Is Xylitol Safe for Dogs?

By Elsie Goycoolea. Updated: January 16, 2017
Is Xylitol Safe for Dogs?

When you buy or adopt a pet you are essentially adding a new member to your family. It is very easy to become highly attached to your pet to the point where you start feeding your pet human food. It is a common mistake to think that animals can be feed the same foods that we humans eat over and over again. Not only pets need a special diet in order to address their own vitamin and mineral needs; but you also want to make sure that there aren’t any potential harmful ingredients in the food that they eat. Xylitol may be safe for human consumption; but reports are warning that xylitol may be harmful for pets.

In this OneHowTo article we answer the question: is xylitol safe for dogs?

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Safe human foods for dogs

It doesn’t matter how much food you pour into your dog’s food bowl, they will sneakily come to you at dinner time. You then will be tempted to give them a little bit of your food just to keep them happy.

Generally, there are safe human foods for dogs that you can occasionally feed your pet without any major health concerns. These include cooked chicken, salmon, eggs, peanuts, carrots, apple slices and other vegetables.

Is Xylitol Safe for Dogs? - Safe human foods for dogs

Unsafe human foods for dogs

If you never tend to feed your dog human food, it is important that you know that not all human foods can be fed to dogs. Some may cause serious discomfort and other health related issues that you may want to avoid.

Some of the foods that you want to avoid include onions, grapes, garlic, chocolate and xylitol. Yes, chocolate is significantly dangerous for dogs, especially those with a higher cocoa content and if fed to small sized dogs.

Xylitol and dogs

Xylitol is one of the recent additions to the list of harmful foods you shouldn't feed your dog. This sugar alcohol is found in many sweet foods that many people use as treats. It can cause low blood sugar in dogs since xylitol will be easily absorbed into the bloodstream releasing a quick insulin response. This effect doesn’t happen in humans. Other effects may be seizures, organ failure and death.

The symptoms can occur from 10 to 60 minutes after the consumption of the food.

Is Xylitol Safe for Dogs? - Xylitol and dogs

What to do if you accidentally fed xylitol to your dog

The sooner you take action the more likely that you can mitigate the effects. Make sure that you can locate the phone number of your veterinary clinic or the poison control contact details.

Depending on your situation and the symptoms recorded, you may be directed to take on different measures. One of these measures might be to induce your pet’s vomit using your fingers or by feeding your dog a teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide.

If you notice the symptoms subsiding, make sure to book an appointment with your veterinary clinic as soon as possible for a complete checkup of your pet. If possible bring with you the food product with you to see if any other ingredient could have caused any harm.

Is Xylitol Safe for Dogs? - What to do if you accidentally fed xylitol to your dog

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