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Could Xylitol — AKA 'Birch Sugar' — Kill Dogs That Eat It?

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The sugar substitute is found in a variety of foods, from peanut butter to ice cream.
The sugar substitute xylitol, also known as "birch sugar," found in some human foods and dental products can be poisonous to dogs.

The sugar substitute xylitol, also known as "birch" or "wood" sugar, is found in some human foods and dental products that can be poisonous — and even deadly — to dogs.

The above claim began circulating on social media in early September 2021 when Snopes readers sent our team screengrabs of the below meme:

And it's true. In a public service announcement published July 7, 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that xylitol, which is a class of sweetener known as sugar alcohol, can be dangerous to dogs that inadvertently eat products containing the sugar substitute — and in some cases, consumption can prove deadly.

Xylitol is most commonly found in sugarless gum, and because it is low in calories, it is also often used to sweeten sugar-free candy and dental products.

Martine Hartogensis, a veterinarian at the FDA, noted in the announcement that over the past several years, the agency's Center for Veterinarian Medicine has received several reports of dogs being…
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