What Sugar Substitute Is Dangerous To Dogs

Your dog could become ill from this sugar substitute, which is used in several human diets and dental items.

Which sweetener can harm dogs?

Naturally occurring xylitol is frequently collected from birch or corncobs and utilized as a sweetener in industrial items including toothpaste, gum, candy, and baked goods. Dogs can be poisoned by the sugar substitute xylitol, despite it being well tolerated in humans.

Canines quickly absorb xylitol after swallowing it. Vomiting can be observed in as little as 30 minutes, but complete symptoms can take up to 12 hours to manifest. Xylitol promotes the release of insulin in dogs, which can result in dangerously low blood sugar levels that cause drowsiness and loss of coordination. Dogs may eventually experience seizures or pass out if untreated. Xylitol has also been connected to liver failure in dogs after massive ingestions.

Xylitol is slowly absorbed in humans and doesn’t significantly raise insulin levels. It has less calories than sugar and the added advantage of reducing cavities and mouth germs. But when used in excessive doses, xylitol might have moderate side effects like diarrhea or flatulence.

Does stevia do harm to dogs?

Let’s now discuss the query I know you’re all considering: “Can dogs have stevia.”

For this query, we looked to the professionals. author and veterinarian Dr. Jerry Klein, CVO, of the official AKC website.

Dr. Jerry Klein claimed in a piece he wrote that “This is a sweetener that is made organically from the stevia plant. Although stevia is okay for dogs to eat, excessive amounts can make them sick.”

You need not be concerned if your cherished dog consumes any of your stevia-sweetened treats, even if dogs shouldn’t consume any treats that include sugar or other natural or artificial sweeteners. Dr. Klein added the following in his article:

As a seasoned vet, I’d be negligent if I didn’t advise you that dogs shouldn’t consume any sweets in their diets, artificial or otherwise.

Are dogs hazardous to aspartame?

Although it is entirely safe for humans, non-primate species (including dogs!) who consume it have a strong insulin release. Acute poisoning in dogs will result in two primary syndromes: acute hepatic necrosis and hypoglycemia (a life-threateningly low blood sugar level) (i.e., severe liver failure).

The following are signs of canine xylitol poisoning:

  • Lethargy or weakness
  • Depression
  • drunkenly walking
  • Rapid collapse
  • Vomiting
  • quaking or trembling
  • Seizures
  • a pounding heartbeat
  • yellowed gums
  • tarry-black stool
  • Diarrhea
  • Bruising
  • irrational mentality
  • Clotting issues
  • Death

Keep calm first if you believe your dog was accidently poisoned by a sugar-free item. Check the product’s ingredients to check if xylitol was included after that. The basic rule is that something is going to be harmful if xylitol is included in the first 3 ingredients (generally listed in order of how much of each ingredient appears in the food or product).

*Always read the ingredient list if your dog eats something sugar-free. It should be noted that other sugars with similar names including sorbitol, maltitol, and erythritol are not toxic to dogs. Similar to stevia, dogs are not poisoned by other sugar-free products like saccharin, sucralose, aspartame, etc. It is not dangerous if your dog consumes one of these other sound-alikes. As long as you’re certain there isn’t any xylitol, there’s no need to worry.

Calculating if a hazardous dosage of xylitol has been consumed is crucial in cases of xylitol poisoning. Doses more than 0.1 g/kg are poisonous to dogs and cause severe, unexpected issues. Acute liver necrosis has been linked to xylitol dosages greater than 0.5 g/kg. The average amount of xylitol in many candies and gums, including as OrbitTM, TridentTM, and Ice BreakersTM, ranges from 2 mg to 1.0 grams per piece. It is unfortunately not always easy to compute a dangerous dose because not all sources are revealed by the firm (for example, how many grams of xylitol may be in each piece of gum).

Treatment for your dog’s toxic dose of xylitol includes the following steps:

  • having your veterinarian check your blood sugar. Your veterinarian may induce vomiting if the condition is normal and the consumption was recent (within a few hours).
  • A stat bolus of intravenous (IV) dextrose (sugar) and hospitalization are required if your dog has hypoglycemia. For a minimum of 12 to 18 hours, the patient will receive IV fluids with sugar supplementation (ex. dextrose). Your dog can go home if he can keep his blood sugar stable when the dextrose supplementation is gradually reduced.
  • There is no need for your veterinarian to administer activated charcoal if they made your dog puke, so make sure they skip it (i.e., a black liquid product that binds up some poisons). With xylitol poisoning, charcoal is not necessary because it cannot consistently bond to the substance.
  • Your veterinarian will advise hospitalizing your dog for IV fluids, dextrose supplementation, and symptomatic supportive care if a toxic dose was consumed and not vomited back up.
  • Blood testing, including liver enzymes, electrolytes, and blood sugar, must be carefully monitored.
  • The usage of liver protectants, such as SAMe, milk thistle, or n-acetylcysteine, is recommended if your dog consumed a dose of xylitol that was on the verge of becoming liver-toxic. The majority of dogs are prescribed liver protectants for several weeks, with frequent liver enzyme checks at your vet to be on the safe side.

