If you’re a dog owner, you likely do everything you can to keep dog-harmful foods like chocolate, garlic, grapes, and onions away from your pet. But sometimes it’s the additives in foods that make them dangerous to our furry friends. Xylitol is one of those culprits. At East Valley Animal Hospital in Gilbert, we see pets for many food-related incidents that are entirely avoidable. That’s why we want to highlight some everyday xylitol products that can poison your dog.

What is Xylitol?

Xylitol is a natural sweetener that has grown in popularity due to the fact that it’s a low-calorie substitute for sugar, and because of its positive effects on dental health. Research strongly shows xylitol’s ability to fight harmful bacteria in the mouth, which might mean you have products containing xylitol in your house without being aware of its poison potential to dogs.

Why is Xylitol Toxic for My Pup?

Humans with diabetes or high blood sugar find sugar-substitutes like xylitol extremely beneficial. The reason being is that xylitol, unlike most sugars, has little to no impact on insulin and blood sugar levels. This result is the opposite in dogs. According to Pet Health Network, “After a dog consumes a significant amount of xylitol, there is a massive release of insulin from the pancreas. This, in turn, results in a dangerously low blood sugar level and symptoms such as weakness, trembling, seizures, collapse, and even death.”

11 Xylitol Products that Can Poison Your Dog

You might suspect some of the following products would be on this list, but others could surprise you. This is not a full list, so be sure to read labels. You never know where xylitol is hiding.  

  1. Chewing gum
  2. Diabetic snacks and foods
  3. Sugar-free baked goods & foods
  4. Candy and chocolate
  5. Breath mints
  6. Mouthwash
  7. Chewable multi-vitamins
  8. Nasal sprays
  9. Lip balms
  10. Deodorants
  11. Medications and supplements

It might shock you to know that of the xylitol products that can poison your dog, medications and supplements account for 12 percent of the emergency cases that veterinarians see. At East Valley Animal Hospital, we are well equipped to handle a variety of pet urgent care needs, including xylitol poisoning. If your pet ingests a product containing xylitol and you live in Gilbert, Mesa, or Chandler Arizona, call us immediately.


Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (1/23/2019) Pixaby