6 Dangerous (and Surprising) Items That Contain Xylitol

Victoria Heuer
Sep 23, 2016
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Xylitol in Baked Goods

xylitol, baked food, bakery food, dog

Because packaged xylitol can be bought in bulk at many food stores, baked foods are becoming a more common source of canine health emergencies. “It’s a good option for diabetics who like to bake,” she says. Similarly, you might find some already-made baked goods containing xylitol at bakeries and specialty stores. And because cupcakes and cookies have a lot more sweetener in them than mouthwash, a pet that consumes a baked good packed with xylitol is in danger of facing a life-threatening situation.

“You need to call your vet or the Pet Poison Helpline immediately,” Brutlag says. “Give them as much information as you can. Depending on the severity, they may suggest feeding [the dog] syrup or honey—something sweet to help keep their blood sugar up temporarily while you drive to seek emergency help.”

Xylitol in Sugar-free Groceries

xylitol, dog

Xylitol is found in trace amounts in many fruits and vegetables, but because it’s occurring naturally and in such small amounts in these cases, it’s hardly ever a problem for pets, Brutlag says.

On the other hand, many grocery stores have started carrying sugar-free foods like ketchup, peanut butter, protein bars, pudding, and more that contain xylitol as one of their primary ingredients. Harmon even says there is a brand called Zapp! that manufactures condiments, sauces, and other groceries that are marketed primarily on their being made with xylitol. “In this case, it’s very clearly labeled,” she says, “but in most other instances, you’ll need to check the ingredients list on the label to know if something sugar-free is made with xylitol or some other substitute.” And in some cases, products that are not labeled as sugar-free still contain xylitol. It is important to always carefully read the entire ingredient list of any food before giving it to your dog.

Next: Xylitol in Medications and Body Care Products

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