Diabetes in Pets

Giving your pet sugar-free products can be harmful[1]. This particular information is about the sugar substitute Xylitol[2][3][4][5], which is used to replace sugar in sugar-free chewing gum, candy and baked goods[6] which are labeled sugar-free. The labels should list the ingredients-reading them is important!

JAVMA News-October 1, 2006-Cases of Xylitol Poisoning in Dogs Rise

In dogs, xylitol can produce hypoglycemia[7] , which can be life-threatening for both diabetics and non-diabetics. The compound in dogs stimulates insulin secretion more than glucose itself. Xylitol has also been proven to stimulate insulin production in humans; it does so much stronger for dogs. It is also possible for xylitol to cause seizures and acute liver failure. This can happen rapidly-sometimes within 30 minutes of ingesting large amounts of xylitol; smaller amounts may not cause symptoms for up to 12 hours.

Previously, it was believed that only large amounts of the substance were harmful[8] .

From JAVMA News:

"Our concern used to be mainly with products that contain xylitol as one of the first ingredients," said Dr. Eric Dunayer, who specializes in toxicology at the center. "However, we have begun to see problems developing from ingestions of products with lesser amounts of this sweetener." Dr. Dunayer said that with smaller concentrations of xylitol, the onset of clinical signs could be delayed as much as 12 hours after ingestion."

Note: when Dr. Dunayer speaks of the first ingredients, food labeling laws require that the main ingredients of products be listed first. A good example would be fruit-flavored drinks: when reading the label, you can see just how little actual fruit juice they contain. Common items like macaroni and cheese must list the main ingredient (macaroni) first; if there was more cheese in the food item than macaroni, it would need to be referred to as cheese and macaroni. Looking at various prepared pasta meals, you see a lot of them labeled spaghetti and meatballs--because there's more spaghetti in the product than meatballs. Packages of meat and gravy have more meat than gravy in them; packages of gravy and meat have more gravy than meat in them.

Some of the products which contain xylitol as an artificial sweetener are shown in the tables below. We will be adding to this list as we research products by brand names containing xylitol.

Health & Beauty Products Containing Xylitol:[]

Health/Beauty Products Containing Xylitol

Toothpastes:[9][10][11][12] Tom's of Maine[13], others
Oral Rinses[14][15] Nasal Sprays[16]
Oral Spray Vitamins[17][18]
Crest White Strips--all types[19][20][21]

Food Products Containing Xylitol:[]

Food Products Containing Xylitol

Sugar-Free Chewing Gum[22][23][24][25][26][27][28][29][30] Trident[31]
Mints[33][34] Smint by Chupa Chips[35], others
Jellies and Jams[36][37] Candy [38]
Baked Goods[39] Baking Mixes & Sugar Free Jell-o Pudding[40]
Sugar substitutes/sweeteners[41][42][43][44]

OTC Medications Containing Xylitol:[]

OTC Medications/Supplements Containing Xylitol

Nicorette Gum[45]
Nicorette Polacrilex[46]
Use: oral aids to stop smoking. OTC
Probiotica[47] Use: supplement-gastrointestinal balance/digestive health.
Lactobacillus Reuteri
(generic form of Probiotica)[48]
Use: supplement-gastrointestinal balance/digestive health.
Jarrow DentaShield Tabs[49] Use: supplement-dental health.
Colostrum Chewables[50] Use: supplement-growth/muscle/bone joint health.
Flintstones Complete Childrens' Multivitamin/Multimineral Tablets[51] Use: vitamin and mineral supplement.
Beano Liquid/Drops[52] Use: prevention of flatulence.
Alpha Galactosidase Enzyme Liquid/Drops
(generic form of Beano Liquid/Drops)[53]
Use: prevention of flatulence.
NOTE: according to Drugs.com/PDR source, only the LIQUID or DROPS form of Beano and Alpha Galactosidase Enzyme contains xylitol; it is NOT listed as an ingredient in the TABLET forms.

Prescription Medications Containing Xylitol:[]

Prescription Medications Containing Xylitol

Mobic Oral Suspension
(meloxicam) [54]
Use: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID)-Anti-inflammatory (arthritis and similar conditions), analgesic (pain relief), anti-pyretic (reduces fever)
Prescription Required.
Meloxicam Oral Suspension
(generic form of Mobic)[55]
Use: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID)-Anti-inflammatory (arthritis and similar conditions), analgesic (pain relief), anti-pyretic (reduces fever)
Prescription Required.
NOTE: acccording to Drugs.com/PDR source, only the ORAL SUSPENSION forms of Mobic or Meloxicam is said to contain xylitol; it is NOT listed as an ingredient in the TABLET forms of Mobic or Meloxicam.
Neurotonin Oral Solution
Use: pain relief in various forms of herpes-diabetic neuropathy[57]
Prescription Required.
Gabapentin Oral Solution
(generic form of Neurotonin)[58]
Use: pain relief in various forms of herpes-diabetic neuropathy[59]
Prescription Required.
NOTE: acccording to Drugs.com/PDR source, only the ORAL SOLUTION forms of Neurotonin or Gabapentin is said to contain xylitol; it is NOT listed as an ingredient in the TABLET forms of Neurotonin or Gabapentin.
(brand name for Omeprazole)[60]
Use: gastric/duodenal ulcers-gastric acid reflux disease (GERD), erosive esophagitis
Prescription Required.

