Xylitol is a sugar substitute that is found in everything from chewing gum to peanut butter to ice cream to toothpaste. It’s often listed under other names, including birch sugar, birch extract, or wood sugar. While considered safe for humans, xylitol is highly poisonous to dogs. If a dog consumes xylitol, blood sugar can drop dangerously low, resulting in seizures, liver failure, and even death.
Common signs of xylitol poisoning include:
- Lack of coordination
If you think your dog has ingested a product containing xylitol, take them to your veterinarian or an animal hospital immediately.
The prevalence of xylitol and a lack of consistent labeling can make it difficult for pet owners to determine which products are safe. Be careful when purchasing products advertised as “sugar-free” or “low sugar,” and keep all questionable items out of your pet’s reach.