Do you share your tasty grub from candies to cookies and other sweet treats with your pooch? Beware! Xylitol is an in-demand sugar substitute in human food because of its low-calorie content. Although xylitol intake has no detrimental effect on humans, it can result in a swift death for a canine. In fact, even a small amount of xylitol is considered a deadly dosage. This toxic food sweetener can cause liver failure that can lead to death.
In 2016, the Veterinary Poisons Information Service (VPIS) reported that in the UK, there were more than 250 cases of xylitol poisoning in pets. There may be more cases of xylitol poisoning but they may have been unreported.
You may also like:
Another Tragic Ending
Kate Chacksfield did not expect her majestic Hungarian Vizsla dog, Ruby, to steal a small piece of her homemade brownie cake. Chacksfield was consumed with worry because the brownie contains chocolate, which can be extremely harmful to dogs.
She decided to observe Ruby for 24 hours. Relief washed over her when her dog did not exhibit any signs of poisoning. Since everything seemed fine, Chacksfield decided to let the whole incident go.
However, after a day and a half, Ruby vomited and then collapsed. Chacksfield immediately brought her sick pooch to the pet hospital, but sadly it was too late. There was no way to save seven-year-old Ruby’s life.
The most appalling news that Chacksfield has heard was that her pooch’s untimely death was not caused by chocolate poisoning. The perpetrator behind Ruby’s death due to kidney failure was the sweetener xylitol.
Since Chacksfield is ailed with chronic fatigue syndrome, her doctors advised her to decrease her sugar intake and use xylitol as an alternative. She has never thought that xylitol, which could help her become healthy again, would bring such tragedy.
Check The Label
Believe it or not, the sweetener can be found in many food products. Be extremely cautious when you feed your pooch with human food. Always take the time to read the ingredients list. Take note of phrases like “no sugar added”, “cavity-free” or “reduced sugar” since these may contain xylitol and become toxic foods for dogs.
Common Food Products Might Contain Xylitol
- Peanut butter
- Candies, chewing gums, and mints
- Baked goods, ice cream, and yoghurt
- Jellies, jams, and syrups
- Ketchup and barbecue sauce
- Fruit drinks
How much Xylitol can kill a dog?
Between 50 mg of xylitol per pound of body weight (100 mg per kg) is the reported deadly dosage of xylitol that can cause hypoglycaemia in a dog. If a higher dose is ingested by the animal, then it is more prone to liver failure.
According to the Pet Poison Hotline, the most prevalent source of xylitol toxicity is sugar-free gums. There are gum brands that have fairly small amounts of xylitol. It can induce fatal hypoglycaemia on a 45-pound pooch if it ingests nine pieces of it.
However, you should be cautious about other popular gum brands. Each piece of gum may contain one gram of xylitol and it would only take two pieces of these gums to cause hypoglycaemia. Ten pieces of gum would result in liver failure.
If a dog has xylitol poisoning, the signs will start to show within eight to thirty minutes. On the other hand, some canines may experience delayed symptoms, which would commonly take up to twelve hours to show.
Other symptoms of xylitol toxicity include diarrhoea, vomiting, low blood sugar and loss of balance and coordination. If not given immediate medical attention, your dog may experience seizures that may eventually lead to a coma.
Most of the human foods that contain xylitol are products that contain additives, sweeteners, and preservatives that may harm your pooch. To keep your pooch safe from food poisoning, you can switch to these healthy human foods dogs can eat:
Eggs contain amino acids that facilitate muscle building, tissue repair and strengthening hair. Also, eggs are excellent sources of calcium that can keep your pooch’s teeth and bones strong.
It is particularly helpful in maintaining your dog’s urinary tract clean and healthy. Pumpkin also regulates digestion that can aid in weight loss if the dog is overweight or obese.
It is one of the healthiest snacks you can give your dog. Carrots contain beta-carotene which can improve your furry companion’s eyesight. It also prevents runny stool and removes the plaque stuck on the dog’s teeth.
- Green Beans
It contains Vitamin K which is crucial for blood clotting process and promotes healthy blood composition. Vitamin C is also present that helps in supporting the dog’s immune system. Green beans can be a low-fat alternative to dog biscuits
It contains lauric acid that drives away diseases and infections like Giardia, influenza, and ringworms. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that can alleviate pain especially on dogs that have arthritis and hasten the healing process.
Act Now Before It’s Too Late
Keep your sweet treats a secure place. Never leave them out on the table or kitchen counters where your dog can potentially access. Don’t take any chances because carelessness may cost you your dog’s life.