Artificial sweeteners are food additives that provide a sweet taste but without the excess calories of sugar. We’ve broken down the most common artificial sweeteners on the market and their effects on pets:
Erythritol – This sugar alcohol is industrially produced, and its versatility makes it a popular choice for followers of low-carb and keto diets. Studies have found erythritol is safe for dogs.
Aspartame – Aspartame is 200 times sweeter than sugar, so it can be used in much smaller amounts. Products containing aspartame can cause mild gastrointestinal discomfort in pets.
Sucralose – Sold under the brand name Splenda, sucralose holds up well in baked goods, and it can be found in diet beverages and other items. It’s not toxic to pets, but there is evidence that overconsumption can lead to gastrointestinal upset.
Stevia – Stevia is a popular sugar substitute produced from the leaves of the South American plant stevia rebaudiana. Studies have not found stevia to be toxic to dogs, but eating too much may 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 150-200 times the sweetness of sugar without 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 – Saccharine is the primary ingredient in Sweet‘N Low and is mainly found in diet drinks, drink mixes, salad dressings, and canned fruits labeled “light.” Although this ingredient isn’t toxic to pets, gastrointestinal upset can occur.
Erythritol. This non-caloric sugar alcohol is considered safe for dogs but in large quantities, gastrointestinal symptoms may occur.
The short answer is: Erythritol is safe for dogs. The main difference between Erythritol and other artificial sweeteners is the fact that it is a sugar alcohol, which implies that it doesn’t break in your dog’s body to create insulin spikes. It doesn’t feed harmful bacteria in your dog’s gut either. After it passes through your pooch’s digestive system and bloodstream, it is excreted through the urine in almost unprocessed form, causing no harm.
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