Skip to Main Content
Ask About Financing

My Dog Ate Gum: Is That Dangerous?

Dogs love to eat everything; Unfortunately, they sometimes eat substances they shouldn't, such as chewing gum. Our vets in Exeter can explain why and tell you what to do if your dog eats gum.

Why is gum dangerous for dogs to eat?

Humans can consume certain substances without any problem, but these substances can be toxic for our furry friends. One such substance is chewing gum.

Many popular sugar-free chewing gum brands contain sweeteners like xylitol, which can be extremely poisonous for dogs.

How much xylitol does it take to have a toxic reaction in my dog?

Xylitol is an artificial sweetener that is commonly used in chewing gum as a low-calorie alternative to sugar. However, it is extremely toxic to dogs, and even a small amount can harm their health.

While not all sugar-free gum is sweetened with xylitol, it can be difficult to know which brand contains this ingredient if your dog has eaten gum while you were out for a walk.

To cause poisoning in dogs, a dose of about 0.05 grams of xylitol per pound of body weight is generally required.

Unfortunately, chewing gum typically contains about 0.22-1.0 grams of xylitol per piece, which means that a 10-pound dog could be poisoned by just one piece of gum.

It's essential to be vigilant and keep all chewing gum and other products that contain xylitol well out of your dog's reach.

What steps should I take if my dog ate gum with xylitol?

If you notice that your dog has eaten chewing gum, then the first step you should take is to contact your nearest veterinary emergency clinic.

Emergency Care in Exeter

What are the symptoms of Xylitol poisoning in dogs?

Dogs are the only animals known to be affected by xylitol toxicity. If your dog ingests any substance containing xylitol, it may take as little as 30-60 minutes for the toxic effects to begin.

Therefore, bringing your dog to the vet immediately in such a case is crucial. Xylitol consumption in dogs can cause extremely low blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia) due to an excessive release of insulin in the body. This may lead to the onset of symptoms such as:

  • Stumbling
  • Vomiting
  • Pale gums
  • Generalized weakness
  • Lethargy
  • Seizures
  • Tremors
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Coma
  • Severe liver damage

How will my dog be treated if they have xylitol poisoning?

If your dog ingests xylitol, it can lead to poisoning, and unfortunately, there isn't a cure for it. Your veterinarian will need to keep a close eye on your dog's condition for at least 12 hours. They will carefully monitor your dog's blood sugar levels and liver function during this period. If any symptoms arise, they will treat them immediately. Depending on the severity of the symptoms, your dog may require treatment, such as an IV glucose solution, which will be given for up to two days to stabilize their blood sugar levels.

Are there any other substances that contain xylitol?

It is important to know that dogs may accidentally ingest xylitol in various ways other than chewing gum. This artificial sweetener is commonly found in sugar-free candies, peanut butter, toothpaste, chewable vitamins, nasal sprays, sunscreen, deodorant, baby wipes, hair products, and some human medications.

If your dog ingests anything that contains xylitol or any other potentially harmful substances, it is best to contact your nearest emergency vet immediately.

What if the gum that my dog ate doesn't contain xylitol?

Please keep in mind that not all sugar-free gums contain xylitol. However, sugar substitutes like sorbitol, aspartame, and mannitol are not considered poisonous for dogs. If your dog eats gum, it may cause intestinal blockages, which can be a serious concern.

Make sure to monitor your dog closely and contact your vet immediately if you notice any signs of an intestinal blockage like vomiting, lack of energy, reluctance to play, abdominal pain, constipation, or loss of appetite.

These symptoms may take a few days to become evident, so please be vigilant.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

If your dog has eaten gum or anything else that is unsafe, please get in touch with our Exeter vets right away to have your dog examined.

New Patients Welcome

Pacific Crest Companion Animal is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Exeter companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

Contact Us

(559) 592-4753 Contact