Xylitol Toxicity and Your Pet

Xylitol is a common and dangerous pet poison—it’s an artificial sugar substitute used in many candies, gums, and certain baked pastry goods. Here, your Marietta, GA veterinarian goes over the basics.


A pet who has ingested too much xylitol may exhibit lethargy, uncoordinated movements, loss of appetite, vomiting, and diarrhea. Without treatment, a pet may experience seizures, coma, or even death.

Symptoms of xylitol poisoning usually appear within 30 minutes of ingestion, although this can vary based on the size of the animal and the amount of the toxin ingested.


If you see or suspect that your pet has ingested a product containing xylitol, take them to the nearest veterinary emergency room immediately. The stomach may need to be flushed to rid the system of the poison; activated charcoal may also be given to slow the toxin’s rate of absorption. As your pet recovers, supportive measures like fluid replacement or oxygen supplementation might be needed.

Preventing Poisoning

It’s not hard to see that preventing poisoning is easier than treating it—tightly restrict your pet’s access to all candy, gum, and baked goods. Talk to your veterinary clinic Marietta, GA for more information on xylitol and other pet poisons.