StephBeware of Artificial Sweeteners

Written by Stephanie C.

Xylitol, commonly used as a substitute sweetener, is now being used in a variety of products that we usually give our dogs. Beware of peanut butter, Jell-O and gummie bears.

Our pets seem to be moving over into the human world. We take them to stores, restaurants, they sleep in bed with us and we are starting to feed them “human food”. Unfortunately, we need to be more aware of what is in “human food”. While the most common things to avoid feeding dogs is chocolate, grapes and raisins. Xylitol should be on your warning list of ingredients to watch out for. The sugar substitute is most likely found in sugar free gum and human toothpaste and is now expanding into other foods that we wouldn’t think about.

Xylitol will be on the ingredients list or another term to look out for is “sugar alcohol”. Watch out for products that boast about being “no sugar added” or “sugar free” as these usually have a substitute sweeteners.

What exactly does xylitol do to a dog? In a nut shell, xylitol can cause a sudden decrease in blood glucose and can cause life-threatening hypoglycemia. The most common side effects are vomiting, seizures, loss of coordination or even a coma. These symptoms, depending on the amount ingested, can occur within 15-30 minutes. Xylitol can also cause liver failure in smaller dogs.

To read more information on xylitol and for a list of drugs, foods and other products it is in, check out these website: