The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is reminding consumers that xylitol is highly toxic to dogs.
Xylitol is a naturally occuring alcohol found in plant materials. It is as sweet as suger, but contains 40% fewer calories.
In humans, xylitol does not raise blood sugar levels, nor does it trigger insulin production. It is used as an artificial sweetener in toothpastes, cough syrups, mouthwash, sugar-free gums, breath mints, sugar-free nut butters, and other sugar-free food products.
While safe for human consumption, xylitol is highly dangerous to dogs, whose metabolism is different from that of humans. The sweetener is absorbed rapidly into a dog’s bloodstream, triggering a potent release of insulin from the pancreas.