This Sweetener Could Kill Your Dog

This Sweetener Could Kill Your Dog

Xylitol is a natural sugar alcohol that is commonly used as a sugar substitute in human foods. It is found in and extracted from corn fibre, birch trees, hardwood trees as well as other fruits and vegetables.

Xylitol is often used as a sugar substitute. It has grown drastically in popularity over the last decade and can be found in many ‘sugar-free’ products like:

  • Chewing gum
  • Sweets
  • Baked goods
  • Edible vitamins for children
  • Mouthwash and toothpaste
  • It is also available as a granular product. It’s safe for us, but it’s unfortunately very toxic to our pets.

What does xylitol do to our pets and how much is dangerous?


  • Xylitol is rapidly absorbed following consumption, stimulating the release of large amounts of insulin
  • This causes a drastic drop in blood sugar within 10-60 minutes
  • This can result in weakness, collapse and even seizures
  • If not treated quickly, this may lead to death

Acute liver damage:

  • Why is yet to be determined, but it is dose-dependent
  • Can result in jaundice and bleeding, along with vomiting and lethargy
  • This occurs within 72 hours

The amount needed for xylitol to cause these complications is only 0.1g/kg.

What should you do if you find your pet eating something containing xylitol?

  • Stop them and try to remove as much as you can from their mouth
  • Get your dog to a vet as soon as possible
  • The vet will most likely try to induce vomiting, and will probably keep your dog to monitor blood glucose levels

Click on the link below for more, including tips on managing xylitol in your home.

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