Stevia is safe for dogs to consume. As a naturally produced sweetener that’s extracted from the stevia plant, stevia is not toxic to dogs. However, it is best to keep your dog’s consumption of stevia moderate as it has laxative properties that can cause diarrhea if the dog consumes too much.
Most dogs are happy to eat their treats and food without sugar or sweeteners, so it is not necessary to sweeten their food. However, various products come with artificial sweeteners in them already, so it is important to know which sweeteners are safe and which you should be on the lookout for.
Here is a list of sweeteners and their safety profile when it comes to dogs.
Which Artificial Sweeteners are Safe for Dogs
Aspartame may not be the healthiest thing to feed your dog, but it’s not toxic at all. Apart from possible diarrhea if ingested in large quantities, aspartame is safe for dogs.
Saccharin is not toxic to dogs, so feeding your dog products that contain saccharin as a sweetener should not pose any health risks to your dog.
Erythritol is an artificial sweetener that can be safely consumed by dogs. It has no toxic effect, and since it is absorbed quickly into the body, it is unlikely to cause stomach issues or diarrhea.
Sucralose is safe for dogs to consume.
Sorbitol is generally safe for dogs. Sorbitol does have laxative properties, so consumption should be moderate to avoid causing diarrhea.
Artificial Sweeteners that are Toxic to Dogs
Xylitol is commonly used as a sweetener in human foods and is generally safe for human consumption. However, this sweetener is extremely toxic to dogs and should never be fed to them.
Xylitol is found in products such as chewing gum, throat lozenges, candy, certain brands of peanut butter, some sugar-free snacks and breath mints, protein bars and weight loss products. Other products that contain xylitol are facial creams, body lotions, deodorants, toothpaste, mouthwash, and dental floss.
How Does Xylitol Affect your Dog
Xylitol causes low blood sugar or hypoglycemia in dogs.
Xylitol toxicity can occur in dogs with ingestion amounts of 0.1g/2.2 pounds of body weight.
Your dog will display the following symptoms upon ingesting toxic levels of xylitol. The symptoms will start to appear 10-15 minutes after ingesting xylitol.
lethargy and sluggishness in movement
general body weakness
jaundice, which is characterized by yellowing of the eyes
coma and eventual death
What To Do If Your Dog Ingests Xylitol
Seek urgent medical care if you suspect your dog has ingested xylitol. Xylitol toxicity can be fatal for dogs, and you should seek emergency medical attention.
Medical care for xylitol poisoning typically involves inducing vomiting, intravenous fluid therapy, and blood sugar monitoring to prevent hypoglycemia.
If treated promptly, your dog should be able to recover from xylitol poisoning.
You may not always be aware of what artificial sweeteners are present in foods and other non-food products. Reading labels carefully will help you avoid substances that may be toxic to your dog. Always remember that just because something is safe for humans, doesn’t mean it’s safe for dogs.