Why xylitol is bad for your pets

Xylitol is an artificial sweetener found in various human products and is extremely dangerous for most animals. Even the smallest amount can cause low blood sugar, liver failure and even seizures in dogs and cats. In higher doses, xylitol can be fatal.

Hidden danger

Always read the labels carefully and look specifically for sweeteners and xylitol, which are usually found in sugar-free drinks, chewing gum, snacks and certain food. Sugar-free peanut butter is a big culprit and normally contains xylitol. This is a huge danger for dogs when consumed. Also look for other related phrases, like ‘reduced sugar’, ‘diabetic-friendly’ or ‘no sugar added’.

Research has shown that xylitol is not only found in human sugar-free snacks and beverages, it also ‘hides’ in other products, like toothpaste. Other products that you would never have expected to contain xylitol include shaving cream, vitamins and medication, and even deodorant.

If there are any products containing xylitol in your home, place them out of your pet’s reach. Rather be safe than sorry – you never know when your cat or dog might decide to explore normally no-go areas and may come across a product with xylitol in it.

Ask visitors to place their handbags out of your pets’ reach as well, especially if your visitors have chewing gum, mints or other products that contain xylitol in their bags.

For more informative articles like this one, get the latest copy of Animaltalk magazine at www.coolmags.co.za.

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