Xylitol: Not a sweet idea to give your pet

We understand many people love their fur babies as much as their own kiddos. However, many of our products contain xylitol, which is NOT suitable for pets.

Dogs in particular can have very adverse reactions if consumed. We have this noted on our product packaging to keep your four-legged family members safe however, it’s important for you to understand why we don’t want you sharing our sugar free treats with them.

What is Xylitol?

Xylitol occurs naturally in small amounts in fibrous fruits and vegetables, trees, and even the human body. It is a natural, lower-calorie sugar substitute with a low glycemic index, meaning that consuming it does not cause spikes in blood glucose levels in the body. For this reason, xylitol is a good sugar substitute for people living with diabetes. As an added bonus, it tastes very similar to sugar and is lower in carbohydrates. Perfect for those trying to drop a few kilos or who crave sweets but are forgoing sugar.

Pets process Xylitol differently

Sadly, this is not the case for pets, especially your dog. When dogs ingest xylitol it is absorbed into their bloodstream and their pancreas releases a potent amount of insulin. This rapid release of insulin can be life-threatening to the dog as it dramatically decreases their blood sugar levels causing hypoglycaemia. This is then extremely toxic to a dog and can lead to liver failure depending on the amount ingested.

It doesn’t take much to adversely effect your dog either. One bite could be detrimental. A drop in a dog’s blood sugar can occur from as little as 0.1g xylitol/kg. Approximately 0.5g xylitol/kg is enough to result in a dog’s liver failing.

A dog will show signs of “xylitol poisoning” anywhere from 30 minutes up to 12 hours. They may appear to be tired or weak, have a lack of appetite, vomit, have a significantly increased heart rate, start shaking or even have a seizure.

For the love of your pup, please do not share our treats with them. Be sure to properly store any products with xylitol out of their reach too.

There are common items you may be unaware contain xylitol like; sugar free candies, chocolate, pancake syrup, nut-butters, condiments, protein bars, gums, mints, toothpaste, lotions, deodorants, lip balm and even baby wipes.

Dogs tend to chew on anything they can get their mouth on as we all know, so be very mindful of what is within their reach.

Pet help

If for any reason your fur baby jumps on the counter or steals your sugar free treat when you’re not looking, call your local vet hospital immediately. You can also find out more through the Australian Animal Poisons Centre that opened in December 2019. Visit their website or facebook page for more information.

References:
1. https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/xylitol-toxicity-in-dogs
2. http://www.pethealthnetwork.com/dog-health/dog-toxins-poisons/xylitol-poisoning-dogs-a-deadly-sugar-substitue
3. https://www.petmd.com/dog/emergency/poisoning-toxicity/6-dangerous-and-surprising-items-contain-xylitol
4. https://animalpoisons.com.au/common-poisons/ 
5. https://www.preventivevet.com/xylitol-products-toxic-for-dogs
6. https://www.preventivevet.com/dogs/xylitol-sugar-free-sweetener-dangerous-for-dogs (Downloadable Poster)

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