Why Dog Lovers Hate Xylitol
Xylitol Toxic to Dogs ! While cruising the aisles at the natural foods market recently, I nearly collapsed in a heap when I realized that you can buy WHOLE BOXES of xylitol (a sugar-free sweetener) to use at home -- in baking and whatnot. I'd always thought the biggest risks to dogs (since xylitol is super toxic to dogs) was from food makers including xylitol in their products and not being particularly forthcoming about it and seemingly not giving a rat's @$$ that it's dangerous to dogs. Apparently, though, you can buy a whole box of death. Yikes!
Best Xylitol Information for Dog Lovers
I won't even try to recreate the exceptional resources for dog-lovers posted on the Preventive Vet site about xylitol and dogs, including the most comprehensive list of products containing xylitol. It's even used in some skincare products and clothing. Don't ask me why!
I will say, however, that I will not allow anything in my home that contains xylitol. Period. I've returned packs of gum to the store after getting it home and realizing it contained xylitol.
Be really careful if you carry gum or mints yourself or if you find any on the ground when you are running around town with your dogs. Other people might not know about how dangerous xylitol is for dogs, and they could easily drop something.
Biggest Mistake When Looking for Xylitol in Products
Now that I need reading glasses (in addition to my contacts), it's a lot harder for me to read the ingredient lists on food packages -- especially if I don't have my reading glasses with me in stores.
And, recently, while skimming a pack of gum for xylitol, I came to the word ASPERTAME. It's also a sugar-free sweetener, and I made the MISTAKE of thinking that means there was NO xylitol in the gum.
I was wrong. Xylitol was a couple lines down on the list of ingredients AFTER the aspertame.
Even if you find another sweetener listed in the list of ingredients, KEEP READING because the product may still contain xylitol.
That Big Box of Death
It still kind of astounds me that you can get a half-pound box of xylitol -- big box of death for dogs -- without any warnings required.
My long-time dentist recently touted the benefits of xylitol for human dental health in his patient newsletter, and I immediately emailed him to say ... Um, it's freaking deadly for dogs, so be sure your clients know that too.
So, if any of your friends are on a new low-sugar kick in the New Year and bring xylitol into their homes inside products or in bulk, I beg you to alert them to the dangers to dogs. Thanks so much!