A Windsor family found out the hard way that a common sweetener found in some chewing gums can be even more dangerous than chocolate to your animal.

Arnie Charlton says his 5-year-old cockapoo 'Lexi' ate some gum that could have killed her.

'Lexi' snatched up a chicklet of sugarfree gum over the Canada Day weekend that Charlton's granddaughter Abby had dropped.

Immediately Abby told her grandfather who was quick to read the label. He had done his homework when he got Lexi five years ago and knew what to look for.

“Time was critical here," says Charlton.

Xylitol was the first ingredient list and one that Charlton knew was deadly for dogs.

"Without hesitation, I grabbed the packaging put Lexi on a leash and we were off to the vets,” says Charlton. “Lexi didn't have a clue what was going on."

Right away 'Lexi' was treated at the 24 hour animal clinic on Lauzon Road. Vets had to induce vomiting and she stayed in recovery for two days.

"I believe with Abby's reaction of telling me what she ate and getting her to the vet probably saved Lexi's life," says Charlton.

Windsor/ Essex County Humane Society executive director Melanie Coulter agreed Xylitol can be fatal. She says pet owners should read labels and to be aware before you give your pet any substance.

"It's important to be aware what you're giving your pet and whether it's safe or not," says Coulter.

Often times when dogs have xylitol poisoning, they'll suffer liver failure.

Xylitol can even be found in some peanut butters.

"Something like peanut butter seems like an innocent way to give medication, but if it's a peanut butter than contains this artificial sweetener that could be fatal,” says Coulter.

Lexi's owner will think twice about what food comes in the house.

“Maybe we can put some pressure on some of these manufacturers to put warnings for pet owners," says Charlton.

Charlton didn’t want to reveal the brand of chewing gum his dog ate, but says he has reached out to the company.

Charlton recommends you know where your vet is or where you can go 24/7 and always bring the packaging with you when you go to the vet.

He says luckily 'Lexi' is on the road to recovery.

"She's got a lot of get up and go in her she's starting to feel better now," he says.