The Hidden Killer in Your House
Not everything natural is safe for our furry companions. Sometimes we don’t even realize the dangers we bring home and leave on the counter or in our cars or purses. How many women, right now, have a stick or two of sugar free gum in their purses. That simple little piece of gum or two could be lethal to your dog.
Xylitol is a sweetener used in sugar-free items like gum, cookies, muffins, candies and even toothpaste. Xylitol is a natural sweetener that is easily absorbed by the human body, but triggers a significant insulin release in dogs which rapidly drops their blood sugar and can permanently damage the liver.
Recent studies have linked the problems associated with Xylitol to acute liver failure and even death. Low blood sugar can be treated by your veterinarian, but liver damage, even with aggressive treatment, can make it difficult to save the dog’s life.
What Can You Do?
- Knowledge is the first step to combat this problem!
- Tell everyone in your family especially children, who often share and bring gum home from school.
- Tell your friends, your dog groomer and pet sitter.
- Dog proof your house by putting up any artificial sweeteners and gum.
- Look through the ingredients of the sugar-free items that you might already have at home and your toothpaste.
- Diligently research the things that you buy.
- We have a Gum Rule at my house. Any and all gum whether it be sugar-free or not gets locked down!
- Keep an eye on your furry friend, if any items are missing or if your dog is a thief crate training may prove to be safest.
This is a serious problem and a relatively new find to the veterinary world. Come up with a plan as a family, discuss the dangers of Xylitol and keep your veterinarian’s number handy in case of any emergencies. The best advice I can give is that human food in general is not safe for your dog, keep human food out of reach and use only dog food/treats and food your veterinarian recommends. If you are conscientious about the problem and the dangers you can help ensure a long, safe and healthy life for your canine, but sometimes it is difficult to know all the substances that can negatively affect your dog.
For more information or in case of an emergency contact the experts at the Animal Poison Control Center (888) 426-4435 a $65 consultation fee may be charged to you, but saving your pets life will be well worth it! You can also find more information about them and toxins on their website just click on the picture above.
I have been a professional dog trainer and pet sitter for over 20 years. I am a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, through the international Certification Counsel of Professional Dog Trainers. I have trained and worked with police, Schutzhund and personal protection dogs. I trained Assistance Dogs in a men’s prison and ran my own nonprofit organization to take adult dogs from shelters and to train them to assist children and adults with disabilities, at no charge to my clients. My nonprofit organization and I were nominated for several awards of merit and even made the front page of the Denver Post. I was a veterinary technician for many years, where I learned about all aspects of health and preventative medicine. I have trained and worked with exotic animals and cheetahs. I introduced a temperament testing program in my local shelter and sat on the board of directors. I volunteered with my dog “Mr. Snitch” and helped local children learn to read. I have attained obedience titles and several blue ribbons. I am constantly in search of ways to continue my education and excellence when it comes to animals, their behavior and their health.