An ingredient in some household food items which can be deadly to dogs has had a warning raised about it by the RSPCA.

Xylitol, which is also known as E967, is a low-calorie sweetener that is used as an alternative to sugar due to having 40pc fewer calories and a low glycemic index.

It is most often used in sugar-free products but is also present in some peanut butter brands which dog owners often give as a treat or to administer medication.

There is concern that some dog owners might not be aware of this which is why the RSPCA has raised awareness of the product.

The Argus: Xylitol can be found in some brands of peanut butterXylitol can be found in some brands of peanut butter (Image: Canva)

What are the symptoms of Xylitol poisoning in dogs?

According to the Blue Cross website, the common symptoms of xylitol poisoning are as follows:

  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Disorientation
  • Collapse
  • Seizures and tremors
  • Coma

An RSPCA spokeswoman said: "While many pet owners are aware of the more common dangers to their pets - like chocolate or onions - some poisons are less well known.

"Xylitol can be extremely hazardous to dogs because it can cause a very rapid drop in blood sugar and later there is the risk of liver damage.

"Symptoms can come on within an hour of ingestion, although in some cases there can be a delayed onset of 12 hours."

They added that is crucial to check the ingredients of anything you feed your pet just to be sure it doesn't contain anything that could be harmful.

How is Xylitol poisoning treated?

The Blue Cross website says: "If you get to the vets early enough then your vet may be able to induce vomiting to get the product out of your dog’s system, greatly reducing the chances of any serious damage.

"After this, your dog is likely to be put on a sugar intravenous drip to regulate blood sugar levels and kept under close monitoring for two to three days.

"If the liver is affected, the condition is far more serious and will normally require specialist life-saving treatment."

Xylitol can also be harmful to other animals so keep it out of the way of all pets in your home.