Dog Owners, Beware: This Common Sweetener Could Kill Fido

What's Hot

2 Types of Black Marks Might Vanish From Your Credit File SoonBorrow

6 Ways the Obamacare Overhaul Might Impact Your WalletInsurance

7 Dumb and Costly Moves Homebuyers MakeBorrow

This Free Software Brings Old Laptops Back to LifeMore

Obamacare Replacement Plan Gets ‘F’ Rating from Consumer ReportsFamily

Beware These 12 Common Money MistakesCredit & Debt

21 Restaurants Offering Free Food Right NowSaving Money

17 Ways to Have More Fun for Less MoneySave

House Hunters: Beware of These 6 Mortgage MistakesBorrow

30 Household Uses for Baby OilSave

25 Ways to Spend Less on FoodMore

Nearly Half of Heart-Related Deaths Linked to These 10 Foods and IngredientsFamily

5 Surprising Benefits of Exercising Outdoors in WinterFamily

10 Ways to Save When You’re Making Minimum WageSave

Boost Your Credit Score Fast With These 7 MovesCredit & Debt

7 Painless Ways to Pay Off Your Mortgage Years EarlierBorrow

The Most Sinful City in the U.S. Is … (Hint: It’s Not Vegas)Family

The True Cost of Bad CreditCredit & Debt

10 Companies With the Best 401(k) PlansGrow

This Scam Now Tops ID Theft as the No. 2 Consumer ComplaintFamily

6 Stores With Awesome Reward ProgramsFamily

6 Ways to Save More at Lowe’s and The Home DepotSave

6 Healthful Treats for Your DogFamily

New Study Ranks the Best States in the U.S.Family

Thousands of Millionaires Moving to 1 Country — and Leaving AnotherGrow

Strapped for College Costs? How to Get the Most From FAFSABorrow

6 Overlooked Ways to Save at Chick-fil-AFamily

Ask Stacy: What’s the Fastest Way to Pay Off My Mortgage?Borrow

Where to Sell Your Stuff for Top DollarAround The House

8 Ways to Get a Good Price on a Shiny New AutoCars

Ask Stacy: How Do I Start Over?Credit & Debt

Secret Cell Plans: Savings Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint Don’t Want You to Know AboutFamily

30 Awesome Things to Do in RetirementCollege

14 Super Smart Ways to Save on TravelSave

The Rich Prefer Modest Cars — Should You Join Them?Cars

You’ll Soon Pay More to Shop at CostcoSave

10 Ways to Save When Your Teen Starts DrivingFamily

A sugar substitute used in some chewing gums and vitamins, and increasingly in other food products, is being blamed for a surge in dog poisonings.

Dogs and chocolate don’t mix. In fact, it can be a fatal combination. Although most dog owners are probably aware that chocolate is harmful to their furry friends, what many don’t know is that a sugar substitute is 100 times as toxic to dogs as milk chocolate and it is used in a growing number of food products.

Xylitol, a sugar substitute used in chewing gum, mints, sugar-free candies, gummy vitamins, toothpaste, specialty peanut butter and melatonin sleep aids, is behind an increase in accidental dog poisonings, some of them fatal, The Wall Street Journal reports.

“We’ve seen a dramatic increase” in xylitol calls, said Dr. Ahna Brutlag, senior veterinary toxicologist at the Pet Poison Helpline, in an interview with the Journal. So far this year, Brutlag’s center has received 2,800 calls about known or suspected xylitol ingestion, a marked increase from the 300 xylitol-related calls the center received in 2009.

The Animal Poison Control Center of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals received more than 3,700 xylitol calls in 2014, 11 that involved canine fatalities, according to CBS. In 2004, the center received 82 such calls.

Brutlag said the sugar substitute is one of the most dangerous food-related poisons her center 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,” Brutlag said.

Although xylitol is safe for human consumption, ingesting it can cause a sudden release of insulin in dogs, resulting in low blood sugar, seizures, liver failure, brain damage and even death, CBS said.

While some animal welfare groups and pet owners are calling for warning labels on products that contain xylitol – like this online petition from a pet-safety group in Oregon – other people argue that educating dog owners about xylitol’s threat to their canine companions is a more efficient and effective way to address the issue.

Many food manufacturers argue that their products are meant for human, not canine, consumption and that they’re properly labeled with xylitol as an ingredient.

I’m sure any dog owner will tell you that their pooch doesn’t care whom the yummy-smelling food is meant for, nor what the product label says: If they can get to the food, they’re going to eat it. For this reason, I’m in favor of education over relabeling products.

Did you know that xylitol can be deadly to dogs? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

I know... every site you visit wants you to subscribe to their newsletter. But our news and advice is actually worth reading! For 25 years, I've been making people richer without making their eyes glaze over. You'll be glad you did. I guarantee it!


Read Next: Lookin’ Good! How to Get a Killer Deal on Eyeglasses

Check Out Our Hottest Deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 1,898 more deals!