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Why Xylitol is Great for Humans (But Not So Great For Dogs)

You may have heard some of the buzz going around about xylitol (if you’ve spent any amount of time here on EpicDental.com, you’ve definitely seen us singing its praises!).

If you’re a pet owner, you may have heard some scary things about xylitol as well. While there is a lost of misinformation out there, it’s true that xylitol can be harmful to dogs and other animals.

Here at Epic Dental, we believe in complete honesty, especially when it comes to owning our faults and flaws, so we’re here to set the record straight.

How Can Xylitol Be Good For Me And Bad For My Dog?

You’re probably familiar with a number of foods that are perfectly safe for humans but can be potentially harmful to dogs -- chocolate, grapes, and macadamia nuts, to name just a few. You can add xylitol to that list - great fo humans, but not so great for dogs.

The benefits of xylitol to humans are enormous, particularly when it comes to fighting cavities. They’re so good for your teeth that we here at Epic like to call our gum and mints Smile Vitamins. But just like any number of things in your medicine cabinet, Smile Vitamins can be harmful if the wrong people get their paws on them.

Most of the time, when you eat something sweet, it leads to a temporary increase in your blood sugar. Xylitol doesn’t cause an increase in blood sugar in the same way as regular table sugar or other sweeteners. Fortunately for us, human bodies can recognize xylitol and know not to trigger the same insulin response that they would for other sweeteners.

Dogs, on the other hand, have an extreme response when they eat xylitol - their bodies sense something sweet is on the way, and they overcorrect, releasing way too much insulin. This insulin causes their blood sugar levels to dip dangerously low.

How Can I Keep My Dog Safe?

The last thing we at Epic would want to hear is that your dog was harmed by one of our products.

If your dog has eaten xylitol, you should take them into your veterinarian or call a pet poison control hotline immediately.

If you have a dog at home, we recommend you store your Epic Gum and Mints like you would any medication - up high and out of reach of curious paws.