Pat Lambert, Santa Barbara
February 24, 2011 4:59 AM
A new low-calorie sweetener, Xylitol, which is fatal to dogs, is rapidly becoming widely used. Xylitol, a natural sweet-boosting product from birch trees, is daily being added to more and more items, both sweet and non-sweet, that we ingest.
Xylitol is a tricky ingredient because it is “organic,” so it can turn up in your organic food. It also is being added to human medications you might leave out on your counters or tables.
Some over-the-counter human meds, like cough syrup, that used to be recommended by veterinarians for dogs because the meds were in useful measurements, now will be poisonous.
Xylitol is commonly found in low-calorie candy, chewing gum, and in party items like crackers — small things that might fall onto the floor where dogs could gobble them.
Also, if your dog gets human food snacks or leftovers from your dinner, the time has come to carefully check dinner ingredients — in fact, unfortunately, to check the ingredients in everything our dogs might get hold of.
Reprinted with permission from the Santa Barbara News-Press.