Let’s say you are taking your dog for a walk and notice that they have something in their mouth. It seems like they picked something up off the ground and you see that it’s gum. You might ask yourself, “is gum bad for dogs?” The real concern lies in whether the gum is sugar-free or not. If the gum is sugar-free it most likely contains xylitol, which is toxic to dogs. Just to be safe, you should remove the gum from your dog’s mouth right away.
Why is Xylitol Dangerous for Dogs?
Xylitol is a sweetener used as a substitute for sugar. It is widely used in sugar-free gums, candies, baked goods, etc. If a dog consumes even a small amount of xylitol, it can be deadly. Humans and dogs produce insulin, which is a hormone that regulates your body’s glucose concentration. Blood sugar levels are regulated by insulin production and promote efficiency in your body. Dogs quickly produce insulin after ingesting xylitol, which causes a dog’s blood sugar to drop to dangerously low levels.
What are Common Signs of Xylitol Poisoning in Dogs?
Symptoms of xylitol poisoning in dogs may occur within minutes, which is rare, or some symptoms can be delayed up to 72 hours. If your dog consumes sugarless gum with xylitol, or any other product containing xylitol, immediately contact your veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline®, at 855-764-7661, for professional help.
- Low blood sugar
What to Do If Your Dog Eats Gum
If your dog ate gum, there is a list of questions to ask before taking action. First and foremost, which type of gum did your dog eat? How much gum was eaten? When did they eat it? How big or small is your dog? Is your dog showing any symptoms of xylitol poisoning?
Answering these questions will help determine what course of action needs to be taken. If your dog has chewed regular gum with sugar, then they will be fine and may get a stomachache. If worse comes to worst and your dog chewed on gum containing xylitol, immediate medical attention is needed. Contact your veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline® at (855) 764-7661 to help save your dog’s life.
How Can I Prevent My Dog from Eating Gum?
It is critical to keep your home dog-proof. Be aware if the products you buy are toxic for dogs. Make sure they cannot get into anything they are not supposed to. When your dog is outside or you’re taking them for a walk, be aware of their surroundings. You’d always rather be safe than sorry with your beloved pet.