We are all aware that not only puppies but grown dogs like to get into things that they are not supposed to. However, as delicious as certain foods may be, it could be very harmful and hazardous to their health. Xylitol, a substance toxic to dogs, is found in a lot of products such as baked goods, candy, peanut butter, sugarless gum, etc. Moreover, this substance is contained in numerous goods and meals intended for human consumption only and is extremely harmful to your pet. You might have read or heard news reports of dogs who got sick or died after ingesting products containing xylitol, but exactly what is xylitol? 

What is Xylitol? 

Sugar-free chewing gum, breath mints, candies, and baked goods frequently use xylitol as a sugar alternative. Some smoking cessation products, such as nicotine gum, are also included. Additionally, bulk xylitol can be bought for use in home cooking. It can also combat dental plaque and is a component of toothpaste, mouthwash, and oral rinses. Because of its numerous other benefits, xylitol can also be found in skin care items including gels, lotions, and deodorants. Due to the benefits it has, its use in products and goods has increased in recent years. 

How is Xylitol Dangerous to Dogs? 

In both humans and dogs, the pancreas releases insulin to maintain blood sugar levels. Xylitol does not increase the amount of insulin secreted by the pancreas in humans. Canines, however, react to things differently. Dogs who eat xylitol-containing foods may experience a strong release of insulin from the pancreas because xylitol enters the system so quickly. This rapid release of insulin may result in a sharp drop in blood sugar levels, known as hypoglycemia, within 10 to 60 minutes of consuming xylitol. If left untreated, this hypoglycemia can quickly turn life-threatening. 

Symptoms of Xylitol Poisoning 

Vomiting is the initial symptom of xylitol poisoning in dogs, which is then followed by symptoms of your dog’s blood sugar lowering rapidly, including decreased activity, weakness, stumbling, lack of coordination, collapse, and seizures. If you think your dog may have ingested xylitol, we advise that you take them right away to the vet or an emergency animal hospital. Because hypoglycemia and other serious side effects might take up to 12 to 24 hours to appear, your dog may need to be hospitalized for medical supervision. 

Final Thoughts 

Consumption of xylitol by dogs has the potential to cause severe illness or even death. Keep any xylitol-containing goods out of your dog’s reach, even ones you might not consider to be food, like toothpaste. Do not forget that dogs are naturally curious so keeping these items far away where they cannot get to them is key. If your pup has ingested an item containing xylitol, it is crucial to call Pet Poison Helpline® at (855) 764-7661 and your veterinarian right away so the experts can help save your dog.