(KMSP) - A sugar substitute found in sugar-free chewing gum and other foods can make your dog sick and even kill them, a recent Wall Street Journal report stated. Veterinary experts say xylitol is about 100 times as toxic as milk chocolate is to dogs.
Xylitol is being blamed for a recent uptick in accidental dog poisonings. It has been deemed safe for humans but can be extremely harmful to dogs, experts say.
The most obvious sign of xylitol poisoning is seizures as your dog's blood sugar levels plummet.
Dr. Ahna Brutlag, senior veterinary toxicologist at the Pet Poison Helpline, told the Wall Street Journal that xylitol has become one of the most dangerous food-related poisons her staff deals with.
“There are still a lot of dog owners who have never heard of xylitol, nor do they understand that something this benign, an ordinary sweetener, could be toxic to pets,” she said.
The ASPCA's poison center said it received more than 3,700 xylitol-related calls last year, with nearly a dozen deaths, the Wall Street Journal reported.