Xylitol is a common ingredient in sugarless gum, candy, chewable vitamins, baked goods, peanut butter and other products. While it is safe for humans, it could cause severe low blood sugar, seizures, liver failure and death in dogs.
A dog eating even half a gram of xylitol can suffer illness, and ingesting a pack of gum or a tray of treats containing xylitol can be deadly.
Because it’s such a strong stimulator of insulin release in dogs, it takes just a small amount of xylitol (0.1g/kg) eaten by a dog to cause a dangerous drop in blood sugar (“hypoglycemia”). The higher the dose ingested, the more the risk of liver failure.
Products with Xylitol
We have been working to identify products with xylitol as an ingredient. These are some products to keep out of reach of pets:
- Rx suspensions/melts (i.e. Neurontin®, Abilify®, Allegra®, Mobic®, RioMet®, clonazepam, Emtrivia®)
- OTC liquid medications
- OTC digestive aids (Beano®, antacids)
- Dental/oral care products
- Nasal sprays
- Nicotine gum
- Chewable dietary supplements
- Stool softeners
- Barium liquid and pudding
- Ice cream
- Jell-O® sugar free pudding
- Energy drinks
- Peanut butter and other nut butters
What are the symptoms of xylitol poisoning?
Symptoms of xylitol toxicity usually develop within 15-30 minutes of consumption. Signs of hypoglycemia may include any or all of the following:
- Incoordination or difficulty walking or standing
- Depression or lethargy
If you ever think your dog has eaten anything with xylitol, call your vet immediately! Fast and aggressive treatment by your veterinarian is essential to effectively reverse any toxic effects and prevent the development of severe problems.
The best idea is to carefully read all product labels and make sure to keep those with xylitol stored securely — or don’t buy them at all.