Have you heard of xylitol and the dangers it can pose to dogs?
Xylitol (also known as Birch Sugar) is an artificial sweetener used in a variety of products such as sugar-free chewing gum, toothpaste, mouthwash, vitamin supplements, some peanut butter products and other low sugar or sugar-free products. It's a common sugar substitute that can be toxic to dogs, even in small amounts.
How can xylitol be deadly to dogs?
When a dog ingests xylitol it can cause hypoglycemia (lower than normal blood sugar levels). Their pancreas confuses it with real sugar, releasing more insulin, the insulin removes the real sugar which leads to plummeting blood sugar levels.
Your dog could also suffer from liver failure but the reasons that xylitol can cause this aren't as well known.
What can you do?
As with most things, prevention is the best and easiest solution. It's so important to read the ingredients of the food you give to your dog before buying it and double-check before giving it to them.
Peanut butter is a common Kong and Toppl filler and something many people have the best intentions giving their dog but could be deadly if it contains xylitol.
If you or anyone else in your home enjoys gum remember a common sugar-free substitute for gum brands is xylitol (also known as BIrch Sugar). So keep those packages away from your dog and be responsible when disposing of your used chewing gum and make sure your dog can't access it.
As always if your dog isn't acting normal, especially if you suspect they've ingested xylitol, it's important to get them to a vet to be assessed and treated as soon as possible. Getting your dog to the vet for treatment ASAP after xylitol ingestion is important as it's absorbed into the bloodstream rapidly. Bring the product packing with you (if possible) and don't delay going to get as delaying treatment can cause irreversible damage, complications, or even increase the chances of the xylitol poisoning becoming fatal.