Sugar Sweetener Could Harm Dogs

By: Stacy Berman
By: Stacy Berman

October 3, 2006

If you give your dog food meant for people, there is a new warning for you. Certain human foods containing the sugar additive xylitol can be deadly to dogs.

Xylitol is a sugar alcohol found in most sugar free chewing gums, toothpaste, candy, and various other products. When a dog ingests food containing this additive, symptoms can appear in as little as 30 to 60 minutes.

"The first symptom would probably be in coordination and weakness and the next symptom would be flat out seizing", explained Dr. Richard Freedman, a veterinarian at the Albemarle Veterinary Health Care Center.

Dr. Freedman adds that people should avoid feeding their dogs’ human food because even a small amount of xylitol ingested could be deadly.

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