Artificial Sweetener Xylitol Can Be Deadly to Your Dog


Xylitol, a popular artificial sweetener, can be deadly to your dog. The chemical additive can frequently be found in:
Gum Containing Xylitol Sweetener

  • Chewing gum
  • Peanut butter
  • Breath mints
  • Mouthwash
  • Candies
  • Toothpaste
  • Tooth whiteners
  • Chewable vitamins

According to a bulletin issued by the Food and Drug Administration on February 18, 2011, the accidental consumption of xylitol by a dog can cause a sudden and life-threatening drop in blood sugar (hypoglycemia), seizures and liver failure.

Here are a few of the more popular brands that contain xylitol…

  • Orbit
  • Trident
  • Go Nuts1
  • Nuts ‘N More2
  • Hank’s Protein Plus3
  • P28 Foods High Protein Spread4
  • Krush Nutrition Nutty by Nature5
  • Xylimax
  • Xylishield
  • Spry Mints
  • Spry Chewing Gum
  • Xlear Nasal Spray
  • Nicorette Gum
  • Xylichew Gum
  • IceBreakers
  • Ricochet

This list is not complete. Consumers are cautioned to read the labels of all products before bringing them into any environment shared with dogs.


  • Victoria Rollins

    Sadly this is true I have a basset hound who will find anything food related even buried or a block away I’m constantly taking stuff away from her luckily there’s been no gum or none that she’s been interested in anyways and I suppose in this case I can’t chew gum and it’s actually not that good for humans either

  • Crazy4cats

    Here is an interesting link with a reminder about the dangers of xylitol:

  • Pingback: Halloween Warning For Dog Owners | Jackie's Space()

  • Remember when you are walking your dog to look for discarded gum…this can be a deadly source and not everyone is considerate

  • Connie

    I found xylitol in the vanilla protein powder I buy . . . so I am very careful when using it and I promptly rinse out the cup I use with making anything with it.

  • Just me

    For the love of my pets and in an ” abundance of caution” I have decided not to purchase products that contain xylitol. 20 years ago I made the decision not to purchase products coated with Teflon because they could be dangerous to my birds. Today we finally realize that teflon is not particularly great for humans either.

  • Lovelymissjenna

    My pup is wild about anything peppermint flavor, as much as we try to keep it out of reach from he he manages to find it (chewing on coat or pants pockets with gum packets inside) once he got really sick from it, clearly a hypoglycemic episode. I hope everyone knows how important it is to keep gum and mints away from dogs. especially small dogs like my Banksy.

  • Missi Boness

    How scary for you!!
    I am so sorry.
    And how utterly irresponsible of that company, shame on them for not doing better research before making a product.
    As a consumer we expect our companies to do better by us.

  • Scottsdale Dental

    Why would you even feed xylitol to your dog, right? I think it’s best to just keep it in a safe place if ever you have pets at home. It would suck to lose a pet for this reason. Imagine buying this because you want to have a good dental care, and you end up killing your pet because he accidentally eats it.

  • The simple way to avoid this problem is to keep your Xylitol
    in your bag or cabinets so your dog cannot reach it. I am just concerned with
    the dog owners who sometimes use human toothpaste to their pets because it’s
    soapy and if it contains xylitol it will be really deadly for their products.
    Its like brushing their pets’ life away.

  • Hi Marie, I guess my answer didn’t come across well in print. sorry. I should have added ‘tone and intention’ in parenthesis. My last statement was more of a “what are they thinking!” Acorrding to the literature, they currently don’t think it’s all that bad for humans. Though it has caused a few deaths due to extreme hypoglycemia. It just seems contradictory to me to say its o.k. In one sentence and then say a few people have died. Followed by “we don’t knw that much about it. Kinda seems to me like they’re saying ” it’s o.k. If it kills a few people, as long as its not us.” something I’m just “a wee bit touchy” about.

    It should never be given to animals. It can cause death from extreme hypoglycemia. Even just a tiny bit. Animals don’t do well with sugar or alcohol. Cats are more sensitive than dogs. So, yes dear, keep it away from cats, too.

  • Marie

    Well, no, I just thought if it was acutely toxic I should know, tis all. 🙂

  • From webMD: Xylitol is a naturally occurring alcohol found in most plant material, including many fruits and vegetables. It is extracted from birch wood to make medicine… With extended use, it can cause tumors. It is known to cause diarrhea, cramping, gas… “not much is known about it…”

    Note it’s a wood alcohol. Do you really think any critter should be eating this?

  • Marie

    Question – is xylitol dangerous to cats as well? I would think so….but not sure.

  • Hi Charkleroad… Although our website is dedicated to dog food and normally, nothing else, I’ve decided to make an exception, here.

    I’d definitely NOT recommend using human toothpaste for a pet. Human toothpaste contains many ingredients that were never intended to be used on a dog. People paste is designed to be expectorated (spit out) and not swallowed (which your dog is likely to do).

    By the way, toothpastes aren’t necessary for cleaning. Plaque removal occurs by the mechanical action of the soft brush. However, some food flavored toothpastes on the market are specifically designed for dogs and may be OK.

    And of course, raw meaty bones (RMB) are probably the most natural (and much easier) tooth cleaning methods. I’m sure some of our other readers will be able to give you more information. Hope this helps.

  • charkleroad

    What toothpaste do you recommend for dogs? I have been using own. It doesn’t seem to be a good idea 🙁

  • Meagan in Iowa

    Neither of the toothpastes I use have this in it thank goodness! I will probably not use toothpaste anymore since it doesn’t do anything. It always makes her fur around her muzzle gross, because she moves so much. Thanks Mike for showing this article to me!

  • Jenny

    Just checked my dog’s dental spray that was designed for dogs and cats. (Petrodex Breath Spray) It contains xylitol! Good thing I only used it once, since being sprayed in the mouth terrified her. I hope there are some plans to make this ingredient illegal in pet products.

  • Carol

    Do not use C.E.T. Aquadent (I think toothpaste is ok) It’s Aquadent added to drinking water for pets that contains xylitol

    Study showed approximately 50% reduction in plaque and calculus accumulation in cats drinking water treated with xylitol, an active ingredient in C.E.T. AQUADENT® Drinking Water Additive

  • Carol

    There are some cough medicines that Vets commonly prescribe and more – Please check out anything your vet gives you. What about doggie toothpastes, many popular ones have it.