One Veterinarian’s Not-so-sweet Take on Xylitol Labeling

Packaging Should Include Warnings

Then there’s the “all-natural” claim to quibble with. I feel assured that lots of Whole Foods shoppers would have qualms about xylitol’s “natural” claims—more so given that xylitol is derived from corn as a byproduct of ethanol production.

That effectively means that much of the xylitol on store shelves is as all-natural as high-fructose corn syrup. It also means the xylitol in that jar of preserves was potentially sourced from the same industrially farmed, GMO corn many consumers would never buy if they knew what they were supporting with their purchase.

In any case, that xylitol kills dogs is injury enough for me. And given the fact that it’s tough to know which products dog owners should be careful with, conscientious companies should offer labels that explain that their products are unsafe for dogs. (As far as I know, dog safety warnings aren’t included on any consumer product packaging. If you know of one, please inform me.)

Stand Up for Dogs

So are you feeling injured and insulted, too? Here’s a checklist of ways to get involved in the fight to make the world safer for our dogs.

1. Spread the word about the dangers ofxylitolamong your dog-loving friends. (Share this article on Facebook or Twitter!)

2. Read labels.
3. Don’t buy products containing xylitol unless you’re certain you can keep them from your dogs.

4. Always let all family members know if a household item contains xylitol.
5. When you spy products that include xylitol and don’t offer warning labels, let the parent companies know how you feel about that. (Call or email them.)

6. Contact the Food and Drug Administration to ask for warning labels on all xylitol products.
7. And for all you dog advocates with some time on your hands and a willingness to make a difference in dogs’ lives, here are resources that provide lists of the drugs and consumer products that include xylitol:

Make your voice heard; it could save a dog's life.


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