We've mentioned dangerous foods for your pets before, but some seemingly harmless foods are more dangerous than others. Cases of dogs getting sick from ingesting xylitol, an ingredient commonly found in sugarless gum, are on the rise. Photo by State Farm.
A dog chewing on a pack of gum that was left out, or finding an already-chewed piece on the footpath, might seem like a minor nuisance, but it can actually make them very sick. A recent report in the Wall Street Journal explains that accidental dog poisonings are increasing at an alarming rate; all due to foods and candy with the artificial sweetener xylitol. According to veterinary toxicologist Dr. Ahna Brutlag, she's gone from receiving 300 sweetener related calls a year back in 2009 to roughly 2800 calls this year alone.
For dogs, xylitol is actually about 100 times as toxic as milk chocolate, despite it being completely harmless to us, and can lower your pup's blood sugar and cause seizures, brain damage, and liver failure. It can be found in gum, mints, gummy vitamins, peanut butter, and even toothpaste. Try to keep your dog away from anything containing xylitol, but don't freak out if they do manage to get into something containing it. Most dogs manage just fine if they're taken to a vet quickly.
Sweetener in Gum Is Causing Surge in Accidental Dog Poisonings [The Wall Street Journal via Consumerist]