Harmful ingredients for your dog

Xylitol, Xantam Gum, All things X : What can harm your dog if eaten

What are these words that start with an X? I’m not sure I can even pronounce them correctly! Odd topic? Maybe…OR maybe not. I found out some interesting things about both and it all started with a simple recipe for dog s’mores…

Ooey, gooey s’mores! A summer favorite! Picture sitting around the campfire with friends and what are you eating?!?! More than likely, you’re probably picturing yourself roasting marshmallows for S’MORES!

I came across a dog treat recipe the other day for s’mores for dogs and while looking into the ingredients found in marshmallow fluff, I stumbled upon a term that I wasn’t all too familiar with…xanthan gum.

As I have never bought or used this marshmallow fluff, I was not familiar with it’s ingredients. So, when i read xanthan gum, i started to panic a little. What is this odd ingredient AND is it safe for my dog???? The recipe had listed marshmallow fluff, so it had to be okay to use, right??? Off to the magical land of google I went as I so often do…

TURNS OUT, IT IS SAFE!!! WHEW! HUGE SIGH OF RELIEF!!!

So, I’m super excited to try this recipe out and make s’mores for our dogs. I know what you’re thinking…”BUT IT HAS CHOCOLATE! YOU CAN’T FEED THEM CHOCOLATE!!! WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?!?!”

That, my friends, is where carob comes in! If you remember reading one of my prior posts about carob, you will remember that it is, in fact, the safe “chocolate” for dogs.

Now that we know xanthan gum is safe, what is it? Well, it’s a non-hazardous food additive. It’s a polysaccharide that has many uses. It’s most commonly known as a powerful thickening agent.

There’s no harm in this xanthan gum, BUT what about the other “X” word??? Well, that one’s a little different, a little more dangerous, and one you NEVER want to feed your dog….

Xylitol can be found in cough syrup, chewing gum, toothpaste, and breath mints just to name a few. It can even be found in some types of peanut butter! That’s the one I really have to watch out for as I use peanut butter in A LOT of my treats.

Why is it harmful to dogs and not to us when eaten??? Well, in both dogs and people, the level of blood sugar is controlled by the release of insulin from the pancreas. When people eat something containing xylitol, xylitol doesn’t stimulate the release of insulin from the pancreas. It does with dogs. When a dog eats xylitol, it can quickly be absorbed into the bloodstream and this can cause a potent release of insulin.

This rapid release of insulin may result in a quick decrease in the level of blood sugar within your canine, otherwise known as hypoglycemia. This can occur within 10-60 minutes of eating an item that contains xylitol. If the hypoglycemia goes untreated, it sadly can be life-threatening.

What should you look for if you think your dog has eaten something that contained xylitol???

  • VOMITING 
  • DECREASED ACTIVITY
  • INCOORDINATION
  • STAGGERING
  • SEIZURES

IF YOU NOTICE ANY OF THESE, TAKE YOUR DOG TO THE VET OR EMERGENCY CARE CENTER IMMEDIATELY!!!

Hopefully none of you will ever have to deal with this scenario, but it’s definitely something to keep in mind the next time you’re looking for a quick spot to set your purse that may contain gum in it or to make sure you don’t leave the toothpaste sitting out on your bathroom counter. Dogs get into a lot of things. Puppies get into even MORE! Trust me, I KNOW! Always check to make sure nothing that may cause harm is left out. They tend to get bored easily & that may lead them to get into a little (or a lot of) mischief!!!

Quick refresher:

Xanthan Gum=Good

Xylitol=very, VERY BAD!!!  

KEEP THEM SAFE! 

Now that I know what’s safe and what is not, I’ll be in the kitchen baking dog s’mores! Until next time…

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