It’s found in everything from cupcakes to toothpastes to nicotine gum. And it’s considered the most canine-toxic “human food” on the planet.
It is xylitol, a sugar substitute that is used in many products that we use everyday
According to the ASPCA’s Poison Control Center, more dogs than ever are being poisoned by products containing xylitol. That’s partly because xylitol use is more widespread than ever and also because of low awareness of its harmfulness among pet owners.
So just how dangerous is xylitol? A few sugar-free Tic Tacs, a pack of Trident gum, a spilled tin of Starbucks mints, a sugar-free Jell-O dessert cup. All it takes is just a tiny amount of this toxin to send a dog into hypoglycemia-induced seizures and sometimes fatal liver failure. All dogs are susceptible, some more than others. It has been calculated that as little as a gram of sweetener can kill a 10-pound dog.
What is very unnerving however, is that xylitol is being added to many pediatric medicines that our veterinarians use to treat our dogs with. And it is only just recently that veterinarians have become aware of this new change.
Now it would be easy to say that all dog owners should speak to their vets about xylitol and carefully read all ingredient labels before purchasing products, yet it seems that will still not solve the problem.
It appears that not all consumer product manufacturers are willing to list xylitol on their ingredient labels.
The moral of the story? Let’s keep human food away from our dogs for now, keep your eyes on the ingredient listings and always question your vet about drugs you have to give your dogs.
We have a new “chocolate” to contend with and it’s called Xylitol.