Be aware: Sugarless foods, candies and gum contain Xylitol.

What is Xylitol?  Xylitol is an alcohol used as a sugar substitute for its sweetness in diet and diabetic-friendly foods. It’s in your sugarless gum, sugarless mints, and sugarless desserts like pudding.  Xylitol is safe for us but very toxic to your pets, especially dogs. Even a small amount can be lethal.

How can xylitol affect your pets?  Xylitol causes a life-threatening drop in blood sugar, followed by severe liver damage.  Because Xylitol is quickly absorbed – it can enter a dog’s blood stream within 15 minutes of consumption!   A single stick of gum can cause life threatening problems for a small dog and one pack of gum can kill a large dog.  Even when caught early, treating xylitol toxicity requires close monitoring for 72 hours, which may be expensive and is not always successful.

Protect your pet—keep sugarless products out of reach.  Beware of purses and book bags because dogs can often smell the gum and may go searching through such areas to find the source of that yummy smell. Lastly, be aware of what human tid-bits your dog is getting.  If the product is labeled sugarless, then most likely it contains xylitol.  If in doubt about whether a product contains xylitol, wait to feed it and always check the label!