Responsible pet owners know how to make their homes safe for their animals. These folks know what foods are harmful to their pets, so they do their best to hide them. Chocolate, for instance, won’t harm us, but it’s not suitable for our pets.

If the dog does manage to sniff out something forbidden, they might just suffer a horrible bout of diarrhea. But some items can be fatal.

Unfortunately for one Wisconsin family, they lost their 2-year-old golden retriever, luna to something we all may have in our homes. And what’s so terrible about this is the family didn’t even know how much danger their pet faced.

If you have pets, you know how they’re always hungry; sniffing out crumbs left from your sandwich plate or hoping to snatch a piece of your steak. There’s a long list of foods dogs shouldn’t ingest like chocolate. Others include onions, grapes, avocados, and raisins. There’s one more ingredient though you might not be aware of. Let Luna’s family’s story serve as a warning.

While left alone at the family’s home, Luna got into some trouble when she found something she didn’t realize she wasn’t supposed to eat. The family left her on her own for a few hours, believing their precious pooch was safe and would be fine on their return.

While they were away, Luna found something that made her curious. She was hungry, and the container of Ice Breakers lemon-flavored chewing gum looked interesting. Usually, gum isn’t so horrible for a dog to consume; but this gum contained an ingredient that is fatal to dogs – xylitol.

This is a chemical sweetener found in sugar-free foods like this chewing gum. Most people think chewing gum isn’t dangerous for animals. People don’t include it when dog-proofing their homes.

Tragically, Luna’s family didn’t know how sick the golden retriever would become after merely eating a few pieces of gum. After arriving home, the family noticed how ill Luna was; they rushed her to a local veterinary clinic. Upon examination, the staff concluded that the damage had already been done. Luna’s liver was too compromised.

Sadly, they had to inform the family Luna would have to be put to sleep. Unfortunately, there are other cases like Luna’s occurring across the country. Veterinarians are warning dog owners about the dangers of keeping foods containing xylitol in their homes.

You might have owned dogs your entire life and not heard of this harmful ingredient. Please help spread the word about what can happen to your pets if they ingest it.