Xylitol is a naturally occurring sugar that can be found in fruits and vegetables and can prove fatal to pets. It can also be found in creamy desserts like sugar-free pudding, pie filling, and yogurt. Peanut butter is often what we think of first because dogs love peanut butter.
Promoted as a way to control cavities, xylitol has also been added to many products for it’s supposed health benefits. We all need to make it a daily habit of reading labels, not just for ourselves but for our pets.
An article in Petful.com states
“Xylitol poisoning in pets results in a rapid increase in insulin, which leads to a drop in blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Depending on the dose ingested, clinical signs of hypoglycemia can include vomiting, difficulty walking, weakness and lethargy. Severe signs include collapse and seizures.
With higher doses, xylitol toxicity can also cause severe, irreversible liver damage.”
A list of foods containing xylitol can be found here. Two foods that caught my attention are peanut butter and some brands of yogurt. Toothpaste is another product that may contain xylitol and is why toothpaste for humans shouldn’t be used on pets.
I realize not many cats would eat peanut butter but even a lick to determine whether the cat approves of the taste could be enough to poison. I was particularly interested when I read that yogurt may contain xylitol. My cats love yogurt (just a small taste) so I’m definitely a label reader when it comes to food.
The sweetener can be found in sugar-free pudding mix, some yogurts and several brands of ice cream. I don’t know about all of you, but my cats will try to sneak a taste of anything creamy and sweet.
Xylitol poisoning isn’t something to play around with. If you suspect your pet has consumed the product, don’t get on Facebook and ask what to do. Get to the vet IMMEDIATELY!