It's a seemingly endearing trait of our four-legged, canine family members: Their zest for eating. Unfortunately this zest doesn't come balanced with the I.Q. to differentiate between what's good and what's bad for them. That's why dogs have people in their lives.

Earlier this year, I wrote an article for The Columbus Dispatch about the dangers of xylitol poisoning to dogs. Ian and Taunya Whipple of Hilliard had contacted us because their beloved sheepdog, Lewis, had nearly died after ferreting his way into Mrs. Whipple's purse and devouring a pack of sugar-free gum. He recovered and thanks to the Whipples' desire to share their scary experience and get the word out to other dog owners, our article was read all over the country. I even heard a woman in New Jersey who said this information saved her dog's life.

Our pet-care writer, Marguerite Marsh, has supplied me with some additional information and a link that I hope you'll use to protect your special pets. Use it in good canine health —and be sure to check out Marguerite's "Animal House" blog on our website, plus her "Animal House" column each month in Columbus Parent Magazine).

Here is a slide show with great information about what foods are dangerous to dogs and why. (Warning, though: Those forlorn-looking doggies in the slide show are going to make you want to run to the nearest Humane Society and adopt another pooch!)

-- Jane Hawes, Editor of the new Columbus Parent