THE RSPCA has issued an urgent warning to dog owners over a common household item that can be poisonous for canines.
The low-calorie sweetener Xylitol, also known as E967, can be found in mints, toothpaste, sugar-free gum, allergy medicines, digestive aids and some brands of peanut butter – but it is "extremely hazardous" for pooches.
Xylitol is used a natural alternative to sugar because it has a low glycemic index and 40 per cent fewer calories.
But its health benefits for people do not make it any less toxic for dogs.
Even though Xylitol can be potentially lethal for dogs, its dangers as a poison are much less well known among owners than chocolate or onions.
The RSPCA told the Eastern Daily Press: "Xylitol can be extremely hazardous to dogs because it can cause a very rapid drop in blood sugar and later there is the risk of liver damage.
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"Symptoms can come on within an hour of ingestion, although in some cases there can be a delayed onset of 12 hours.
"It is a secret poison as many people just aren’t aware of the dangers – so it's really important pet owners are aware and help us spread the message as to the dangers of xylitol to dogs."
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If a mutt gobbles up something containing xylitol, their blood sugar levels could plummet into a hypoglycaemic state – causing seizures, mobility issues, vomiting, comas and possibly even death.
RSPCA vets urge pet owners to check the ingredients of anything they feed their pet – especially any peanut butter they use to mask dog medicine.
If your dog eats something it shouldn't have, call your vet immediately.
It comes after a vet issued an urgent warning to dog owners after a common treat left a puppy seriously ill.
Another vet has warned parents not to buy a beloved animal as pets for their kids – adding that they are unexpectedly high-maintenance and require constant attention.
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