Dogs are intelligent creatures. They can problem solve just as children can. Often, if they want something they shouldn’t have and are not closely supervised, the fallout is followed with a punishment and a firm “no.” Sadly, this story goes well beyond that.

Human foods are not meant for canine consumption. Even foods you think are most likely harmless, can have devastating effects. That is why paying close attention to what is safe and what isn’t, and managing your household accordingly, can save your dog’s life.

A well-behaved Golden Retriever, named Luna, was left alone while her family went out to do some errands. She had never gotten into trouble before and her parents had little reason to be concerned. All foods were put out of reach and locked safely in a pantry. All but one…

While patrolling her home, looking for a snack, Luna came across a pack of sugarless gum. Ingesting regular chewing gum is bad enough but sugar-free gum, that almost always contains xylitol, can be fatal.

Xylitol is an artificial sweetener used in many sugar-free products. In moderation, it is okay for human consumption. But for dogs, it can mean a death sentence. Luna, unaware of the consequences, scarfed down a pack of lemon flavored Ice Breakers chewing gum.

Source: Amazon.com

By the time Luna’s family came home, she was already on the floor crying out in pain. The gum wrappers laid beside her. Her family rushed Luna to the veterinarian but too much time had passed. Her system began shutting down. Xylitol attacks the liver often causing irreversible damage.

Source: YouTube video below

If caught very early, it is possible with lots of IV fluids and close monitoring, the dog can survive but in most cases, like Luna’s, it is just too much on their system. Xylitol is highly toxic and can cause a slow, painful death. For Luna, the right thing had to be done. Luna was humanely euthanized.

In memory of sweet Luna

Xylitol can also be found in many brands of peanut butter. And as we know, peanut butter is a favored treat amongst our four-legged friends. Please check the brand in your pantry. If it contains xylitol, throw it out immediately!

It is highly recommended to keep any potentially toxic substances out of your home completely. If some things are unavoidable, consider a heavy-duty locked cabinet that is impossible to penetrate.

To learn more about the dangers of xylitol, watch the video below.