Those of you who use compounding pharmacies for medications other than insulin might want to have a word with the pharmacy before having a prescription filled. These pharmacy references from a Google search "compounding xylitol" appear to indicate that in some cases, the use of xylitol is not uncommon[61][62][63].

My dog and xylitol[]

My dog Rah and I have had our bouts with xylitol. This stuff is lethal. It is scary that it is allowed to be in any products at all and NOTHING containing this is allowed in my house. I am careful because my dog is extremely mischivous. She has gotten into this stuff 4 times!!!!

The first time she stole the last piece of Orbit gum out of my boyfriends daughters purse. (thank god it was the last piece and not a full package) Then she ate a USED Crest Whitestrip and almost died again another time. Then she got into the garbage after I realised someone was chewing Orbit in my house and had a freak out. (I probably caused this if they had continued to chew she wouldn't have been able to get it) but the other day she picked up another USED piece of gum at the park and I thought for sure her liver would give out.

I am so scared and focused on this stuff that now I am going to not let my dog out of the house without a muzzle. I didn't want to have to do this but I don't want to lose my dog. Obviously even when I am careful and aware of it she can still get it. She just loves anything minty. It is truly a problem, I am consantly watching everything she does. My family thinks I am totally paranoid but obviously I am not. Please tell everyone you know!!!!!!!! THIS STUFF KILLS BEST FRIENDS.

Further Reading[]

ASPCA-A Poison-Safe Home


  1. ASPCA Poison Control Center-Xylitol-Valentine Treats
  2. Wikipedia-Xylitol
  3. Xylitol.org-What Is Xylitol?
  4. Chemistry.org-Xylitol
  5. Medterms.com-Definition of Xylitol
  6. Sweetlife-Australia-Brownie Mix
  8. Sweetener Xylitol can be Toxic to Dogs AVMA News-September 1, 2004
  9. Xlear Inc. Spry Toothpaste
  10. Squigle Toothpaste
  11. Epic Toothpaste
  12. Xylibrush Toothpaste
  13. Tom's of Maine-What Is Xylitol?
  14. Xlear Inc. Spry Oral Rinse
  15. Xylitolworks.com Epic Oral Rinse
  16. Xlear Inc. Xlear Nasal Wash
  17. Xylitolworks-Oral Vitamins
  18. Xylitolworks.com Micro Spray Oral Vitamins
  19. Crest White Strips-Premium
  20. Crest White Strips-Professional
  21. Crest White Strips Classic, Premium Plus, Renewal
  22. Xlear Inc.-Gum
  23. Unique Sweet Gum-Various Flavors
  24. Xylitolworks.com Xponent Gum-Various Flavors
  25. Xylitolworks.com B-Fresh Gum
  26. XyliChew Gum-Various Flavors
  27. Bayho Gum-Various Flavors
  28. Breath Rx Halispheres Gum
  29. ElimiTaste Smoke Screen Gum
  30. Dr. Ken's/ Dr. Martens Gum
  31. Trident Gum-FAQ's,
  32. Orbit Gum-Xylitol
  33. Xlear Inc. Spry Mints
  34. Unique Sweet Mints-Various Flavors
  35. Wikipedia-Smint
  36. Xlear Inc. Jams
  37. Xylitolworks.com Smart Sweet Jams
  38. Xlear Inc. SparXCandies-Various Flavors
  39. Sweetlife-Australia
  40. Sweetlife-Australia-Brownie Mix
  41. Xlear Inc. Xylosweet Sweeteners
  42. Sweetlife-Australia-Sweeteners
  43. Unique Sweet
  44. Xylitolworks.com Smart Sweet
  45. Nicorette Gum-Drugs.com-Physicians' Desk Reference
  46. Nicorette Polacrilex-Drugs.com-Physicians' Desk Reference
  47. Probiotica-Drugs.com-Physicians' Desk Reference
  48. Lactobacillus Reuteri-Drugs.com-Physicians' Desk Reference
  49. Jarrow DentaShield Tabs
  50. Colostrum Chewables
  51. Flintstones' Vitamins-Drugs.com-Physicians' Desk Reference
  52. Beano Liquid-Drugs.com-Physicians' Desk Reference
  53. Alpha Galactosidase Enzyme Liquid/Drops-Drugs.com-Physicians' Desk Reference
  54. Mobic Oral Suspension-Drugs.com-Physicians' Desk Reference
  55. Meloxicam-Drugs.com-Physicians' Desk Reference
  56. Neurotonin/Gabapentin-Drugs.com-Physicians' Desk Reference
  57. BD Diabetes-FAQ's About Diabetes in Cats-Dr. Greco
  58. Neurotonin/Gabapentin-Drugs.com-Physicians' Desk Reference
  59. BD Diabetes-FAQ's About Diabetes in Cats-Dr. Greco
  60. Zegrid-Omeprazole-Drugs.com-Physicians' Desk Reference
  61. Enzymestuff.com-Xylitol Flavorint Syrup
  62. MartinAvenuePharmacy.com-Xylitol
  63. Acology Prescription Compounding-FlavorSweet-Xylitol