FDA warns of common artificial sweetener that poses deadly risk to dogs

Photo: Shutterstock/Chendongshan

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has an important warning for dog owners.

Tuesday, the FDA issued an update about the potential dangers for dogs if they consume xylitol, a common artificial sweetener.

Although the sweetener is safe for humans, it can be deadly to pets.

Sugarless gum may contain xylitol, a class of sweetener known as sugar alcohol. Other sweetened sugar-free candy, such as mints and chocolate bars may have xylitol.

Other products that may contain xylitol include:

  • breath mints
  • baked goods
  • cough syrup
  • children’s and adult chewable vitamins
  • mouthwash
  • toothpaste
  • some peanut and nut butters
  • over-the-counter medicines
  • dietary supplements
  • sugar-free desserts, including "skinny" ice cream

Xylitol can cause a deadly drop in your dog's blood sugar level. Other symptoms of xylitol poisoning include vomiting, decreased activity, staggering, collapse and seizures.

Experts recommend checking labels for xylitol, especially if the products are sugar-free or low sugar.

If a product contains xylitol, the FDA warns pet owners to make sure it's out of their dog's reach.

If you suspect your dog may have eaten something containing xylitol, take your pet to the vet immediately.

For more information from the FDA, click here.

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