There are certain foods that are notoriously fatal for dogs, such as chocolate, onions, and garlic. But now the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning the 46.3 million households in the U.S. with dogs to avoid feeding their pups anything containing the artificial sweetener xylitol, as it can be potentially fatal for pooches.
The FDA’s recent consumer warning release explained that xylitol can effectively disrupt the insulin production of dogs. After being consumed, the xylitol is absorbed into the dog’s bloodstream at a rapid pace. This results in a quick release of insulin from the pancreas, resulting in an extreme drop in blood sugar levels.
If left untreated, the effects can quickly turn life-threatening.
Xylitol is a sugar alcohol that is famous for its ultrasweet taste and calorie-free nature. It is often found in processed “diet” foods, including diet sodas, candies, baked goods, and other sugar free caffeine drinks. It can also be found in breath mints, cough syrup and chewable vitamins.
For dogs, the effect of ingesting xylitol can occur anywhere between 10 and 60 minutes after consumption.
According to Nature World News, common symptom of xylitol poisoning include vomiting, apparent sign of loss in blood sugar, weakness, collapse, and seizures.
A recent report released by CBS News states that ASPCA’s Animal Control Center has records of more than 3,700 xylitol-related calls in 2014. Meanwhile, in 2004, the ASPCA only received 82 calls.
As the increase in xylitol poisoning continues to spike at an alarming rate, the FDA is advising dog owners to check the labels of treats and foods before feeding them to dogs. Dog owners should also avoid using human toothpaste on dogs, as it often contains xylitol. Finally, the FDA advises dog owners to keep xylitol in high and hard to reach areas of the home.