Sorbitol is a sweetener in processed dog foods, treats, and toothpaste. But is sorbitol safe for dogs?
It’s not a clear-cut answer. The FDA says it’s safe. But a study on nursing rats showed signs of liver and bone marrow damage in offspring.
So the question remains.

What Is Sorbitol?

Sorbitol is a sugar alcohol that naturally occurs in blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, apples, apricots, avocados, cherries, peaches, and plums. It has a low glycemic level and is low in calories. It’s extracted from starches like corn, potatoes, sorghum, or wheat in pharmaceutical products, sugar-free foods, and oral care products like mouthwash and toothpaste.

Is Sorbitol Safe?

Sorbitol is on the FDA’s list of Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) foods. FDA studies found sorbitol has no toxicity or carcinogenic effects. But the FDA has stated that a daily intake of sorbitol that exceeds 30g per day may result in symptoms like …
Abdominal pain
That’s the effect of sorbitol on people, so what about dogs?

Is Sorbitol Safe for Dogs?

While some artificial sweeteners like Xylitol are toxic to dogs, sorbitol isn’t one of them. But a sweetener like sorbitol in dog treats or food is an unnecessary ingredient.
So, sorbitol is relatively safe but is sorbitol good for dogs?
Not really. Sorbitol is excreted through the urine in an unprocessed form, so it has no nutritional benefit for your dog. You’ll find sorbitol and other sweeteners added to a wide range of dog foods, treats, and pet toothpaste to make them palatable. But this begs the question, why? Your dog doesn’t need his food salted or sweetened. If your dog’s a picky eater, there are plenty of healthier options to entice him to eat.
And if a manufacturer needs to add sorbitol to their food or treats, what does that say about the quality and taste of the food? The presence of sorbitol suggests there are other reasons not to feed them to your dog.

Is Sorbitol Safe for Dogs In Toothpaste

Yes, sorbitol is approved for use in toothpaste and mouthwashes and is safe for use with dogs. But that doesn’t mean it’s good for dogs or that dogs need it. There are safer, effective alternatives for your dog’s dental care.
Effects Of Sorbitol On Dogs
Whether sorbitol is safe or not, it can cause reactions in dogs.
Sorbitol isn’t completely digested in the small intestine; this is known as sorbitol intolerance. The sorbitol that’s left may result in diarrhea.
Dogs who eat foods with sorbitol may react with hypoglycemia, obesity, nervousness, cataracts, tooth decay, arthritis, and allergies.
Sorbitol in dogs may cause minor to moderate gastrointestinal discomfort or distress.
In large amounts (like a dog allowed to free-feed on kibble), sorbitol may cause symptoms like bloating, abdominal pain, gas, and nausea.
People and dogs with IBS don’t absorb sorbitol properly, but the symptoms you see are similar. You’ll need to ask your vet to confirm what’s causing your dog’s symptoms.
Sorbitol has osmotic laxative properties, drawing water into your dog’s intestine for softer poop. But too much sorbitol can cause diarrhea, and here are healthier, natural options to treat your dog’s constipation.
Sorbitol can make things worse for a dog prone to diarrhea. Find out what’s causing diarrhea, and if he’s eating processed food with sorbitol, that’s probably the first thing you need to change.

Is arm and hammer dog toothpaste safe?
Arm & Hammer Enzymatic toothpaste is safe for adult dogs and puppies. It contains a common homeopathic tooth-cleaning ingredient, baking soda, which will clean your dog’s teeth and fight bad breath.
The most important thing to remember about brushing your dog’s teeth is don’t use human toothpaste on your dog. The reason? Much human toothpaste contains Xylitol, an artificial sweetener toxic to dogs. Xylitol can cause blood sugar drops in dogs and potential liver damage.
It does not contain Xylitol, but it is the best enamel-building toothpaste. I have a chemistry background, and I can tell you that the liquid calcium and fluoride are together.
How much toothpaste is toxic to a dog?
In both humans and dawgs, the level of blood sugar is controlled by the release of insulin from the pancreas. Xylitol does not stimulate the release of insulin from the pancreas in humans. However, when non-primate species (e.g. a dog) eat something containing Xylitol, the Xylitol is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream, resulting in a potent insulin release from the pancreas. This rapid release of insulin results in a rapid and profound decrease in blood sugar (hypoglycemia), an effect that occurs within 10-60 minutes of consuming Xylitol. If left untreated, hypoglycemia can be life-threatening.
Symptoms of xylitol toxicity develop rapidly, usually within 15-30 minutes of consumption. Signs of hypoglycemia may include any or all of the following:
Incoordination or difficulty walking or standing (walking like a drunk)
Depression or lethargy
The dog may develop seizures or liver failure in severe cases, leading to almost instant death.
Is dog toothpaste edible
There is a rainbow of flavours regarding dog toothpaste, from mint to chicken and liver (eww). While dogs generally don’t like the taste of mint, all those meaty flavours can entice a food-motivated dog, which is like, well, every dog we’ve ever met!
Dogs aren’t meant to spit out their toothpaste, so it is safe to swallow.
But what happens if you slack off on the “puppy proofing” and your dog gets its paws on the whole tube of toothpaste?
Like when we eat an entire family-size bag of chips by ourselves (Can’t. Resist. Cheese. Puffs.), the likely scenario is some stomach upset or diarrhoea, especially if the toothpaste contains baking soda.
One exception is if you use dog toothpaste with neem oil. Certain doggie medications for diabetes or thyroid issues can react with neem oil. Some canines are naturally sensitive to this ingredient, even in small amounts. So if your toothpaste has neem oil and your dog eats a bunch of it and isn’t acting quite right, play it safe and call the vet.

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