Artificial Sweeteners and Pet Safety

mt. carmel animal hospital artificial sweeteners

If you believe your dog has eaten xylitol, one of the toxic artificial sweeteners, take him or her to your vet or an emergency hospital immediately.

Family pets are exposed to various foods with different ingredients, and not all of those ingredients are safe for pets. But what about artificial sweeteners for dogs? Some sweeteners are safe for pets, while others like xylitol, are highly toxic. Remember always to read the food labels in your home. You’d be surprised at some of the products that contain artificial sweeteners. This article explains which ones are safe, which ones are dangerous, and what to do if your pet ingests one of the toxic sweeteners.

Which Ones are Safe?

  • Erythritol is a non-caloric sugar alcohol considered safe for dogs, but gastrointestinal symptoms may occur if consumed in large quantities.
  • Although stevia (green packet) is safe for dogs to consume, this naturally produced sweetener can cause diarrhea if consumed in large quantities.
  • Saccharin (pink packet) is safe for canines, but eating it can trigger gastrointestinal problems. Long-term effects on pets have yet to be examined.
  • Sucralose (yellow packet) is usually safe but can provoke diarrhea.
  • Like stevia, monk fruit is a newer sweetener on the market and is generally safe if dogs consume it.

What Ones are Toxic?

  • Xylitol, known as birch sugar, is found in many “sugar-free” goods for people. This includes candies, pastries, ice cream, juices, yogurts, certain brands of peanut butter, and more. This naturally produced sweetener is highly toxic and can be potentially fatal if consumed. Even in small doses, it may cause liver failure, seizures, and death.
  • Aspartame (blue packet) causes no serious health effects besides minor gastrointestinal issues in dogs. However, it’s not a healthy item for dogs to eat.

What to Do if Your Pet Ingested a Toxic Artificial Sweetener?

It is advisable that dogs should not have any artificial sweeteners in their diets. Dangerous sweeteners like xylitol are found in many prevalent food and non-food items, like chewing gum, mouthwash, and toothpaste. So, always be careful about what enters your dog’s mouth, and be ready with a contingency plan in an emergency.

If you believe your dog has eaten xylitol, one of the toxic artificial sweeteners, take him or her to your vet or an emergency hospital immediately. Xylitol toxicity can become fatal very quickly. Your pet might need to be hospitalized for medical monitoring and treatment. Do you think your pet may have ingested even the smallest amount of xylitol? Contact us at (410) 343-0200 immediately! Mount Carmel Animal Hospital can provide assistance to you during your pet’s emergency.


Mount Carmel Animal Hospital has been serving the Northern Baltimore/Southern York community for over 30 years and is proud to be an independently operated, small animal practice committed to excellence in veterinary medicine and client service. From grooming to wellness services, along with Canine Life Skills Training Courses, and surgical procedures, we have the expertise that will best serve the needs of you and your pet. Contact us at 410-343-0200 and follow us on Facebook!

This entry was posted on Friday, January 12th, 2024 at 10:07 am. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.