The San Diego Union-Tribune (via Paw Nation) reports that there’s something in your refrigerator (or purse) that sounds as dangerous to your pets as anti-freeze and is even more accessible: sugar-free snacks and gum.
That’s if they contain the sweetener xylitol, which is harmless to humans and found in many foods.
“Two pieces of sugarless gum can be harmful or fatal for a 20-lb. dog,” vet Ashley Weinberg tells the Union-Tribune. Adds vet Valerie Caskey: “One pudding cup can cause harm to a 90-pound Rottweiler.”
If you think your pet has eaten something containing xylitol, take him or her to the vet or call the ASPCA’s
poison control hotline immediately at (888) 426-4435:
Symptoms are vomiting, weak and wobbly appearance or extreme
lethargy. A dog’s blood sugar can bottom out in 30 minutes, and a pet
can fall into a coma, veterinarians say.
These symptoms can be observed from 30 minutes to 12 hours. The
longer the pet goes without help, the more grave the condition becomes. (The San Diego Union-Tribune)
Still, this doesn’t mean you need to trash all your sugarless foods: Many don’t use xylitol at all. Just check the label and, if a food does contain xylitol, be sure to keep it well out of your dog’s reach.
From the Petfinder library: