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Artificial Sweeteners Are Toxic to Dogs

Xylitol content in biscuits and cakes can induce marked hypoglycaemia.

Are artificial sweeteners such as Xylitol capable of killing your dog?

Xylitol content in biscuits and cakes can induce marked hypoglycaemia. Artificial sweeteners such as xylitol are harmful to your dog. It takes very little xylitol to cause signs of toxicity to dogs. The British Veterinary Association (BVA) has carried out an informative campaign for dog owners about the dangers caused by artificial sweeteners such as xylitol. It is considered harmless to humans, but dangerous for dogs if ingested, because it induces an immediate release of insulin, which can lead to a marked hypoglycemia and cause liver injury. Xylitol is used increasingly as a sweetener in food products without sugar, dental hygiene products, and as an ingredient in many pharmaceutical products. Of particular concern for the dog are the sugar substitutes xylitol-containing products used in industrial baking and desserts. Cakes, cookies and other desserts made with this artificial sweetener are highly toxic to the dog. The owner is often not aware of the danger and cannot associate any clinical problem (eg, vomiting, incoordination) to the ingestion of these foods. It is not known, but it is possible that other animals like cats and ferrets to be similarly at risk. This is another example, says the BVA, of a food or a food additive considered safe for humans, but dangerous for other species. - Maria Grazia Monzeglio Med Vet PhD

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