Skip to Primary Content

All Creatures Veterinary Clinic

Xylitol & other Sugar Free Products to Avoid

Artificial Sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners are food additives that provide a sweet taste but without the excess calories of sugar. We have broken down the most common artifical sweeteners on the market and their effects on pets.


Xylitol (aka Birch Sugar) is a naturally occurring substance that is widely used as a sugar substitute. Xylitol is extremely toxic to dogs. Even small amounts of xylitol can cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), seizures, liver failure, or even death in dogs. It’s unclear as to the toxicity issue for cats. (See products to watch out for below)


This sugar alcohol that is manufactured & its versatility makes it a popular choice for followers of low-carb and keto diets. Studies have found erythritol is safe for dogs.


Aspartame is 200 times sweeter than sugar, so it can be used in much smaller amounts. Products containing aspartame can cuase mild gastrointestinal discomfort in pets.


Sold under the brand name Splenda, sucralose holds up well in baked goods & can be found in diet beverages & other items. It is not toxic to pets, but there is evidence that overconsumption can lead to gastrointestinal upset.


Stevia is a popular sugar substitute produced from the leaves of the South American plant stevia rebaudina. Studies have not found stevia to be toxic to dogs, but eating too much can cause diarrhea.

Monk fruit sweetener

Monk fruit, also known as lo han guo, is a small, round fruit grown in southeast Asia. The fruit's extract has 1150-200 times the sweetness of sugar withouth the calories, making it a popular choice for those seeking a natural alternative to sugar. The monk fruit plant is not toxic to pets.


Saccharine is the primary ingedient in Sweet'N Low and is mainly found in diet drinks, dink mixes, salad dressings, and canned fruits labeled "light". Although this ingredient is not toxic to pets, gastrointestinal upset can occur.

Products your pets should avoid

Products that often use Xylitol

  • Peanut butter - Most commonly kinds listed as "natural", "organic", "sugar free", or "keto"

  • Several "Keto" labeled products such as snacks, desserts, &/or drinks

  • Drink powders

  • Pudding

  • Ketchup

  • Barbecue sauces

  • Pancake syurps

  • Gum

  • Sugar free products such as candies, gum, mints, etc.

  • Toothpaste & mouthwash

  • Jellies & jams

Medications/Supplements/Vitamins using Xylitol

Products that use Xylitol

  • Metamucil gummies

  • Allegra Chewables & Liquid

  • Some children's products have used Xylitol in the past & is unclear if they still do or will again (i.e. Benadryl & Aspirin)

  • Vitamine gummies