Xylitol shows up in places like toothpaste, mouthwash, sugarless gum, some cough medicines and chewable vitamins. Apparently it's also in some baked goods and some candy.
If your dog ingests Xylitol, the impact of the poison can be seen in as little time as 30 minutes after ingestion.
What happens is that this product stimulates rapid release of insulin in your dog, creating a hypoglycemic condition. Symptoms from this condition include
Ataxia (uncoordinated movements)
The big thing to take away from this is that if we don't know what's in our foods, then don't give it as a snack to your pets. Especially anything marked "sugar free." What I mean by "Don't know" is if you haven't reviewed the list of ingredients on the packaging of the food. Not, you're "pretty sure" due to word of mouth or other sources.
Other suggestions out there that help protect your pup from accidental poisoning is to make sure you don't leave food out... Wait? What kind of suggestion is that? Don't dog owners already do that?
List of Toxic or Dangerous Foods for Dogs:
Here's a list of foods and other substances that you should be careful of letting be around your dog... for me, the biggest surprise over time were grapes! Check it out:
Avocado: Leaves, fruit, seeds and bark may contain a toxic principle known as persin.
Bread Dough: The warm, moist environment of the stomach provides an ideal environment for the yeast to multiply, resulting in an expanding mass of dough in the stomach.
Chocolate: The compounds that cause toxicosis are caffeine and theobromine.
Ethanol (Also Known as Ethyl Alcohol, Grain Alcohol or Drinking Alcohol): Even a tiny amount can cause significant intoxication.
Grapes and Raisins: Have been associated with kidney failure in dogs, though in other dogs, they can ingest small quantities. DON'T TAKE CHANCES.
Hops: Foth fresh and spent hops have been associated with poisoning dogs. They develop an uncontrollably high body temperature.
Macadamia Nuts: Although unlikely to be fatal, it can create a bad scenario for your dog for up to 48 hours.
Moldy Foods: Some molds produce a toxin called tremorgenic mycotoxins, which can cause serious or even life-threatening problems if ingested by dogs.
Onions and Garlic: All close members of the onion family (shallots, onions, garlic, scallions, etc.) contain compounds that can damage dogs’ red blood cells if ingested in sufficient quantities.
Sources: petinsurance: Xylitol-Poisoning., aspca: foods hazardous to dogs.