterinary intervention is necessary to increase the chance for your dog’s well-being and survival.

Currently there is no evidence of Xylitol toxicity in cats.

For more information see the link below or call our office.

Pet Health Network