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As a dog owner, it’s your responsibility to know what could cause harm to your pet. It’s easy to avoid giving your dog food that’s bad for its heart or body, but accidents can happen. In that case, it comes down to what you keep in the house, regardless of if your dog should be eating it or not. That’s why sugar substitutes, which are growing in popularity, are a hot topic right now in the world of dogs.

Sugar Substitutes to Improve Health, But Come with Concerns

With the rise in health consciousness surrounding dangerous ingredients in our everyday foods and meals, sugar has probably gotten the worst rapport. In a lot of ways, sugar is blamed for a number of rising health concerns because of its seemingly limited benefits. While it may provide a temporary boost in energy, it also can be tied to heart disease, diabetes, and other common ailments. Some diets, such as ketogenic diets or Whole 30, even call for the elimination of natural sugars, as found in fruits.

It’s no wonder then why sugar substitutes have become so popular. One of the most common substitutes is Xylitol. Technically, Xylitol is a sugar alcohol that mimics the sweetness of natural sugars. Xylitol carries a zero net carbs and does not raise blood pressure in regular use. While it may carry less of the common threats of sugar, it comes with its own set of risks.

Xylitol and Dogs – Why It’s So Dangerous

A reason Xylitol has become so popular as a sugar substitute is its lack of effect on human insulin levels. For dogs, that’s not the case, and in fact, it’s quite the opposite. When a dog consumes Xylitol, its body mistakes the substitute for actual sugar, causing the body to produce insulin. During this process, hypoglycemia, low blood sugar, and even death are common as the dog’s body fails to regulate the substance in the correct manner.

Even in small doses, a dog can become affected by Xylitol consumption. Just 0.1 gram per kilogram of a dog’s body weight can cause health complications that may result in death. In this episode, you’ll hear Cindie and Marilyn talk about what to do if your dog consumes Xylitol, as well as a better alternative.

Alternative Sugars that Won’t Harm Dogs

Swerve is a natural sweetener made from a collection of fruits and vegetables. With no artificial ingredients, it’s not only safe for your blood sugar and insulin levels, but your dogs as well. Of course, you shouldn’t be giving this to your dog, but it’s good to keep in mind what alternatives you can keep in the house that are dog-safe. Unlike a lot of other sweeteners, it’s not bitter and actually reacts to heat like natural sugar, making it easy to use in recipes.

Caught up on Social Dog?

Social Dog is a podcast for dog lovers, hosted by Cindie Carter. Cindie is the owner of Walks and Wags, a highly successful pet resort and training center. With decades of experience with animals of all temperaments and behaviors, Social Dog is a podcast where Cindie shares her knowledge and experiences with incredible and informative guests. You can even read more about Cindie’s expertise in a free PDF, “Learn How to Introduce Your Dog to Another Dog.

The archive of Social Dog episodes are available online, as well as Apple Podcasts.

You can follow Social Dog on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram, as well as keep up with some of Cindie’s conversations on YouTube.

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They offer tips and education to me that have proven invaluable as a first time dog owner. I love Walks and Wags and HIGHLY recommend them! — Whitney D.
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