What Is Xylitol and Why You Should Know

We want to maintain the happiness and health of our furry friends as pet owners. But occasionally, we unintentionally expose them to dangerous or even fatal substances. Pet owners’ concerns about xylitol, a sugar alternative that is frequently found in candy, gum, and other items without added sugar, have grown in recent years. We will define xylitol, discuss its effects on pets, and offer advice on avoiding exposure in this blog.

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?

In reaction to what is thought to be an increase in blood sugar, the pancreas of dogs that consume xylitol releases a significant quantity of insulin. Hypoglycemia might result from this insulin surge if blood sugar levels decrease suddenly. Furthermore, xylitol can result in severe liver failure. Within 15 to 30 minutes of consumption, xylitol poisoning symptoms might appear. They can swiftly worsen and result in convulsions or even death. Because they do not have a taste for sweets, cats are typically 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 pets 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 hospital.