Do You Know About Xylitol Poisoning in Dogs?

Written By: Caitlin Perna

You may have heard that [sugar free] gum is bad for dogs, but do you know why? Did you know that that same poisonous ingredient is also in some peanut butter, toothpaste, cookies/desserts, mints, and supplements?

I’m talking about Xylitol.

It’s found naturally in some fruits and vegetables and is used as a sweetener in many foods and other products. But it is very poisonous for dogs. It’s the #1 source of poisoning in dogs. #2 is chocolate.

Preventive Vet lists a whole bunch of actual business brands that use xylitol; I’ve only listed a few. Do you have any of these in your house?

  • Orbit
  • Mentos
  • Starbucks gum/mints
  • Trident
  • Go Nuts almond and peanut butter
  • Act mouth care products
  • Aquafresh

Read here to see more!

So What is Xylitol Poisoning?

In both humans and dogs our blood sugar levels are controlled by the release of insulin. Xylitol does not cause a release of insulin in humans, but it does in non-primate animals like dogs. The xylitol is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream of dogs causing a rapid release of insulin causing a decrease in blood sugar levels- hypoglycemia.

(did you follow all that? Just know that low blood sugar can be deadly and action should be taken immediately!)

Signs of Xylitol Poisoning

About 50 milligrams per pound of dog is dangerous. The higher the dose the higher the chance of liver failure. Symptoms can show as quickly as 30 minutes or up to 12 hours after ingestion.

  • vomiting
  • lethargy
  • weakness
  • difficulty walking
  • collapse

Seizures and even death may occur so be sure to get to your vet as quickly as possible.

What is the treatment for xylitol poisoning?

Your vet will raise your dog’s sugar levels with an intravenous drip. Liver damage is harder to fix and will depend on the severity of the poisoning.

The best thing you can do for your dog is prevent it from ever happening. Read labels before buying products and keep them safely out of reach of your dog.

Also, be sure you have the Pet Poison Hotline available (800)-213- 6680