Could Cookies, Candy, or Gum Kill My Dog?

Yes! What is safe for us to eat is not necessarily safe for our pets. We know that chocolate is harmful for dogs, but many sweets are also potentially deadly! The following ingedients are common in our treats, but are dangerous or deadly for our dogs.

Macadamia Nuts

Macademia nuts are dangerous for dogs, resulting in Macademia Nut Toxicosis. Symptoms begin within 12 hours of ingestion, and include leg weakness, inability to stand, paralysis, and severe pain. Dogs require veterinary care for relief of the symptoms, and most dogs recover within days. While macademia nuts are not deadly, they do cause severe pain and distress. Take care to keep cookies and candies away from your dogs, and be sure guests understand they cannot give treats or "people food" to your dogs.


Xylitol is sugar subsitute, used widely as a low-calorie sweetener. Xylitol is found in low-calorie or low-sugar baked goods, candies, gums, toothpastes, dental care products, and medications. Xylitol has no known toxicity in people, but to dogs it can be deadly. As little as 2 sticks of gum can kill a small dog!

If you are baking with xylitol be sure that everyone knows those heavenly goodies are dangerous to your dogs and that no table scraps or treats can be fed. Keep your dog safe from dropped food and sneaky treats from children and guests by keeping him away from kitchen and dining spaces. Check the labels of your toothpastes, mouthwashes, gums, candies, and low-sugar products. Keep them in high cabinets, out of your dog's eager reach. Be sure that petsitters know the dangers our low-calorie, and sugar-free treats pose for our dogs.

In dogs, the first signs of toxicity is life-threatening hypoglycemia, potentially fatal in less than an hour. A dog that survives the initial hypoglycemia will likely suffer liver damage. If you suspect your dog has consumed xylitol, call us immediately, (715) 924-3301.


Raisins and grapes are also poisonous to dogs, including both seeded and seedless, both store-bought and home-grown. It is unknown what causes a dog's reaction to grapes, and not all dogs are affected. Toxicity symptoms begin with vomiting and diarrhea, and progress with weakness and abdominal pain. Fast action is necessary; renal (kidney) failure develops within 2 days!

Toxicity does not affect all dogs, but you won't know until it's too late! Don't share your raisins or grapes with your dog. In dogs that are affected, as few as 10 grapes is a toxic amount in a small dog!


Chocolate is a well-known danger for our dogs, but it is still one of the most common causes of canine poisoning. Chocolate contains theobromine, a chemical-cousin to caffeine. Dogs that eat chocolate experience hyperactivity, tremors, high blood pressure, rapid heart rate, seizures, respiratory arrest, and cardiac arrest. If you suspect your dog has eaten chocolate, first find out what kind of chocolate and how much your dog has eaten. Don't wait to see if your dog will develop symptoms, call us right away.

If you are not sure if a treat is safe for your dog, please don't give it. Don't guess, your dog's body works differently than yours. Keep a variety of dog treats in your home so your dog can share snack-times and celebrations safely.

Posted on October 16, 2011 >> Article Archive