Do you share your tasty grub, like candies, cookies, and other sweet treats, with your dog? Beware! An in-demand sugar substitute called xylitol is highly poisonous to dogs.
Although it has no detrimental effect on humans, this sweetener can result in a swift death for a canine if ingested.
In fact, even a small amount of xylitol is considered a deadly dosage to dogs. This toxic food sweetener can cause liver failure, leading to death.
Alarming Cases of Xylitol Toxicity in Dogs
In 2016, the Veterinary Poisons Information Service (VPIS) reported that in the UK, there were more than 250 cases of xylitol poisoning in pets.
Most of them were about dogs ingesting xylitol-laced chewing gums. There may be more cases of xylitol poisoning in dogs, but they may have been unreported.
Another Tragic Ending of Xylitol Poisoning in Dogs
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 dog to the pet hospital, but sadly it was too late. There was no way to save seven-year-old Ruby’s life.
The appalling news that Chacksfield heard was that her dog’s untimely death was not caused by chocolate poisoning. The perpetrator behind the Vizsla dog’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 had never thought that xylitol, which could help her become healthy again, would bring such tragedy to her and her dog.
Check the Label
Believe it or not, the sweetener can be found in many food products. Be extremely cautious when buying snacks, as some of them might seem harmless to dogs but could contain xylitol.
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
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How Much Xylitol Can Kill a Dog?
Between 50 milligrams of xylitol per pound of body weight (100 milligrams per kilogram) 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 in dogs is sugar-free gums. There are gum brands that have fairly small amounts of xylitol. It can induce fatal hypoglycaemia in a 20.4-kilo (45-pound) dog if it ingests 9 pieces of it.
However, you should be cautious about other popular gum brands. Each piece of gum may contain 1 gram of xylitol, and it would only take 2 pieces of these gums to cause hypoglycaemia in dogs. 10 pieces of gum would result in liver failure.
If a dog has xylitol poisoning, the signs will start to show within 8 to 30 minutes. On the other hand, some canines may experience delayed symptoms, which would commonly take up to 12 hours to show.
Other symptoms of xylitol toxicity in dogs 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 lead to a coma.
Most human foods containing xylitol contain additives, sweeteners, and preservatives that may harm your dog. To keep your pet safe from food poisoning, you can switch to these healthy human foods that dogs can eat:
- EggsEggs contain amino acids that facilitate muscle building, tissue repair, and strengthening hair. Also, eggs are excellent sources of calcium, which can keep your dog’s teeth and bones strong.
- PumpkinPumpkin is particularly helpful in maintaining your dog’s urinary tract clean and healthy. Pumpkin also regulates digestion, which can aid in weight loss if the dog is overweight or obese.
- CarrotsThis is one of the healthiest snacks you can give to your dog. Carrots contain beta-carotene, which can improve your furry companion’s eyesight. It also prevents runny stool and removes plaque on the dog’s teeth.
- Green Beans
Green beans contain vitamin K, which is crucial for blood clotting and promotes healthy blood composition.
Vitamin C is also present, which helps in supporting the dog’s immune system. Green beans can be a low-fat alternative to dog biscuits.
Act Now Before It Is Too Late
Keep your sweet treats, especially those with xylitol, out of your dog’s reach. Store them in a secure place, such as inside the fridge or on a high kitchen shelf.
Never leave snacks out on the table or kitchen counters where your dog can potentially access them. Do not take any chances because carelessness may cost your dog’s life.