Target: Martin Radvan, President of William Wrigley Jr. Company
Goal: Don’t let dogs be poisoned by sugar alcohol sweetener used in Wrigley’s gum and mint products.
Many of Wrigley’s gum and mint-based products contain a substance which has proven to be lethal to dogs if ingested. This substance, Xylitol, is a natural sugar alcohol sweetener and is an additive found in many sugar-free products today. While it is a perfectly healthy substance for humans to ingest, when it is ingested by dogs, the story becomes much more fatal.
Even taking in just a small amount of Xylitol brings dogs a great risk of danger. Seizures, liver failure, hypoglycemia, and death are not uncommon symptoms to be seen in dogs who have just eaten a product containing Xylitol. To put things in perspective, Xylitol is 100 times more dangerous for dogs to ingest than chocolate. Already, there have been multiple cases in which dogs (anywhere from yorkies to great danes) have been killed by eating products containing Xylitol.
Because it is easy for mints and gum to be left out in unfortunate places, and dogs are particularly curious creatures, it’s quite easy to imagine how disaster can ensue. How easy is it to leave a piece of gum out on accident, or to spit your chewed up piece into the bathroom garbage only to miss and leave it waiting there on the floor for the doggy clean-up crew to take care of? Dogs are notorious for getting their noses and mouths up into all the wrong places, and accidents unfortunately do happen, no matter how responsible we may try to be.
Wrigley’s brands of gums, Extra, Five, and Orbit, as well as their Altoids mints, contain Xylitol. While Xylitol may be helping to prevent tooth decay for humans, it is at the same time causing many more calls to the Pet Poison Helpline each year, as well as many more visits to the Veterinarian, ultimately resulting in a much larger number of dead pets. Wrigley’s must remove Xylitol from their gum and mint-based products, and find an alternative substance to use which is not unnecessarily harmful to our beloved pets.
Dear President Radvan,
The toxic sugar replacement in Wrigley’s gum and mint based products, Xylitol, is causing harm and death to dogs all over. While this substance is a healthy additive for humans as it aids in preventing tooth decay, it is having extremely deleterious effects on our most beloved animal friends. This is unacceptable, and should not be something we slip under the rug.
In the past five years alone, more than 1500 calls have been made to the Pet Poison Helpline concerning Xylitol ingestion in dogs. Because only small amounts of Xylitol ingestion can bring about a whole onset of symptoms, pieces of sugar-free gum or mints become an extreme danger to dogs when accidentally left out. While it is certainly our responsibility to be careful of what we leave out in front of our dogs, most people are not even aware of how dangerous gums and mints containing Xylitol can be, and unfortunately accidents do happen all of the time.
We recognize that within many of your gum and mint-based products (Extra, Five, Orbit, Altoids, etc), Xylitol is an ingredient used as a sugar substitute. Due to the detrimental effects Xylitol has on man’s best friend, we urge you to remove this lethal substance from your products so our dogs can live happy and healthy lives free of unnecessary risks.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Erik Lam