Briana Hansen
May 15, 2016 11:40 am
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You might want to think twice before giving your sweet dog that sweet treat. A new study by the Food and Drug Administration discovered that xylitol (a very common artificial sweetener found in lots of everyday items) could be fatal to your pup.

Xylitol is found in all sorts of “sugar-free” sweet products, including gum, breath mints, chewable vitamins, and baked goods. In humans, ingesting xylitol does not seem to have any adverse affects. But, it’s different for man’s best friend. When dogs have this substance, it immediately goes into their bloodstream and causes their liver to produce high levels of insulin. Those high levels of insulin can cause hypoglycemia, which is extremely low blood sugar. And if hypoglycemia is left untreated (or not treated quickly enough), it can be fatal for Fido.

And Xylitol is not just found in foods the above listed foods. It can make its way into lots of other foods (including some brands of your dog’s favorite treat, peanut butter) so always be sure and check labels. It’s also in cough syrup, mouthwash, and toothpaste. The FDA recommends you keep an eye out for some telltale signs that your dog may be suffering from hypoglycemia, which include vomiting, decreased activity, staggering, improper coordination, and collapsing. Though, TBH, if your dog is showing any of those symptoms at all (even if you don’t think it’s from xylitol) be sure and get to the vet ASAP.

And in case you’re a cat owner wondering if this will also affect your purr-fect feline, the FDA says that there is not yet any conclusive evidence this substance has the same reaction in cats. Then again, most cats aren’t big fans of sweets anyway, so they tend not to be as in as much danger of ingesting it.

None of this is meant to scare you! Remember: Knowledge is power. Being aware that this common sweetener could have an adverse affect on your dog’s health can help you to protect your furry buddy from ever having to be in danger of ingesting it. Just be sure to read the labels, keep the bad items out of your dog’s reach, and always be on the lookout for signs that something might be wrong.

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