The fact is that there is a lot of ignorance about the damage that foods not intended for canine use can do to the animals. It is not only the caloric intake that can affect their health, but also the ingredients that are made of certain foods.
Xylitol, for example, is a very common sweetener; it is found in chewing gum, candies, toothpastes and even some sweets. If for a human being it is completely harmless, for a dog it is lethal even in small quantities.
A woman, owner of a dog, reported how Xylitol took her away within a week, following days of suffering in intensive care. At the origin of the story there are homemade cookies sweetened with xylitol, one of the many low-calorie sugar substitutes that the dog Ruby has eaten unconsciously.
Xylitol is scientifically a sugar alcohol, of the class of polyols, used in the food sector as a substitute for the common sucrose. The amount normally present in foods is harmless to humans, but larger amounts may have a laxative effect. In animals, the speech is very different, because xylitol is one of those toxic substances; in dogs this sweetener causes a sudden lowering of blood sugar in the blood, vomiting, convulsions and liver failure. The harmful amount depends on the size of the animal, but approximately the amount present in a candy sweetened to xylitol is sufficient to create damage in the body of a dog of 8-10 kg.
The owner of Ruby feels deeply guilty for not having estimated the danger that could have come from those cookies and for not having immediately recognized the symptoms of his dog's intoxication: for this reason he now wants to warn everyone who owns a dog and that maybe they have the habit of giving them to give some sweets for humans.
Xylitol is a highly toxic substance for our four-legged friends; it is advisable to avoid leaving tires or sweets in their reach and to prefer specific foods for dogs. To check for the presence of xylitol in food, search for the name among the ingredients or search for the code E967.