Xylitol sweetener is one of the many products you might have in your home that could harm or kill one of your pets. Most realize certain things should not be fed to dogs, but mightoverlook products for humans that contain xylitol sweetener. In fact, many pet owners might not know that they have products in their kitchens that contain xylitol.
While xylitol sweetener is found in gum, candy and other foods, some with pets do not realize this can and will kill a pet. Xylitol is not something a dog or cat will be able to metabolize. Like other products dogs and cats should not be given as food, anything containing xylitol should be guarded if it is in a home where there are pets. Just a small amount of this sweetener can kill a dog in less than a day, although symptoms won’t necessarily show up for a few hours.
Some who are familiar with xylitol sweetener might already be aware that this is dangerous for pets to consume. According to the American Kennel Club, xylitol poisonings in dogs haveincreased significantly in recent years. The reason we may hear more about dogs consuming xylitol than we do cats might be due to the fact that some will offer sweets to dogs, but not cats. Also some foods low in sugar, such as cookies or cupcakes, might contain xylitol sweetener without the consumer being aware. No pet needs a sweet treat that is intended for humans.
Those not familiar with xylitol sweetener may want to know that this is a considered a safe product when it is used by humans. Like many products on the market, nothing made with xylitol is safe for pets. Xylitol was used in other countries before becoming popular in the United States.
However, while this sweetener is harmless to humans who need or want to avoid sugar, it is never safe for any animal.
Products that might contain xylitol include candy, cookies and other bakery items, gelatin products, gum, supplements, toothpaste and more. One of the most complete lists of products that contain xylitol is offered online is by Preventive Vet and can be viewed here on that site.
Anyone suspecting that a pet has consumed something containing xylitol sweetener should seek the help of a veterinarian immediately. There often is not much hope to save a cat or dog that has eaten a certain amount of xylitol. However, the sooner a veterinarian checks the pet, the better the chances are the pet might make a recovery. Be sure to bring the packaging of any product containing xylitol that was eaten by the pet with you when you visit the veterinarian.