The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning on Thursday about the dangers of giving dogs food products that contain the artificial sweetener Xylitol.
The agency's warning comes amid increasing incidence of Xylitol poisoning among dogs. The number of calls to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals' Animal Poison Control Center about dogs being poisoned by Xylitol increased from 82 in 2004 to over 3,700 in just 10 years. The Pet Poison Helpline also saw a 15 percent rise in such calls this year.
The FDA warned dog owners that Xylitol, which can be found in chewing gum, some baked goods, and chocolates, can be fatal to dogs.
"Xylitol is present in many products and foods for human use, but can have devastating effects on your pet," the FDA said.
"Over the past several years, the Center for Veterinary Medicine at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has received several reports-many of which pertained to chewing gum-of dogs being poisoned by xylitol."
Just like Xylitol, which can be safely consumed by humans but can be fatal to pets, there are other food products that dog owners should keep their animals away from.
Coffee And Other Caffeinated Products
Coffee, chocolate and other food products with caffeine contain methylxanthines found in cacao seeds. This substance can cause panting, diarrhea, vomiting, tremors, abnormal heart rhythm, seizures, and even death to dogs. Dark chocolate, which has high levels of methylxanthines can be particularly dangerous to dogs.
Grapes And Raisins
It is not yet certain what makes grapes and raisins bad for some dogs but giving them these may cause kidney failure that can be potentially fatal.
Beverages and other food products that contain alcohol may cause vomiting, decreased coordination, diarrhea, depression, breathing difficulties, abnormal blood acidity, tremors, and possibly death to pets.
Onions And Garlic
Onions and garlic may destroy the red blood cells of dogs, which can lead to anemia. Although getting occasional dose may be fine, consuming large quantities of onions and garlic all at once or eating smaller amounts regularly may poison pets. Symptoms of anemia in animals include vomiting, weakness and little interest in food.
Dogs should not be given macadamia nuts or other food products that contain them because they can be fatal. At least six roasted or raw macadamia can make them sick. Symptoms may include paralysis in some parts, muscle tremors, rapid heart rate, and elevated body temperature.