HR5261, known as the Paws Off Act of 2021, is making its way through the US House of Representatives. This act would amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to declare that foods containing xylitol would be misbranded if the label does not warn of the toxic effects of xylitol on dogs.
Xylitol is an artificial sweetener that is used in a wide range of products, such as sugar-free gum, candy, mouthwash, mints, desserts, and cough drops. It is highly toxic to pets, especially dogs.
The American Veterinary Medical Association, which supports the proposed legislation, notes that poison hotline calls about xylitol have been increasing over the past several years.
“Ensuring pet owners are aware of the products and household items that pose a threat to their pets is a critical component of animal welfare,” says Dr. José Arce, AVMA president. “Despite the deadly harm xylitol presents to dogs and other pets, it is frequently not listed in the ingredient label in products we use on an everyday basis. We must enact the Paws Off Act of 2021 to inform the public about which products contain the artificial sweetener and the poisonous effect it has on our pets.”
The Paws Off Act of 2021 is co-sponsored by a group of 4 members of the House: David Schweikert, Greg Stanton, Michael Waltz, and Raúl Grijalva.
As Rep. Schweikert notes, “With roughly 50 percent of American households owning one pet or more, it is vital that families be informed of the dangers many basic items and products can pose to their animal’s lives. Late surveys conducted by the FDA have shown that an overwhelming majority of pet owners are unaware of the existence of this toxin in their everyday items.”
For more about the risks of the ingestion of xylitol in dogs, check out this informative video from the FDA: