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Why This Everyday Treat Can Be Deadly

Pet owners know that chocolate is highly toxic to dogs – but there is another everyday sweet that is way more dangerous.



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Human treats and dog treats are definitely not the same. Most pet owners know that chocolate is highly toxic to dogs – but there is another everyday sweet that is way more dangerous.

Xylitol, the sweetener used in sugar-free chewing gum and many other low calorie snacks is estimated to be 100 times more toxic to dogs than chocolate.

The ASPCA’s poison center received close to 4,000 calls last year and there were at least 11 fatalities. But experts say there were probably many more that went unreported. Xylitol is extracted from plants and is harmless to humans but in dogs causes a sudden release of insulin, which drastically lowers blood sugar and potentially leads to seizures and brain damage. It also can cause liver failure.

Dr Tina Wismer, medical director of the Animal Poison Control Center at the ASPCA, said: “Dogs don’t have an off button. They get into the muffins and eat an entire tin.”  So if they find something containing Xylitol they are likely to eat a lot of it. Fortunately, she added, “if you get these animals in to a veterinarian, they tend to do quite well.”

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