In a world where people seem to hate each other and would prefer to hang out with their pets instead, we need to protect our furry friends. Ok, the first half of that statement was a little dramatic, but you get the idea.

Back in the '80s, any substitute was all the rage, margarine over butter, Diet Coke over regular, Sweet N Low, Equal, you remember, right?

Experts found, however, that a lot of these substitutes were not the best for your health, and folks either omitted them from their diet or went back to the real thing.

There is one natural sweetener that seems to be used a lot these days and that is xylitol.

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XYLITOL IS BASICALLY SUGAR ALCOHOL

Xylitol is found in small amounts in many fruits and vegetables and is therefore considered natural. Humans even produce small quantities of it via normal metabolism.

It is a common ingredient in sugar-free chewing gums, candies, mints, diabetes-friendly foods, and oral-care products. -healthline.com

I remember my dentist telling me that xylitol is a safe option for a sugar substitute for adults and children.

XYLITOL IS NOT SAFE FOR EVERYONE, HOWEVER...

 

Although safe for humans in moderate amounts, xylitol is extremely toxic for your dog.

 

Even small amounts of xylitol can cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), seizures, liver failure, or even death in dogs. -vcahospitals.com

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The label of my Mentos gum reads in all capital letters. XYLITOL IS NOT SAFE FOR DOGS.

So pet lovers beware!

Xylitol can be found in many things such as gum, toothpaste, even peanut butter, so check the label and keep it away from your dog.

LOOK: Here Are 30 Foods That Are Poisonous to Dogs

To prepare yourself for a potential incident, always keep your vet's phone number handy, along with an after-hours clinic you can call in an emergency. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center also has a hotline you can call at (888) 426-4435 for advice.

Even with all of these resources, however, the best cure for food poisoning is preventing it in the first place. To give you an idea of what human foods can be dangerous, Stacker has put together a slideshow of 30 common foods to avoid. Take a look to see if there are any that surprise you.