What Is Xylitol and Why You Should Know

Keeping our beloved friends happy and healthy is our goal as pet owners. But occasionally we unintentionally expose them to something dangerous or even fatal. Pet owners are becoming more concerned about xylitol, a sugar replacement that is frequently found in candies, gum, and other goods that are sugar-free. This blog post will define xylitol, discuss its effects on dogs, and offer exposure prevention advice.

What is Xylitol?

Xylitol is a sugar alcohol commonly used as a sugar substitute because of its sweetness and low glycemic index. It is found in various products such as sugar-free gum, candy, baked goods, and even peanut butter. While it is safe for humans to consume, it can be highly toxic to pets, especially dogs. In dogs, xylitol consumption can rapidly increase insulin levels, leading to hypoglycemia or low blood sugar. Symptoms of Xylitol poisoning can include vomiting, loss of coordination, seizures, and liver failure.

How does it affect pets?

Dogs’ pancreas responds to the apparent rise in blood sugar by releasing a significant quantity of insulin when they consume xylitol. A sharp decrease in blood sugar levels brought on by this insulin surge might result in hypoglycemia. Xylitol can also result in liver failure, which can be lethal. After consumption, xylitol poisoning symptoms might appear 15 to 30 minutes later and escalate rapidly to convulsions and even death. Since cats don’t like for sweets, they are often not impacted by xylitol poisoning.

Preventing exposure:

Pet owners can prevent potentially lethal Xylitol exposure by carefully reading ingredient labels and avoiding products that contain Xylitol. As Xylitol can be found in various products, it is essential to check labels diligently. Additionally, pet owners should be aware of the symptoms of Xylitol poisoning and contact their veterinarian immediately if they think their pet has ingested a product containing Xylitol. Prompt treatment is essential for the best possible outcome in the event of a suspected poisoning.

To sum up, xylitol can be harmful to animals, especially dogs. It is our duty as pet owners to keep our furry friends safe from dangerous materials. We can make sure our dogs stay healthy and enjoy long, happy lives by understanding what Xylitol is, how it affects pets, and taking preventative steps including reading labels and being alert of signs. If you think your pet may have ingested xylitol, please get in touch with us and bring them to the closest veterinary facility.