Xylitol is a natural, sugar-free sweetener that is found in many gelatin snacks – just like those that are so often handed out to trick-or-treaters on Halloween. Unfortunately, despite it tasting delicious to us, it int something that is safe for your dog to eat. If you have a canine pal, you must take extra care to ensure he doesn’t get his paws into your candy bowls. Similarly, you must make sure that people who visit your home understand that they can’t share their goodies with your dog.
Here are the three most important reasons to keep your dog well away from the treat bowls this Halloween.
Xylitol is seriously toxic to dogs
While Xylitol may have little effect on us as humans, this common substance is seriously toxic to dogs. Ingesting it will most often cause your canine to experience hypoglycaemia aka low blood sugar. This is because your dog’s body will confuse it with real sugar and as such, will release more insulin. This insulin will remove real sugar from your dog’s blood and cause his blood sugar level to drop drastically. In some cases, a dog that consumes Xylitol will enter sudden liver failure. It is not known exactly what causes this, but the results are often life-threatening.
Symptoms of Xylitol poisoning include:
Only a small amount can do a lot of harm
One of the biggest errors that many pet owners tend to make is assuming that a little of a substance might not do their pet any harm. However, when it comes to Xylitol, even a small amount can cause serious harm or even death. This is especially true if your dog is on the small side. In some instances, even one stick of chewing gum could make your canine pal seriously sick. Since Xylitol poisoning is very fast, it is essential that you get your pet to the doctors as soon as you realize that he has consumed something containing Xylitol.
Xylitol can cause your dog to need extensive and expensive treatment
If you get to your vet fairly quickly, it may be possible to induce vomiting that will reduce the likelihood of the Xylitol causing any serious damage to your dog’s body. You may also avoid some of the more extensive and expensive treatments which may be required, such as intravenous fluids, antibiotics, blood transfusions and overnight care. In addition, if your dog’s liver has been affected then there could be irreversible damage to his liver function.
And something else to consider…
Xylitol is found in many different products and not always the ones that we expect. In addition to sugar free gum, mints and candy, Xylitol can also be found in:
- Packaged goods and baking mixes. This includes things like Jell-o, ice cream, yoghurt and cake, cookie and pudding mixes.
- Jams, syrups, honey and other condiments.
- Protein bars and powders.
- Flavored water and drink powders.
- Some peanut butter and nut butter brands.
- Dental products such as toothpaste and mouthwash.
- Some medicines.
- Some pacifier and wipes and bottle wipes.
For this reason, it is always worth checking all of your products for traces of Xylitol so that you can seek medical attention for your dog quickly, should be consume anything containing it.
If you would like further information about the importance of keeping your dog away from products containing Xylitol this Halloween, please do not hesitate to contact our offices in Cedar Park, TX.