Food Safety Month: Xylitol

As pet owners, we want to maintain the happiness and health of our beloved friends. But occasionally, we unintentionally subject our pets to something dangerous or even fatal. A major issue for pet owners in recent years has been Xylitol, a sugar replacement frequently found in sugar-free gum, candy, and other items. We will define Xylitol, discuss its effects on animals, and offer advice for avoiding exposure in this blog post.

What is Xylitol?

Because of its sweetness and low glycemic index, xylitol is a sugar alcohol that is frequently used as an alternative to sugar. It can be found in a variety of commodities, including peanut butter, sweets, and sugar-free gum. Although it is acceptable for humans to eat, dogs, in particular may find it to be very poisonous. Consuming xylitol can cause an abrupt rise in insulin levels in dogs, which can result in hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar. Vomiting, loss of coordination, convulsions, and liver failure are just a few of the signs and symptoms of xylitol poisoning.

How does it impact animals?

Dogs’ pancreas releases a lot of insulin after consuming Xylitol because it perceives a rise in blood sugar. A fast dip in blood sugar levels brought on by this insulin spike can result in hypoglycemia. Xylitol can also result in liver failure, which can be fatal. Within 15 to 30 minutes of intake, Xylitol poisoning symptoms might appear, and they can quickly develop to convulsions and even death. Because they don’t like sweets, cats typically are not harmed by xylitol poisoning.

Avoiding Exposure

By carefully reading ingredient labels and avoiding products that contain Xylitol, pet owners can prevent exposure to potentially fatal amounts of Xylitol. Because xylitol can be present in many different items, it’s crucial to carefully read labels. Additionally, pet owners need to be aware of the signs of Xylitol poisoning and should seek medical attention right away if they suspect their animal companion has consumed a Xylitol-containing product. When a poisoning is suspected, prompt treatment is crucial for the best outcome.

In conclusion, xylitol poses a risk to animals, especially dogs. We have a duty to keep our animal friends safe from dangerous poisons as pet owners. We can make sure our pets remain healthy and enjoy long, happy lives by understanding what Xylitol is, how it affects pets, and taking preventative actions, including reading labels and being alert of signs. If you think your pet has ingested Xylitol, call us and take them to the closest veterinary facility.