Many of you have expressed interest in my class about incorporating fresh whole foods in your pets' diets, and I'm excited to launch it with the first one Saturday, April 1 from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.
But for those of you already baking home made treats, or looking to make some without sugar, this update to the dangers of xylitol under other names will be timely - especially as our own Natural Grocer (Vitamin Cottage) sells it in bags for home baking without any warning of its toxicity for dogs and cats.
One of my favorite pet food sites, Dr Becker's Barks and Whiskers, today issued this additional warning info: Many of you know to read labels carefully for sweetener Xylitol, which is extremely toxic - potentially lethal - for dogs and cats. But some products call it by other names: birch sugar, birch sap, wood sugar - which you might not realize is Xylitol.
This sweetener is a sugar alcohol, not necessarily labeled as "artificial" and is found in hundreds of types of products from gum and candy to ice cream, supplements, gummies, mouthwash, and skin care products - by no means an exhaustive list.
Because dogs are more attracted to sweet tastes than cats, they are more susceptible, but the stuff is toxic to both - and also ferrets.
If you think your pet has ingested one of these substances, it's an emergency. You can call the Pet Poison Helpline at 800-213-6680, which keeps an extensive list of products containing them, so you can check against what you might have on hand.
I tried a few years ago to get Natural Grocers to post a warning where they sell the bagged xylitol, but was told Corporate policy says NO. But I'll try again. It's a fine product for many purposes - but if you buy a bag, you should know to put it in a container and location absolutely inaccessible to your pup with a sweet tooth!
My class will give information about the safe and health enhancing properties of real foods, and also about the few foods that are good for us but bad for pets. There aren't many of them, but they are important to know about!