When in doubt, seek immediate medical attention from your veterinarian or an animal poison control center if you believe your dog consumed xylitol. They can calculate the amount of xylitol consumed and decide if it was toxic or not. Always make an effort to keep certain items or meals out of your pets’ reach.

Keep in mind that the sooner you identify the issue and seek veterinarian care, the less expensive and harmful it will be for your pet!

Your veterinarian is your finest resource for ensuring the health and wellbeing of your pets, therefore you should always visit or contact them if you have any questions or concerns.

Can dogs eat monk fruit sweetener?

  • A well-liked new natural sweetener with no calories and no known negative effects on health comes from monk fruit.
  • Monk fruit extracts seem to be okay for dogs, but you shouldn’t give your pets purposefully sweetened food, whether it’s made of sugar or another chemical.

A melon variety known as monk fruit, which is grown in southern China, is reported to be extremely sweet and to have a number of health advantages. Monk fruit extracts have gained popularity as a natural sweetener that, according to various studies, is 200 times sweeter than sugar but has neither calories nor the detrimental effects on health that sugar does.

By removing the fruit’s seeds and skin, crushing the fruit, and gathering the liquid, monk fruit sweeteners are made.

Hundreds of items are now based on the fruit, including syrup, liquid drops, baking ingredients, and a small green fruit that you probably won’t find at your neighborhood grocery store (supposedly China guards it zealously). Several other brands of monk fruit sweeteners are also offered in the United States, though the Lakanto brand is the most popular.

Monk fruit sweetener is referred to as “the next stevia after the other highly sweet and natural additive” by health-conscious consumers. However, some fans go one step farther by highlighting characteristics that make it seem like a miracle fruit. According to The Grinning Monk, one of the U.S. companies offering the product, aside from having no calories, there is some evidence that the extract may have additional beneficial health advantages, including aiding with weight loss and blood sugar control. Those following a ketogenic or diabetic diet are frequently advised to use the sweetener.

Are dogs poisonous to Splenda?

Food additives known as artificial sweeteners offer a sweet taste without the added calories of sugar. We’ve outlined the market’s most popular artificial sweeteners and their effects on animals below:

  • ErythritolThis industrially generated sugar alcohol is a preferred option for adherents of the low-carb and ketogenic diets due to its adaptability. Erythritol is safe for dogs, according to studies.
  • AspartameAspartame can be used in considerably lower doses because it is 200 times sweeter than sugar. Products containing aspartame can give pets a slight stomach ache.
  • Sucralose
  • Sucralose, which is marketed under the trade name Splenda, works well in baked goods and is also present in diet drinks and other products. Although it is not hazardous to animals, there is evidence that excessive ingestion can cause digestive problems.
  • Stevia
  • Stevia is a well-liked sugar substitute made from the leaves of the stevia rebaudiana plant, which is native to South America. Although stevia has not been proven to be hazardous to dogs in studies, consuming too much can result in diarrhea.
  • Monk fruit as a sweetener
  • Southeast Asia is the home of the little, spherical monk fruit, often referred to as lo han guo. The fruit’s extract is a popular option for people looking for a healthy substitute for sugar because it offers 150–200 times the sweetness of sugar without the calories. Animals are not poisoned by the monk fruit plant.
  • Saccharine
  • The major component of Sweet’N Low is saccharine, which can be found in diet beverages, drink mixes, salad dressings, and canned fruits with the “light” label. Despite not being hazardous to pets, this chemical can cause stomach distress.

The Bottom Line

With the obvious exception of xylitol, sugar substitutes are generally harmless for pets, but artificially sweetened foods shouldn’t be part of a pet’s diet. It is recommended to give your pet high-quality, age-appropriate pet food in addition to a nutritious treat every now and then, like simply cooked vegetables or (pet-friendly) fresh fruit.

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our experts if you have any more queries about artificial sweeteners and dogs.

What brand name is xylitol?

People with diabetes, those who avoid sugar, and those who want to consume less sugar frequently search for sugar substitutes. There are plenty of them, which is a concern. And many people are unaware of these distinctions. Alternatives to sugar are frequently seen as just that: alternatives to sugar. They are unaware that these substitutes contain various chemicals, some of which are more beneficial to your health than others.

Naturally, we are in favor of xylitol substitutes for sugar. Brands that use xylitol as a sugar substitute include, to mention a few, XyloSweet, Lite&Sweet, Xyla, and Global Sweet.

Xylitol might not be widely known. When people consider sweeteners, they frequently consider stevia, aspartame, or perhaps agave. But more often than not, they’ll likely consider the names of sugar substitutes as opposed to the real sweetener employed. Use Equal, Splenda, or Sweet N’ Low as an alternative to aspartame, sucralose, or saccharin, for instance.

You might believe that it won’t make a difference which sugar substitute you use with your morning coffee because it will be such a small amount. However, it might mount up if you drink coffee every morning.

