Xylitol Can Kill Your Dog: Know Where It Can Be Hiding

Xylitol is way deadlier than chocolate, yet awareness of this dog toxin is much lower.

Do you know what xylitol is and how dangerous it is for your dog? The lack of awareness makes this poison even more dangerous. At the same time, more and more products contain this [invisible] artificial sweetener.

Does your dog like peanut butter? Do you know to check the ingredients list? Yes, these days, some peanut butters contain xylitol too.

Xylitol Can Kill Your Dog: Know Where It Can Be Hiding Xylitol Can Kill Your Dog: Xylitol vs. Chocolate toxicity infographic

Dr. Jason Nicholas of the Preventive Vet created a great infographic showing how much more chocolate than xylitol-containing sugar-free gum it takes to likely kill a dog.

It takes only a tiny amount of xylitol to cause life-threatening toxicity.

Xylitol Can Kill Your Dog: Xylitol vs. Chocolate toxicity infographic
Xylitol vs. chocolate toxicity infographic. Image Preventive Vet

Xylitol poisoning

Xylitol poisoning cases are on the rise because xylitol is making its way into more and more products. Even fish oil supplements made for people can contain xylitol.

Pretty soon the question isn’t going to be what products contain xylitol, but rather a search for the few that don’t. 

I remember my shock when we bought melatonin for Jasmine and found that it also had xylitol in it. Yes, many medications and supplements are now artificially sweetened too.

Why would anybody need their fish oil pill to taste sweet beats me. In the old days, medications tasted horribly. They were supposed to taste horribly. Somehow it added to the feeling that they are really helping. And nobody was taking medication unless they were really sick. What was wrong with that?

We all knew about the chewing gum. At least I hope we all do.

Products containing xylitol

You can find xylitol in toothpaste, breath fresheners, dental floss, mints, mouth sprays, and washes … xylitol also apparently has some plaque-fighting action and it is included even in some pet dental products.

And just when you thought you couldn’t be shocked anymore, you find out that xylitol can also be found in baby wipes, baby diapers, nose & face wipes, mints, sunscreen, chapsticks, and make-up products.

Product groups that now contain xylitol include:

  • candies, gum, and mints
  • chocolate
  • peanut and nut butters
  • dental and nasal products
  • medications, vitamins, supplements and oils
  • honey
  • cookies, desserts, mixes, ice cream and yogurt
  • jams and syrups
  • condiments and sauces
  • water and drink powders
  • power and protein bars and powders
  • cosmetics and hair care
  • body and face care
  • clothing
  • and more

For complete, detailed list, see Which Products Contain Xylitol?

It’s the xylitol apocalypse for our dogs. Read labels on everything. Read them carefully.

Related articles:
Is Xylitol Ingestion an Emergency?
Xylitol Poisoning in Dogs: What Happens In The Dog’s Body with Xylitol Poisoning

Further reading:
Xylitol: The “sugar-free” sweetener your dog NEEDS you to know about
Which Products Contain Xylitol? Here’s a List!
What Kind of Peanut Butter is Safe for Dogs?

Categories: ConditionsPoisoningXylitol poisoning

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Jana Rade

I am a graphic designer, dog health advocate, writer, and author. Jasmine, the Rottweiler of my life, was the largest female from her litter. We thought we were getting a healthy dog. Getting a puppy from a backyard breeder was our first mistake. Countless veterinary visits without a diagnosis or useful treatment later, I realized that I had to take Jasmine's health care in my own hands. I learned the hard way that merely seeing a vet is not always enough. There is more to finding a good vet than finding the closest clinic down the street. And, sadly, there is more to advocating for your dog's health than visiting a veterinarian. It should be enough, but it often is not. With Jasmine, it took five years to get a diagnosis. Unfortunately, other problems had snowballed for that in the meantime. Jasmine's health challenges became a crash course in understanding dog health issues and how to go about getting a proper diagnosis and treatment. I had to learn, and I had to learn fast. Helping others through my challenges and experience has become my mission and Jasmine's legacy. I now try to help people how to recognize and understand signs of illness in their dogs, how to work with their veterinarian, and when to seek a second opinion. My goal is to save others the steep curve of having to learn things the hard way as I did. That is the mission behind my blog and behind my writing. That is why I wrote Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog, which has turned out being an award-winning guide to dog owners. What I'm trying to share encompasses 20 years of experience.

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