FDA Warns Dog Owners to Keep Pets Away from Sugarless Gum; Artificial Sweetener Xylitol Revealed as Toxic

A piece of chewing gum can be fatal -- not to humans but to dogs.

Having a pack of sugarless gum on hand or at near reach is very common among people as it helps ward off hunger or freshens breath after a long day. But while it can almost be found everywhere, it's recently been confirmed that a piece of chewing gum can be fatal -- not to humans but to dogs.

According to a report by Gizmodo, the Food and Drug Administration warned this week that the artificial sweetener Xylitol is lethal to pooches when ingested.

While it is common sense not to give dogs chewing gums, xylitol is not only found in sugarless gums. It's also present in certain foods and home products like breath mints, chewable vitamins, toothpaste, mouthwash, cough syrup, baked goods, peanut butter and more. Wall Street Journal noted that the substance can also be found in prescription medications, face lotions and na The reasons vary but no matter how some owners are careful with what their dogs take in, products containing xylitol end up being eaten.

Time said that the FDA released the information after finding out that the number of calls of dog deaths and severe illnesses associated to xylitol has greatly increased. From 82 in 2004 to 300 in 2009 to more than 3,700 in 2015, the increase in the calls clearly indicates the danger that xylitol can bring to the furry friends. It's also found out that this may be due to the widespread prevalence of xylitol in consumer products.

As to how it causes toxicity to the dogs, it is explained that a sudden surge of insulin is produced in dogs once products containing xylitol is consumed. They are absorbed into the bloodstream twice the speed than in humans which will then lead to hypoglycemia or a fatal drop in the dog's blood sugar levels. Symptoms that are manifested include staggering, seizures, vomiting and the worst of all, death. This can also all happen quickly within a day.

Some dogs can survive though with quick treatments. But prevention is better than cure so dog owners are highly recommended to keep away products with xylitol from their animal best friend.

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