By Miriam Raftery
July 12, 2019 (Washington D.C.) – Xylitol can kill a dog in just 10 to 60 minutes, or symptoms may occur up to 24 hours after ingestion. The U.S. Food & Drug Administration has issued a warning to pet owners to avoid any products with xylitol and to seek immediate emergency veterinary care if a dog or a ferret consume anproduct containing it.
Xylitol, a class of sweetener known as sugar alcohol that’s used in sugarless gum, baked goods such as cakes, muffins or pies sometimes sold as safe for diabetics, sugar-free desserts such as “skinny” ice cream, some peanut and nut butters, mints, toothpaste, chewable vitamins and supplements, mouthwash, cough syrup and some over-the-counter medications.
While xylitol is considered safe for humans, xylitol is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream of dogs as well asferrets, triggering a potentially fatal release of insulin from the pancreas causing extreme hypoglycemia, or increased blood sugar.
Always check labels for xylitol before giving it to your pet, especially in products advertised as sugar-free or low in sugar. Keep all products with xylitol out of pets reach and remember that pets may access items in an open purse or backpack, or on a countertop.
If your dog accidentally consumes even a small amount of a product with xylitol, call your veterinarian or poison control center immediately.
If your pet as harmful effects after swallowing a product with xylitol,it’s also important to report it to the FDA Safety Reporting Portal. You can also report problems with human food products at the same link.
Help protect dogs by displaying this flyer (PDF 1.3 MB) in animal shelters, pet stores and veterinary clinics in your neighborhood.