Xylitol and Dogs – A Dangerous Combination


Most dog owners know that they should keep chocolate in a secure area. But what many dog owners in Cincinnati aren’t aware of is chocolate is far from being the only substance that can put a dog’s health at risk if ingested. One of those substances is xylitol.

Although it’s a strange name, this substance is found in multiple different items around your home. The first place it can be found is in chewing gum. So if you have sugar-free gum in your bag and your dog manages to get it out while being nosy, your dog’s well-being can be in jeopardy if the gum gets eaten.

Why Xylitol is So Dangerous to Dogs

Since xylitol is found in multiple things that people put in their mouth on a daily basis, you’re probably wondering why this substance is so dangerous to dogs and perfectly fine for humans. The answer is it can cause the pancreas to release potent insulin in dogs but not in humans. The problem with that release is it can significantly drop a dog’s blood sugar. That drop, known as hypoglycemia, can become life-threatening for a dog in less than an hour.

Other Items with Xylitol

There are several other items that you likely have in your home which include xylitol. They include breath mints and sugar-free baked goods. Xylitol is often found in cough syrup and chewable vitamins. None of these items are substances that you would make a point of giving to your dog. However, dogs have a way of getting into things on their own, which is why being aware of these types of items is important for preventing a very dangerous accident.

Three other common sources of xylitol in households are mouthwash, toothpaste and nut butter. Be sure to only brush your dog’s teeth with dog toothpaste instead of a toothpaste intended for humans. And if you’re planning to give your dog nut butter as a treat, read the label first to ensure it doesn’t contain xylitol.

Signs of Xylitol Poisoning

Vomiting is generally the first sign of xylitol poisoning. It’s then followed by a variety of symptoms that can indicate a significant drop in blood sugar. Those symptoms include collapse, deceased activity, incoordination, weakness or seizures. Any dog exhibiting those symptoms should be taken to a vet immediately. And even if your dog doesn’t have any symptoms but you have reason to believe it xylitol was ingested, you should still go the vet right away. The reason is symptoms of hypoglycemia can take up to 24 hours to appear.

By being aware of what can be truly harmful to your dog, you can be sure to keep those items away and help your dog feel fully satisfied with meals by feeding Pet Wants!


  1. Michelle Best · June 18, 2016

    Great article! I well definitely pass this great information on to all of my clients.


  2. Your-Pet-Land · November 21, 2016

    Excellent post! I agree, separation anxiety is becoming a big deal for a lot of dogs, and a lot of owners at a loss for how to deal with it.


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