Xylitol and Dogs

Since the release of a report on xylitol and dogs published in the October 1, 2006 issue of the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), Xlear has regularly been asked about the company's position on the sweetener as it relates to man's best friend. Reports and articles about xylitol and dogs have propagated across the Internet during the past year.

Xlear does not recommend that xylitol-containing products be given to pets, especially dogs. Xlear encourages its customers to keep these products away from their pets. We recognize that pet owners are concerned about the health of their “best friends” and we have published the following list of frequently asked questions.

Common Questions About Xylitol

  • What is xylitol?
  • Is Xylitol Safe For Dogs?
  • Is Xylitol Safe for Humans?
  • Why don't you include Xylitol warning labels on your packaging?
  • How does xylitol affect dogs?
  • How much xylitol is too much for my dog?
  • What products are not safe for my pets?
  • What do I do if I think my pet has eaten some of my xylitol produts?

What is xylitol?

Xylitol is a natural sweetener derived from natural sources. It is also produced in the human body as a by-product of a normal metabolism. Commercially, the most common source is corn stalks and corn cobs. While it is possible to derive it from sources like birch bark or other hardwoods, this is rarely done now since the process is so chemically invasive and expensive.

The quality of our material is the highest possible. It is a pharmaceutical grade and must exceed 99.5% pure. It is made from non-GMO (non-genetically modified organism) corn fibers. It does not contain any of the corn grain and it is tested to ensure that no corn allergens, mycotoxins, or corn proteins of any type are in the product.

 

Is Xylitol Safe For Dogs?

While the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has reported that xylitol may be toxic for dogs, in the cases that have been reported throughout the news, there were a number of factors that may have caused the dogs to be ill. In one case, a pet ate "100 pieces of Dr. Atkins sugar-free gum," which contained xylitol, as well as aspartame.

Another example in the October JAVMA report, which studied eight cases from 2003-2005, referenced a dog that had "eaten four large, chocolate-frosted muffins that contained about one pound of xylitol."

We agree that additional studies need to be conducted on the effects of xylitol and dogs. That said, we are concerned about advocating further studies, as sacrificing the animals following the studies has been the common practice in order to better understand the effects of xylitol on a dog's internal organs. Dog owners know their dogs best, and will know when their pets need care.

We recommend that dog owners pay attention to what their dogs eat. There are a number of products that have been tested and proven to be bad for dogs. We encourage dog owners and health conscious consumers alike to learn more about xylitol at Xlear.com. Xlear does not make products for dogs, nor do we recommend dog owners give their dogs xylitol or any other food designated for human consumption.

 

Is Xylitol Safe for Humans?

Xylitol is absolutely safe for humans. It has been studied for more than 40 years, and been used in products around the world safely since the 1940s.

Xylitol is recommended by dentists, medical doctors, periodontists, pediatricians and many health organizations and health professionals worldwide.

 

Why don't you include Xylitol warning labels on your packaging?

While we are sympathetic to our customers concerns for xylitol and their pets, we do not make products for pets or the pet industry. Our products are manufactured for human consumption and use only.

 

How does xylitol affect dogs?

The controversy on xylitol's "toxicity" to dogs is rather complicated. There have been several studies that used xylitol as 20% of the dogs' nutrition for over a two year period—without the effects that are being claimed now. We understand that your pets are important members of your family.

It can be an emotional and potentially devastating experience anytime that a pet becomes sick and needs medical treatment. In many of the cases that have been reported in the press, the pets have consumed products that have contained not only xylitol, but in some cases, aspartame, chocolate, and other items that are known to have negative effects on the dogs.

It's important to better understand how these ingredients and/or the combination of ingredients can impact dogs. Unfortunately, the only way to find out the real effects would be to run tests on dogs. As many of us at Xlear are dog owners, we would not be in favor of animal testing.

 

How much xylitol is too much for my dog?

At this time, even veterinarians do not have an answer to this question. To find the answer, dogs would need to be put in harm's way, and Xlear and most veterinarians would not want to participate in that process.

Most gum with xylitol has less than one gram of xylitol, and also contains other sweeteners, including aspartame. Again, we do not recommend you feed your dog any products that are made for human consumption.

 

What products are not safe for my pets?

Xlear recommends that dog owners only feed their pets items that have been developed for their pets. The AVMA has listed the following products as unsafe for dogs:

Here are the ASPCA  ten foods and ingredients that should never be given to pets:

  • chocolate, coffee, caffeine
  • alcohol
  • avocado
  • macadamia nuts
  • grapes and raisins
  • yeast dough
  • raw or undercooked meat, eggs, and bones
  • onions, garlic, and chives
  • milk

 

What do I do if I think my pet has eaten some of my xylitol products?

If you are concerned for the health of your pet, we recommend you contact your veterinarian. Be prepared to provide him/her with a description of the products your pet consumed and its symptoms.


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Prof.dr.Constantin Ionescu Targoviste

Dr. Marian Stamate

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