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Is Stevia Bad For Dogs? [How Much is Harmful?]

    Unlike many other artificial sweeteners, Stevia is safe for dogs to consume. However, Stevia should not be a regular part of your dog’s diet because too much can cause an upset stomach. Before giving your dog a treat with Stevia, make sure the treat does not contain xylitol.

    If you’ve been to the grocery store recently or tried a Keto or low-carb diet, you have likely seen and potentially used Stevia as a popular sugar substitute. You can find Stevia in thousands of items, from ice cream, cereal, baked goods, toothpaste, and even chocolate.

    For human consumption, Stevia is considered a safe and healthy sugar alternative that can sweeten foods and drinks without the many negative health effects linked to traditional sugar.

    Stevia has gained popularity for humans, as it is linked to reduced calorie intake, blood sugar levels, and reduces the risk of cavities.

    For an understanding of just how popular Stevia is, experts expect the Stevia market to be worth $1.11 Billion by 2028. If you check your cupboard right now, chances are you have Stevia products and might not even know it.

    But as most animal lovers know, just because these newer sugar alternatives are safe and healthy for humans does not mean they offer the same benefits for our beloved dogs.

    Chocolate and grapes are two common household foods loved by humans but can be deadly for curious dogs.

    So, what happens when a curious dog gets into a cupboard or onto the counter and eats a Stevia-sweetened treat? Is Stevia considered safe for your dog? Are all artificial sweeteners safe?

    Stevia 101

    From the leaves of the South American plant Stevia rebaudiana, Stevia is a popular sugar substitute. Steviol glycosides are active compounds with sweetening properties between 30-150 times greater than sugar.

    What does this mean for consumers? Just a bit can go a long way. Though it has recently gained popularity, Japanese scientists developed the first commercial Stevia-derived sweetener in the early 1970s.

    What makes Stevia so popular? Since Stevia has no calories, it is an extremely popular substitute for those who want a sweet treat without the additional caloric intake of traditional sugar.

    In addition, since it is derived from the leaves of a plant, it is considered more natural than some alternative artificial sweeteners.

    Is Stevia Safe for my Dog?

    Yes, your dog can have Stevia, but in moderation. If you are looking for a sweet treat for your pup, Stevia is a better option than regular sugar and other artificial sweeteners. Stevia has a glycemic index score of zero. In contrast, sugar has 63, which means that Stevia will not cause blood sugar spikes in your dog after it is eaten.

    Stevia is so safe that it is added to many dog products on the market today, including dog treats and dog toothpaste.

    Although Stevia is safe for dogs, too much can be bad. Stevia may cause diarrhea and upset your pup’s stomach. Any sugar or sweetener that a dog is not used to consuming can disrupt the healthy, good bacteria in your furry friend’s gut and may cause tummy troubles.

    If your pup has an ongoing issue with loose stool or other fecal problems, talk to your veterinarian or consider avoiding extra sweeteners altogether.

    Should Stevia be a regular part of your dog’s diet? Probably not. The best diet for your dog is one that includes high-quality, age-appropriate dog food and occasional high-quality treats. Be sure to speak to your veterinarian about what dog food is right for your dog.

    Are all Artificial Sweeteners Safe for Dogs?

    Not all artificial sweeteners are created equal. Another widely used sugar substitute, xylitol, is toxic to dogs.

    Even in small amounts, low blood sugar levels, seizures, liver failure, or death can be caused by xylitol.

    Pet Poison Helpline states that poisoning may occur at a dose of 0.05 grams per pound of body weight (0.1 grams per kilogram). 8-10 sticks of gum contain about 3 grams and could kill a 65-pound dog.

    Aspartame, sucralose, monk fruit sweetener, and saccharine are all popular artificial sweeteners that are non-toxic to dogs, but many run the risk of giving your dog diarrhea in larger doses.

    My Dog Got into My Sweet Stash! Now What?

    So you get home and find your dog has knocked the trash can over and jumped on the counter (again), and all there is to speak for is a large mess and many, many empty wrappers. What’s next?

    First, try to identify what your dog has eaten and grab any wrappers you can and phone your vet. Likely, your vet will want to see your dog and monitor its behavior.

    Think your dog may have ingested something toxic? The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) is a great resource for any animal poison-related emergency, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

    If you think your pet may have ingested a potentially poisonous substance, call (888) 426-4435. A consultation fee may apply.

    Avoiding a Pet Poison Control Call

    Maybe you want to avoid a poison control call altogether, or after the hundredth time of finding your beloved dog on the counter or in the trash can, you need options. There are many ways to keep animals out of the kitchen and off the counters!

    The easiest and quickest solution is to install a barrier across the entryway of your kitchen. An affordable, renter-friendly option is a baby gate. They come in various lengths, heights, and styles with easy-open (for the humans, not the dogs) latches.

    While baby gates may be the easiest, they aren’t always feasible, like in homes with an open floor plan. This is where a good dog trainer can come in with consistent training to keep Fido out of the kitchen. This option requires the most effort from you, the pet parent, as consistency is key to your pet mastering the boundaries you and your trainer have set up.

    Last, an indoor dog containment system can help. These systems are invisible, so there are no physical gates. They will deliver gentle electrical signals through a collar to reinforce the boundary.

    Stevia is Safe – But Be Cautious

    Stevia is one of the most popular artificial sweeteners on the market today, and its all-natural profile makes it a favorite. While being safe for dogs, Stevia may cause stomach upset in the form of diarrhea for your pup.

    Stevia should not be part of your dog’s regular diet, and you should work with your veterinarian to find age-appropriate, high-quality dog food. If giving your pet a sweet treat containing Stevia, be sure to read all labels to ensure there aren’t toxic artificial sweeteners like xylitol.

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