As many of you already know, Xylitol, a natural sweetener, is very toxic to dogs, causing hypoglycema (low blood glucose) that can lead to depression, vomiting, seizures, and even death. Even a very small dosage can cause toxicity: 41 mg may cause hypoglycemia in a 100 lb dog, while a single stick of chewing gum may have two grams (2,000 mg) of Xylitol.
See the following web sites for more info on Xylitol poisoning in dogs:
Note that the sweeteners mannitol and sorbitol are NOT toxic to dogs. I recently learned that there are a number of products marketed for dogs that contain Xylitol among their ingredients!
Here is a list of the products that I found:
I have written to each of the companies that manufacture these products. Only two of the four companies responded. Here are the responses I received:
- imRex (BreathaLyser Plus and Aquala) claimed that there wasn't enough Xylitol in their product to be concerned about, but then said that "the dog will drink a maximum of 0.05grms per day." 0.05 grams is 50 mg, enough to potentially cause hypoglycemia in a 100 lb dog. That also doesn't account for owners who might give more than the recommended amount, or spills that the dog might lap up. There's simply no reason why a company should add a potentially toxic ingredient to products made for dogs, no matter how small the amount.
- AkPharma (CurTail Pet Food Enzyme Drops) thanked me for contacting them and said, "We have never had a report of any such reactions in the 6 years that our product has been formulated with xylitol. Nonetheless, having seen the information that you sent, we are withholding sales until we investigate further." I was very impressed with their response.
- Neither Animal Dermatology Laboratories nor Virbac responded to my inquiry.
I would suggest contacting the companies that make these products and letting them know that you will not use their products, and will be warning others against them. If they hear from enough people, it should give them incentive to change their formulas. It would also be helpful to let any company who carries these products know about the dangers. One company that I contacted has already decided to stop selling the product that they carried once they learned about the risks of xylitol. Again, if companies will not sell these products, the manufacturers will have to take action.
Here is the contact info for the companies that make these products: