A potentially harmful ingredient present in candies and gums – which is otherwise safe for humans – can kill dogs. Getty Images/Francisco Leong/AFP

Candies and gums containing artificial sweetener might not pose any harm to humans, however, they could potentially kill a dog.

According to, sugar substitute used in candies and gums called xylitol is causing an increase in the number of dog poisoning in the U.S. Some of these poisonings also result in the death of the dog who accidentally ingests the gum.

Sam Caress and Jordan Pellett lost their dog Luna in April this year after chewing a gum containing xylitol. In a similar incident, a U.S. woman lost her Labradoodle after it consumed about 20 pieces of chewing gum. Both the dogs started to vomit and became lethargic. They were taken to a vet, but in vain.

Xylitol is made from fruits, corn cobs and birch trees that are chemically considered as a sugar. It can be purchased from local health food shops and chemists. Xylitol has been shown to reduce tooth cavities, however, it can result in seizures, low blood sugar, liver and kidney failure in dogs.

A number of animal welfare groups are calling for warning labels on products with Xylitol, CBS News reported.

"You just have to be really careful because dogs are nosy little creatures and they are hungry all the time. I know my dogs are, and they are just looking for a treat. So you have to really watch them," said Dr. Ashley Gallagher of the Friendship Hospital for Animals in Washington D.C.

Meanwhile, Sam and Jordon have stopped buying any product that has xylitol in it, be it gum, candy or peanut butter. Gallagher suggests people to scrutinize the labels of everything that they have in their kitchen and put things with xylitol out of reach of their pets.