Can Dogs Eat Aspartame? [Are Artificial Sweeteners Safe For Dogs]

Can Dogs Eat Aspartame?

Can Dogs Have Aspartame and Artificial Sweeteners?

Sugar from fruits and in its natural form is much healthier than highly processed carbs found in candies and sweet drinks. Sugar of some kind is in practically all kinds of foods and drinks, but the popularity of low-carb and keto diets means more people are looking for artificial sweeteners and sugar substitutes.

The most versatile and common sugar replacements are known as sugar alcohols. These include artificial products such as erythritol and plant-based sweeteners such as stevia. Many households today, including those with canine family members, are filled with products that contain these fake sugars, including the infamous aspartame.

Can Dogs Eat Aspartame?

Phenylalanine and aspartic acid are the two amino acids that makeup aspartame. When consumed, the sugar substitute is broken down into these acids, which are then used by the body to fuel vital processes such as protein synthesis and the regulation of internal metabolism.

In moderation, these are not harmful to your canine friends but care should be taken when dealing with kinds of artificial sugars and substitutes as they have some associated risks.

Along with aspartic acid and phenylalanine, consuming aspartame releases the same kinds of sugars that eating healthier natural fruits have. Because of their chemical makeup and highly processed nature, it is generally advised that dogs do not eat a lot of sweets foods and are not given aspartame and other sugary foods on a regular basis.

Your dog may accidentally consume it in smaller amounts if they get a hold of toothpaste or food intended for humans. If only occasionally ingested, you should not have much to worry about, but it is still something you do not want to be deliberately giving your dog regularly. 

The Facts About Aspartame and Artificial Sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners are food additives used to make sweet-tasting foods that are healthier and have fewer calories. Aspartame is among the most common. But can dogs eat aspartame and other artificial sweeteners? We’ve highlighted the popular options available on the market and the effect they can have on our canine family members:

  • Erythritol – This sugar alcohol has been manufactured to be versatile, which makes it a popular choice for those seeking low-carb diets. Studies have found that erythritol is safe for dogs in smaller amounts.
  • Aspartame – Aspartame is popular as an artificial sweetener because it is 200 times sweeter than sugar and is needed in much smaller amounts. Products containing aspartame can lead to mild stomach upset in many dogs.
  • Sucralose – Sold under the brand name Splenda, this sugar substitute is great for baking and is also found in diet beverages and other items. It’s not toxic, but too much too often or at once can lead to indigestion.
  • Stevia – Stevia is highly sought after as a natural sugar substitute as it comes from the leaves of stevia rebaudiana. Studies have shown that stevia is non-toxic, but overindulgence may cause diarrhea or vomiting.
  • Monk fruit sweetener – Monk fruit is a tropical fruit native to South Asia. The concentrated extract of this fruit is 150-200 times the sweetness of sugar without the calories. It is thankfully not toxic to most pets.
  • Saccharine – Saccharine is found in Sweet‘N Low and is common in diets foods and drinks across the board. Although saccharine has been found safe for pets, gastrointestinal upset can occur when too much is consumed.

Is Sugar Bad for Dogs?

Unlike many foods where there is a clear yes or no answer, questions such as can dogs eat aspartame or other sugar substitutes, the answer is a bit complicated. Most vets advise pet owners to stay away from all forms of sugar and artificial sweeteners. Although a little sugar and sweetener won’t hurt your dog in most cases, it has no nutritional value and can lead to stomach issues in some cases. It is also very unhealthy in larger amounts. It is also possible for smaller dogs and those with sensitive stomachs to quickly go from a little, to far too much, so it is often best to just avoid sugary things altogether.

Too much sugar over long periods of time, including sugary treats made with aspartame and other artificial sugars may cause numerous health issues for your dog. These range from mild to severe upset stomachs and can include more serious issues such as obesity, metabolic issues, and diabetes. In more severe cases, pancreatitis and there is an increased chance that a sugary treat might contain something that is toxic such as chocolate or xylitol because these are both poisonous to dogs. 

So, to keep your pup as safe and healthy as possible, it is best to avoid sugars and give a firm no when you ask yourself the question, can dogs eat aspartame and other artificial sweeteners?

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