It used to be that Xylitol as an ingredient was limited to gums, mints, sugarless candies and toothpaste. The marketing hype for these foods are tag lines like “Doesn’t promote tooth decay.” and “Long lasting flavor.” There is some truth to the tag lines as Xylitol doesn’t increase saliva acidity and also doesn’t dissolve from gum as readily as sugar does.
While non-toxic to people, Xylitol is highly toxic to dogs. In fact, Xylitol is much more toxic than chocolate. It only takes 3 pieces of sugarless gum to reach toxic levels for a 10 lb Yorkie. It only takes about 8 pieces for an average 35 lb dog. It’s even more important to avoid letting Fido have anything with Xylitol in it than it is to avoid anything with chocolate or raisins.
In these modern times, Xylitol is being used in a lot more products and in some very surprising ways. Reduced sugar, reduced calorie and low hypoglycemic index products are often reformulated for using Xylitol. Since Xylitol is classified as ‘All Natural’ and ‘Organic’, it can also be found in products which specifically target health conscious consumers.
We’ve roughly categorized products where Xylitol can sometimes be found. Most are products where there is a need for a low calorie sweetener to either reduce calories compared to a traditional product or where the taste needs to be made palatable. Another new use is for Xylitol’s physical properties in products not meant to be eaten, ingested or applied.
Candies, Gums and Mints
Peanut and other Nut Butters
Honey, Jams, Jellies and Syrups
Cookies, Cake and Other Bake Mixes
Jellos and Puddings
Ice Cream, Ice Milk and Yogurt.
raw Xylitol/Xylitol based sweeteners
Condiments and Sauces
Drink Powders and Waters
Protein Powders and Bars, Power Bars
Non-Foods – oral
Toothpaste and Floss
Mouthwash and Rinses
Tooth and Gum Wipes, Nose and Face Wipes
Nasal Sprays and Breath Sprays
Medications, Vitamins, Supplements and Oils
Non-foods – topical
Shampoos and Conditioners
Facial Cleansers, Moisturizers and Make-up Removers
Personal lubricants and Colon Cleansers
Non-foods – hard goods
Sporting and Adventure gear/clothing utilizing cooling technology
(apparently some of these use Xylitol as the cooling agent – go figure)
When in doubt, read the label. Keep Fido healthy and safe!