We have such a strong belief in xylitol because of this. Xylitol genuinely provides dental and medical advantages when consumed at the recommended dosage (5 grams per day). And even while you may not get all the advantages if you don’t ingest 5 grams per day, there are no side effects to be concerned about. You can use a xylitol sweetener wherever that you would typically use sugar. This includes the coffee or tea you drink in the morning, baking, and even everyday cooking. You shouldn’t put xylitol on crème brûlée topping since it does not melt and “hard crack,” but it is really the only restriction.

We advise speaking with your doctor about xylitol and what might be the best choice for you when it comes to sugar substitutes. In addition, educate them on xylitol if necessary by reading more on our website.

Can dogs safely use swerve?

Erythritol: Minimal to no impairment of digestion Xylitol is twice as likely to upset the digestive system as erythritol.

Erythritol, unlike other polyols, combines the special qualities of being calorie-free and having a high digestive tolerance. The unpleasant facts: Consuming foods sweetened with erythritol makes it less likely that you will experience the laxative side effects that are occasionally linked to polyol consumption since erythritol is quickly absorbed in the small intestine and quickly removed by the body within 24 hours.

Alternative Sweeteners, Fourth Edition; Sweeteners: Nutritional Aspects, Applications, and Production Technology; PubMed: tolerance to erythritol and xylitol when consumed as liquids in the digestive system.

Pet Safety

A 53-week study’s findings revealed that erythritol is safe to provide to dogs and is well-tolerated by them. However, it has been demonstrated that xylitol can be lethal to dogs since it can result in acute hypoglycemia and the ensuing liver failure. Safeguard your canines!

Source: Chronic (1-year) oral toxicity study of erythritol in dogs; Common Toxicologic Issues in Small Animals, An Issue of Veterinary Clinics: Small Animal Practice

III. Potent antioxidant properties

Erythritol is a potent hydroxyl free radical scavenger and may shield your dog against cardiovascular problems.

Along with lowering inflammation in organs like the liver, kidney, and intestines, it might also shield your dog from ailments like acidity and constipation.

IV. Friendly to your dog’s gut compared to other sweeteners

Erythritol is a simple four-carbon molecule, making it simple for your dog’s digestive system to process.

Additionally, it has a low glycemic index, which means that it digests gradually and virtually entirely.

Erythritol hence generates less acidity and diarrhea than other sweeteners that are acceptable for dogs.

The Dose Makes the Poison

Like other sweeteners, erythritol should only be used sparingly in your dog’s food.

Erythritol can cause some unpleasant side effects in dogs when ingested in excessive amounts, including

Gastrointestinal Distress

Dogs who take significant amounts of erythritol may experience diarrhea and digestive problems.

As your dog’s body works to digest the sugars, erythritol and other sugar alcohols might attract water into his intestines. As a result, his stool may include more liquid, which could lead to diarrhea.


There may be trace levels of gluten in erythritol derived from wheat or other cereals containing gluten.

So you should avoid using this sweetener if your dog is gluten sensitive.

But if you must use erythritol, look for producers who get their ingredients from non-gluten sources.

If at all feasible, choose for certified organic products like Organic Erythritol from NOW Foods.

Artificial sweeteners

Erythritol has a moderate flavor, thus to balance it or increase its sweetness, it is frequently added with other artificial sweeteners like aspartame.

Artificial sweeteners are generally bad for pets. In fact, recent research has connected some artificial sweeteners to a higher risk of health problems in dogs, such as weight gain, seizures, and even cancer.

Even if the majority of the claims are unproven, it is best to exercise caution.

Start with small doses if you’re intending to introduce erythritol to your dog food for the first time.

By doing this, you can rule out adverse responses like diarrhea, allergies, and others before they get out of hand.

Also, if you notice any unusual symptoms after providing your dog foods or treats containing erythritol, always see your neighborhood veterinarian.

Alternative Sweetening Options

There are a few alternatives you might try if erythritol doesn’t seem to be a good fit for reducing the quantity of sugar you offer your canine pal.

Stevia is the first alternative that we suggest. Stevia is natural, has a glycemic index of 0, and has no effect on your dog’s blood sugar levels, just like erythritol does.

You may use considerably less Stevia than Erythritol when making dog food because it is 250–300 times sweeter than regular table sugar.

Beyond this, hardly much separates these sweeteners from one another. Both of them are secure for your dog, so which one you choose depends on your tastes and taste.

We have a thorough article about stevia and dogs. It is accessible here: Are dogs okay to use stevia?


If you want to add erythritol to your dog’s food as a sugar substitute that has no calories, that is a terrific option.

Erythritol is the sweetener you can obtain for your dog if he struggles to regulate his blood sugar.

Erythritol may not be hazardous to your dog, but sweet foods are unhealthy for dogs, so use it sparingly.

If you give your dog a lot of this sweetener, it could have negative effects like bloating, diarrhea, and other digestive problems.