As a rule of thumb, you should always be careful about what your dog eats. In this article we will discuss a very popular sugar substitute that can be deadly for your four-legged friend, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). What we are referring to is a substance called Xylitol. This is a type of sugar alcohol that is primarily found in sugar-free foods. This substance is safe for humans but can be very dangerous for dogs.
You are probably wondering why Xylitol is so poisonous to dogs. When dogs eat this substance, it is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream and causes a rapid release of insulin, the hormone that helps sugar enter cells. The spike of insulin may cause the dog’s blood levels to reach life-threatening levels, also known as hypoglycemia. The thing about Xylitol is that it does not stimulate the release of insulin.
The signs of Xylitol poisoning in dogs include vomiting, weakness, difficulty walking or standing, seizures, and coma. There are multiple ways in which you can help protect your dog against Xylitol poisoning. Check food labels – especially if the products are labeled “sugar free” or “low sugar”. If you suspect that your four-legged friend has eaten something with Xylitol in it, we suggest that you contact your veterinarian immediately.