Rescue dog dies after eating cupcake made with sugar substitute

A city-wide alert went out for pet owners in Alameda, California, after a devastated couple shared a harrowing tale about their 2-year-old rescue dog who died after getting into the garbage. Zac Bowling and his fiancé said their schnauzer-terrier mix named Benny accidentally ate a cupcake that was made with xylitol, a popular sugar substitute.

“Yesterday Benny, a 2-year-old dog that lives here in Alameda, ate a cupcake out of the compost that contained xylitol and passed away,” the Sept. 5 alert to residents said. “While heartbroken, Benny’s family wants to make sure that other dog owners are aware of this poison.”


Dr. Michael Miller, a veterinary at Providence Veterinary Hospital & Clinic in Alameda, explained in the alert that xylitol is extremely toxic to dogs and can be found in chewing gum, breath mints, peanut butter and nasal sprays.

“It’s best to avoid xylitol completely and use other sugar substitutes,” Miller said in the alert. “If you cannot avoid using products containing xylitol, then make absolutely sure they are stored safely out of reach of your pets.”

Bowling said Benny started vomiting after he ate the cupcake, so he called his mom to find out what ingredients she made them with. Once he started googling potential symptoms, he rushed Benny to the veterinarian but it was too late.

“He was the best dog ever,” Bowling wrote in a Sept. 5 post. “Always had something stuck in his mustache. So happy when we came home. So unfair to lose him at 2 years old.”