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Protect Pets from Artificial Sweetener Poisoning

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Sponsor: The Animal Rescue Site

Did you know that sugar-free gum and candy can be toxic to your furry friends? Take action to keep animals safe and well!


As pet owners, we understand the hazards certain foods pose to our furry companions. We know about the risks of chocolate, grapes, and onions, but there's another hidden danger that may not be on every pet owner's radar: sugar-free gum and candy.

The Lethal Sugar Substitute: Xylitol

Xylitol, derived from birch bark, has gained popularity as a sweetener in various sugar-free products, including gum, candy, and even some peanut butter brands. While it poses no significant health risks to humans, it can be extremely toxic to dogs1 and cats2. Xylitol triggers the release of insulin in dogs and cats, leading to a sudden drop in blood sugar levels, known as hypoglycemia. This dangerous condition can occur rapidly and has the potential to be life-threatening to our beloved four-legged friends.

A Single Piece of Gum, Fatal Consequences

Even a single piece of sugar-free gum containing xylitol could prove fatal to a dog or cat. The small size and weight of our canine companions make them particularly vulnerable to the toxic effects of this sugar substitute3. Pet owners must exercise utmost caution when it comes to the accessibility of such products and be aware of the potential hazards they present.

The Devastating Impact on Canine Health

When dogs or cats ingest xylitol, their bodies release a surge of insulin in response to this sugar substitute. This insulin surge causes a rapid drop in blood sugar levels, which can result in a range of dangerous symptoms and complications. Early signs of xylitol poisoning in dogs include vomiting, loss of coordination, and lethargy. As the condition progresses, it can lead to seizures, liver failure, and even death if not treated promptly and effectively4.

Take the Pledge to Protect Your Pets

Xylitol may be a hidden danger but the threat of xylitol toxicity in dogs and cats is real, and it is our responsibility as pet owners to remain vigilant and informed. By sharing this vital information with friends, family, and fellow pet owners, we can work together to prevent needless suffering and save the lives of our beloved animal companions.

Let us keep our furry friends safe and free from harm by keeping sugar-free gum and candy far away from their curious noses. Take the pledge today and create a safer environment for our pets. Together, we can ensure their well-being and happiness for years to come.

More on this issue:

  1. U.S. Food and Drug Administration (7 July 2021), "Paws Off Xylitol; It's Dangerous for Dogs."
  2. drjeff, Sunnyview Animal Care Center (14 March 2016), "Xylitol toxicity in Cats & Dogs."
  3. Christopher M Piscitelli, Eric K Dunayer, Marcel Aumann, Compendium: Continuing Education for Veterinarians, National Library of Medicine (2010 February), "Xylitol toxicity in dogs."
  4. Natalie Marks, DVM, Covetrus Great Pet Care (13 March 2020), "Xylitol Poisoning in Dogs."
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The Pledge:

As pet owners, it is our responsibility to ensure the well-being and safety of our beloved furry companions. The dangers posed by sugar-free sweeteners, such as xylitol, cannot be overlooked. These seemingly harmless products can have devastating effects on our pets, leading to unintentional injury or even death. It is crucial to exercise constant vigilance and take proactive measures to keep these items out of our pets' reach.

By taking the following pledge, we commit to protecting our pets from the hazards of sugar-free sweeteners:

  1. I pledge to read labels diligently: I will carefully check the ingredients of gum, candy, and any sugar-free products to identify the presence of xylitol. Even small amounts can pose a significant risk to my pet.
  2. I pledge to store products securely: I will keep sugar-free gum and candy in high cabinets or containers that are inaccessible to my pets. Curiosity can lead them to investigate and consume these items if left within their reach.
  3. I pledge to educate my friends and family: I will raise awareness among everyone in my household and visitors about the dangers of xylitol to pets. I will emphasize the importance of not leaving gum or candy lying around where pets can access them.
  4. I pledge to be prepared for emergencies: I will educate myself about the signs of xylitol poisoning in dogs and cats and the necessary actions to take. If I suspect or witness my pet consuming xylitol-containing products, I will contact a veterinarian immediately or call a pet poison control hotline for guidance.
  5. I pledge to keep alternative treats for my pets: Instead of offering sugar-free products, I will provide safe and healthy treats specifically made for pets. This way, I can satisfy their cravings without risking their health.
  6. I pledge to monitor my pet's environment: I will regularly assess my surroundings to ensure there are no accessible sources of xylitol. This includes checking bags, pockets, and surfaces where gum or candy might be present.
  7. I pledge to be cautious during outings: When going for walks or visiting public spaces, I will stay vigilant and prevent my pet from picking up discarded gum or candy that may contain xylitol.
  8. I pledge to support pet-friendly environments: I will advocate for pet-friendly establishments, encouraging them to be aware of the dangers of xylitol and refrain from using it in their products.
  9. I pledge to share this information: I will actively spread awareness about the hazards of xylitol to pets by sharing articles, videos, or social media posts. Education is key in preventing unnecessary suffering.
  10. I pledge to lead by example: By following these actions and encouraging others to do the same, I will contribute to a safer future for all pets. Together, we can create an environment where our furry companions can thrive without the risk of unintentional harm from sugar-free sweeteners.

Through our commitment to this pledge, we can ensure the safety and well-being of our pets, protect them from the dangers of xylitol, and create a future where they can live happy, healthy lives. Let's stand together and make a difference for our furry friends!

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