Cases of xylitol poisonings on the rise

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Fox 5 San Diego reported that pet experts are using National Poison Prevention Week to remind people with pets that some of the ingredients in common pantry items could be poisonous to dogs.

According to Pet Poison Helpline, their top three calls from worried pet parents are for accidental ingestion of chocolate, rat poison and medications. The fourth item on the list is xylitol. Xylitol is an artificial sweetener that is safe for humans but can be deadly to dogs. It is most commonly found in sugar-free gum and mints but is also an ingredient in many other products listed as “sugar-free,” including toothpaste, mouthwash, baked goods, teas, shakes and even peanut butter. Just one stick of sugar-free gum made with xylitol can cause a 20-pound dog to become ill.

“Ingested in even the smallest amounts, xylitol can be extremely dangerous to dogs, leading to liver failure or worse, and the veterinary care required is also costly for owners,” said Jenna Mahan, the director of claims at Embrace Pet Insurance. According to Embrace, cases of xylitol poisonings are on the rise due to the popularity of the keto diet.