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249 Waverley Road, Mount Waverley, VIC 3149

Xylitol – A Silent “Sweet” Poison for Dogs

Humans are always striving to find a way to placate our sweet tooths while trying to not blow apart our waist lines.

Artificial Sweeteners have become an almost staple part of our lives as we try and reduce the amount of sugar we consume.

But did you know, Xylitol, one of the most common used, can be very dangerous to dogs?

What is Xylitol?

Xylitol is a common artificial sweetener that is found in everything from Lollies and Chewing Gum, Tooth Pastes, even some low glycemic baked goods. There are more products with Xylitol that you may not expect, like low sugar spreads – INCLUDING PEANUT BUTTER!

We humans can tolerate it just fine.

But dogs, can not…

How does Xylitol cause problems?

It is believed that when dogs eat Xylitol, it can stimulate the pancreas to release a huge amount of insulin, causing a massive and dangerous drop in blood sugar levels.

With low blood sugar, the dogs can seizure, pass into a coma, and possibly die.

At higher levels, Xylitol can cause damage to the liver, and bleeding problems, which carry a poor prognosis.

How do I know if something has Xylitol in it?

We are lucky that we can look at ingredients lists to see what artificial additives have been put in our foods.

Looking at the numbers helps us know what we are eating.

Xylitol’s number is 967 .

(Found at the

Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code – Schedule 8 – Food additive names and code numbers (for statement of ingredients) website if you’re really interested).

If a food has this additive – KEEP IT AWAY FROM YOUR DOG!

What do I do if my dog has eaten something with Xylitol?

We make your dog vomit straight away, and monitor closely for signs of low glucose, liver damage and clotting problems.

How much Xylitol is a dangerous amount for a dog?

Not much…

Only 50-100mg/kg (ie a 10kg dog would only need 1g!) will potentially cause low blood sugar.

In Larger quantities 500mg/kg (ie a 10kg dog eating 5g!) will cause severe liver disease and bleeding problems.

So what is safe?

Easy peasy – avoid anything that has artificial sweeteners.

If you use Peanut Butter or Jam in your dogs Kong treats, use ones that contain no additives!

And if you use Xylitol at home in your home cooking (for Jams, Breads etc) – make sure you keep it safe and right away from your dog!

If you have any other questions, give us a call on (03)98079222, or email on