The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns pet owners about the dangers of a sugar substitute called ‘xylitol’ that is found in human foods and some health products on Tuesday.
Xylitol is often used in foods such as nut butters, sugar-free desserts, chewable vitamins, mouthwash and toothpaste, among others.
FDA recently published a video that warns pet owners about xylitol and reminding them to check the label of any human food or even dog treats before giving them to their animal companions. For example, make sure gums in your bag is properly sealed, so your dogs can’t get to it. Toothpastes and mouthwash must be placed on the counter where it is impossible for dogs to reach.
“Today’s Consumer Update and video designed to increase awareness among dog owners that xylitol can be dangerous and deadly, and that dogs who eat it need immediate veterinary care,” Lindsay Haake, FDA spokesperson, told USA Today in an email.
Other foods that may contain xylitol are the following:
- breath mints
- Sugarless gum
- baked goods
- cough syrup
- children’s and adult chewable vitamins
- some peanut and nut butters
- over-the-counter medicines
- dietary supplements
- sugar-free desserts, including “skinny” ice cream
If you think your dog has eaten any food that contains xylitol, get them to a veterinarian immediately. Here are the signs of xylitol poisoning:
- difficulty walking or standing
- depression or lethargy