Dear Daisy Dog
A story circulating on the Internet claims that xylitol, a sugar substitute, is toxic to dogs. Is the story true, or is it just another hoax?
It’s true. Xylitol, a natural sugar alcohol, is used to sweeten many sugar-free gums, candies, breath fresheners, toothpastes and diet supplements intended for you humans.
Mom refuses to let me eat anything made with xylitol, because dogs that consume it risk life-threatening side effects.
When we dogs ingest xylitol, it is absorbed into our blood, where it raises the level of insulin – which lowers blood sugar.
Within 30 minutes, blood sugar levels fall so low that dogs become weak, lose coordination, collapse and develop seizures.
In addition, some dogs develop liver failure two to five days after xylitol ingestion.
The toxic dose is unknown, so it’s best for us dogs to avoid xylitol completely.
If your dog does eat a xylitol-containing product, call your veterinarian immediately.
By the way, because you humans don’t absorb xylitol, you don’t experience these problems.