Sugar substitutes are everywhere and they’ve gained the reputation of being the safe alternative when it comes to humans craving from something extra sweet. However, such case does not duly apply with dogs.
The Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) recently released a public warning that invokes pet owners to be extra careful when it comes to foods that have xylitol.
Xylitol is a common sugar substitute that can be found in jams, chewing gums, breath mints, sugar-free candy, and even peanut butter. Dogs love peanut butter so pet owners must be really aware of this ingredient.
This warning came about due to numbers of reports that have piled up over the years involving the poisoning of dogs that have eaten foods containing xylitol.
Most of the poison reports had dogs that consumed sugar-free gums. But the FDA elaborated how xylitol content is not limited to sugar-free gums. It can also be found on baked goods and sugar-free ice cream.
What makes xylitol extremely dangerous is the kind of reaction that it triggers in a dog’s body. Once consumed, dogs quickly absorb xylitol in their bloodstream. Upon absorption, it causes a massive and fast release of insulin. Insulin is the hormone that allows sugars to enter cells.
It is the insulin spike that causes great threat to a dog’s life as it causes hypoglycemia.
Xylitol is safe for humans as it does not induce the release of insulin.
Dogs that are experiencing xylitol poisoning show the following symptoms: weakness, vomiting, difficulty in standing and walking, coma, and seizures. Symptoms often occur within 15 to 30 minutes after consumptions. If not acted upon, death occurs in an hour.
So do make sure to always check the ingredients of the foods that you allow your dog to consume. Be extra careful with sugar-free foods. Always check the label