What exactly is xylitol and why is it dangerous for dogs? Xylitol is a sugar substitute that is found in many human foods. It is not dangerous for people to ingest so generally we don’tthink twice about it when we are purchasing our food. It is being used much more frequently and in a larger variety of products than in the past.
In dogs xylitol can cause hypoglycemia (a sudden drop in blood sugar) and more recently has been found to cause acute hepatic necrosis (liver failure). This happens when a dog ingests very large quantities of xylitol. Small amounts generally have no significant effect on a dog. The main concern is the amount of human food that xylitol is being added to. One of the biggest foods that dogs tend to ingest is peanut butter. Not all brands contain xylitol but be sure to check the ingredients since many people tend to give medications to their dog hidden in peanut butter. Some other non-food products that many have xylitol in them are: antihistamines, fish oils, melatonin and vitamin B12. Many different types of gum will contain xylitol as well.
If you have any questions or concerns about xylitol and your dog please do not hesitate to call our office at 410-848-3100.