You know to keep your dog away from substances like chocolate, antifreeze, and even raisins. But did you know the Xylitol, the substance found in many sugarfree gums and some diet foods, is toxic to dogs?
The number of xylitol poisonings in the country is on the rise as the number of sugar free products on the market increases. Xylitol is a white powder that’s used in place of sugar in gums, candies and other foods. It can be very useful for people with diabetes, or on low carbohydrate diets, absorbing slowly into the bloodstream so it doesn’t impact a person’s blood sugar level.
However, dogs absorb xylitol differently, taking it in very quickly which then causes a quick release of insulin. His blood sugar level plummets.
Even a piece or two of sugarfree gum can be toxic to your dog (and the smaller the dog, the smaller amount he needs to ingest to cause problems.)
Recognizing Xylitol Poisoning
Dogs that have eaten products with Xylitol will appear lethargic, vomit, stagger, and may collapse with seizures. Liver damage and bleeding up to 12 hours after ingesting xylitol can also occur.
If your dog eats a product with xylitol, it can take several days in hospital before his blood sugar levels stabilize. The outcome isn’t as good that develop liver damage or bleeding.
What You Can Do
1. To prevent your dog becoming affected by xylitol poisoning, it’s important to never feed him sugar free treats…and make certain that guests in your home never do either.
2. Make sure you never leave sugarfree gum or other treats within reach of your dog.
3. When walking your dog, make sure he doesn’t come across a piece of discarded gum (and how often have we all seen that in parks and parking lots?!) You’ll have no way of knowing if the gum was sugarfree or not.
If your dog does ingest sugarfree gum or other products, get him to your vet right away–but prevention is definitely the