Most people keep looking for ways to reduce their sugar intake due to the dangers of too much sugar.
Enter Erythritol, a sugar alternative that most have turned to because of its benefits. Although it has the same taste as sugar, it has no calories. As a result, it doesn’t affect your insulin or blood sugar levels. It is also less harmful to your dental health than sugar is.
Can my dog also eat Erythritol without facing dire consequences? You might ask.
How is Erythritol Made?
We know it is an artificial sweetener, but did you know that some fruits, vegetables, and fermented fruit contain natural Erythritol?
Regardless, most of the Erythritol we use is produced commercially by fermenting dextrose, a simple sugar found in corn.
Erythritol contains about 70-80% of the same sweetness as regular sugar, and most people love it as a replacement for the calories found in sugar.
It is a sugar alcohol, which means it gets absorbed in our bodies without the need to break it down, which is why it is calorie-free.
Is Erythritol Safe for Dogs?
Unlike most artificial sweeteners, Erythritol is safe for dogs. This is because it is a sugar alcohol, implying that your dog’s body doesn’t have to struggle to break it down.
Usually, the breaking down of artificial sweeteners, once your dog ingests them, causes insulin spikes, which puts your dog’s life in danger. Not so with Erythritol.
This sweetener is also safe for dogs’ stomachs as it doesn’t feed the harmful bacteria found in the gut. It quickly passes through the digestive system and bloodstream without causing any changes in the chemical balance. It is then excreted through urine, almost unprocessed, preventing it from causing any harm to your beloved canine.
Does It Have Health Benefits?
Erythritol is not just sweet; it offers some health benefits, making it a safer alternative to sugar. They include:
Improves Oral Health
Most sugar alcohols contribute to plaque buildup, destroying your pup’s oral health. Erythritol does not have this effect; it has almost no effect on plaque buildup.
Actually, the sweetener has been proven to reduce oral bacteria, dental caries, and dental plaque in dogs. So, giving your dog a treat that contains Erythritol contributes to a healthy dental formula.
Erythritol hunts for hydroxyl free radicals. These radicals roaming around in your pup’s bloodstream put them at risk of developing multiple health issues. Luckily, Erythritol is there to put an end to that.
Because of its antioxidant properties, the sugar alcohol eliminates free radicals, thereby protecting your dog from cardiovascular diseases. It also protects them against constipation and acidity caused by the other foods they eat.
Erythritol is also associated with lowered inflammation in multiple organs, such as the intestines, kidneys, and liver. This makes it a powerful tool in fighting most health issues in your dog’s body and improving their immunity.
Regulate Blood Sugar
Some dogs suffer from being overweight, obese, and diabetic. This means they should stick to low-sugar diets, which can be disappointing to dogs with a sweet tooth. If you have such a dog, Erythritol is your answer.
Because it doesn’t impact your dog’s blood sugar levels, it is a safe sweetener to use when making treats for your dog. Studies have shown that it does not change blood sugar levels in diabetics and non-diabetics alike. These studies were not focused on dogs, but their data carries a lot of promise for your dog’s health.
Moreover, Erythritol does not contain calories, so your dog will not be at risk of gaining weight.
Is it Gut Friendly?
Erythritol is simple sugar alcohol containing only four carbons, making it easy for dogs to digest. Most other sugars are complex, and dogs’ stomachs are not equipped to handle them, causing stomach upsets. Erythritol provides the best solution as it does not overwhelm their stomach.
Moreover, the sweetener has a low glycemic index, slowing down its digestion. The digestion process also gets rid of it completely. This leads to less acidity and significantly lowers the chances of your dog getting diarrhea from Erythritol consumption.
Are There Dangers to Feeding Dogs Erythritol?
Although Erythritol is safe for dogs, the amount you use can determine whether it will put them at risk. You must use it in moderation as large quantities can have unpleasant side effects.
Some of the dangers associated with high consumption of Erythritol include:
Erythritol is not as strong taste-wise as other sweeteners, which is why other sweeteners are added. Manufacturers bring in sweeteners like aspartame to boost its sweetness and balance the taste.
While this makes it sweeter, artificial sweeteners are not the healthiest option. An abundance of sweeteners can lead to cancer, seizures, and weight gain.
Large amounts of Erythritol can cause digestive problems, such as diarrhea, in dogs. The sugars draw water from your dog’s body and into the intestines (when they are being digested). This increases the water content in your dog’s stool, leading to diarrhea.
Too much Erythritol can also lead to gas and bloating. You can test whether your dog will experience these side effects by serving the sweetener in small portions. Observe their reactions to root out any negative effects.
Consult your vet if you see any abnormal symptoms after your dog eats anything that contains Erythritol.
Some erythritol manufacturers use wheat and other grains that contain gluten to produce the sweetener. This can be risky for gluten intolerant dogs whose bodies cannot handle the gluten content.
To be on the safe side, find manufacturers who produce gluten-free products. Steer clear of any gluten erythritol, and don’t let your dog eat any of your food that might contain it. You can instead replace it with stevia – a healthier alternative.
Erythritol is a great sugar alternative to use in your dog’s food. It can, especially, be useful for dogs with high blood sugar levels as it helps with its regulation.
Make sure you use the sweetener in moderation, as too much of it can be toxic. Control the amount you use in your dog’s food to prevent bloating, diarrhea, and other digestive problems.