Can Dogs Have Stevia – Is it Toxic to Puppies?
Stevia, is a plant with components, that give it a sweet taste. Stevia, having gained vast popularity in the world, because of its naturalness, in comparison with other artificial sweeteners. Being way sweeter than sugar, other artificial sweeteners are replaced by it when making or producing beverages, cereals and snacks. Due to it being nature based, it surprisingly does not affect the sugar level in the blood. Hence, why it is highly sought out for. It has been used in brazil for a way longer time than in other countries like Korea, China, Japan, and South America.
Stevia VS Sugar
Using Stevia for dogs, is safer than using sugar or other artificial sweeteners. Due to its Zero calorie value, its healthier than other sweeteners like xylitol which can be toxic to dogs. Its glycemic index also makes it suitable for adding it to dog food, having a zero glycemic index, is some that can help curb risk of diabetes and other cardiovascular diseases. It has the lowest glycemic index among other natural sweeteners.
As we all know, anything done in excess can be quite unsafe, and Stevia is no different. Just like in humans, when we eat excessively sweet things, we can end up with diarrhea, it’s no different in dogs. Adding excess of Stevia in a dog’s food can cause loose fecal matter; that is, diarrhea. It might also cause stomach pain. Since the microorganisms that assist in digestion of food in the dog’s alimentary canal, is not in any way familiar with that much amount of sugar, it can disrupt their processes.
Lower calories, equals no weight, or even weight loss with extreme activities. Considering this, Stevia is the best option if you want to use a sweetener for your dog’s food. When you can get sweeteners with low calories, it is even more amazing when you get a sweetener, a natural one, which has no calories.
No calories equal no cholesterol. Cholesterol spikes risk of heart diseases. This makes Stevia a very good choice because, you are presenting your dog a lifetime of a good and functioning heart when you use Stevia in its meals. Every form of heart disease, can be avoided when that other sweetener is replaced with Stevia. Also, its Zero glycemic index, will be able to normalize blood sugar, and avoid diabetes. In a world where diabetes is at its peak, it is important to try to reduce the number of diabetics.
How Safe is Stevia for Dogs?
A study carried out showed the reduction in blood sugar level of diabetic dogs when administered Stevia, than the other dogs that used other food sources or natural sweeteners. This also, is why Stevia is important for a dog’s diet. Obesity is one of most important things that can be avoided if Stevia is used as a sweetener.
Obesity poses lots of health hazard to the body of the patients. Sugar having a glycemic index of 63, can pose a risk of obesity in your dog. On the other hand, Stevia with its glycemic index, can reduce the amount of calorie intake in the dog and improve its satiety level. Improvement of satiety can cause weight loss, in an already obese dog. Another study done, showed Stevia’s anti-inflammatory potency. This study prove that Stevia could reduce the risk of having tumors or cancers. Warding off Tumors and cancers, helps to prolong the life of the dog. The usage of Stevia has more health benefits than health problems.
It’s healthier, to use the Stevia leaves, directly plucked from the plant. Stevia plant does not just have zero glycemic index and zero calories to offer, it has vitamins like vitamin C, and micro and macro nutrients like; magnesium, beta carotene, zinc, calcium, potassium and iron. It’s always healthier for your dog, when you do that because the processed Stevia, might not be 100 percent healthy because of the processes it has gone through. This is no different, from other products.
Of course, different companies produce the same thing, however, it is important for you to look out for the most qualified of the lot, to be on the safe side. Products like dried Stevia leaves, Stevia tinctures and Stevia extract powder can be considered, if you do not have access to a Stevia plant.
Best Stevia for Dogs
Among options mentioned earlier, the best of them, is the dried Stevia leaves. They are basically unprocessed and whole Stevia leaves probably put in a jar. Greenstevia’s Whole Stevia leaves, is highly recommended if you want to go for the dry whole leaves. Stevia tinctures are the liquid type of Stevia. In other words, they are Stevia extracted in liquid form.
Most of the times, Stevia tinctures are basically not just Stevia, although still natural, that does not change the fact that other natural flavors are added to give a good balance to the taste. However, this should not discourage you from using Stevia tinctures especially if you don’t have access to the natural leaves or the already dried Stevia leaves, the natural flavors added, will not spikes your dog’s blood sugar, it could only increase only a little bit. Sweet drops’ Stevia tincture is recommended if you want to go for tinctures. Last on the list is Stevia extract powder. This powder is basically gotten from that sweet part in the Stevia plant.
This type of Stevia product goes through several chemical processes to attain the white powder it becomes at the end. Sometimes there are some additions, to balance the flavors. If you’re going to buy the powdered Stevia, it is important to read the body of the container, to know if it will be suitable for your dog. Stevia powders from; now foods, sweet leaves and stevia select are recommended.
In all, using stevia in place of other dog food sweetener is a wise decision. Still, it’s important to know the kind of stevia product you’re going to use and most importantly use it in moderation.