What's safe for humans can be toxic for dogs. A recent study warns about the dangers of xylitol, a commonly used sugar substitute found in some sugar-free candy, gum and baked goods. "Dogs are the primary victims of xylitol because dogs are the type of animal that will jump up on the counter and steal a cupcake or steal their owner's pack of gum out of their purse," said Dr. Louise Murray of the ASPCA. Cases of xylitol poisoning are on the rise. The ASPCA's poison control center managed 170 cases of xylitol poisoning in 2005, twice the number of cases in 2004. This years' number suggests the upward trend continues. Even small amounts of xylitol can be lethal. "You can see symptoms when a dog eats xylitol in as soon as 30 minutes," said Dr. Murray. "They'll begin to vomit, have tremors, some of the dogs will have seizures and actually their liver will begin to fail."
This is especially critical considering today is Halloween. How many dogs will die today from either eating chocolate or treats sweetened with Xylitol? This is why I recommend boarding your dog overnight on Halloween, to keep them away from these kinds of dangers.