Published on: 11/21/2021
HR 5261, called the “Paws Off Act”, amends the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to deem foods containing xylitol as misbranded unless the label or labeling of such foods contains a warning specifying the toxic effects of xylitol on dogs if ingested. Xylitol (or “birch sugar”) is a chemical compound most commonly used as a sugar substitute in chewing gum, dental products, peanut butter, baked goods, and other human food.
Xylitol is harmful to dogs because, unlike humans, it is quickly absorbed in the bloodstream and may result in a sudden release of insulin from the pancreas. The rapid release of insulin into a dog’s bloodstream may cause hypoglycemia. In dogs, this may occur within 10 – 60 minutes of ingestion of xylitol and if untreated, can quickly be life-threatening.