My Dog Ate a Pack of Gum. Will They Be Okay?

As a dog owner, you’ve experienced the feeling of dread when something unexpected happens with your pup. If your dog ate a pack of gum many questions might race through your head such as, can dogs digest gum? Will they be okay? What should I do now? Gum can contain artificial sweeteners that can result in mild to severe clinical signs if they ingest it. Keep reading below to learn about the dangers of gum and what you should do if your dog happens to eat a pack of gum. 

Dangers of Sugar-Free Gum

Sugar-free gum can contain the ingredient xylitol, which is highly toxic to dogs. Xylitol is a naturally occurring sugar alcohol that is used in a wide range of goods and products such as candy, gum, diabetic snacks, human toothpaste, and more. The use of xylitol is becoming more and more popular, and the chances of your dog ingesting increases with it. 

Humans can safely ingest and digest xylitol without issues, unlike dogs. Xylitol imitates a natural sugar intake, so the pancreas secretes insulin to regulate blood glucose levels. This results in a dangerous drop in blood sugar, which can lead to seizures. After ingestion nausea, dizziness, vomiting, and instability can occur. If a large amount of xylitol is consumed, such as a pack of gum, it may result in liver failure. If treatment is not sought in a timely manner, your dog can collapse and possibly die. 

Symptoms of Xylitol Poisoning

Possible xylitol poisoning symptoms include: 

  • Vomiting
  • Difficulty walking
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Liver damage
  • Lethargy

These symptoms occur quickly after ingestion and can worsen if your dog does not receive prompt treatment. Call your veterinarian and Pet Poison Helpline at (855) 764-7661 for first aid advice. 

Treating Xylitol Poisoning

If your dog has consumed a pack of gum, contact your veterinarian and Pet Poison Helpline at (855) 764-7661 immediately for professional advice. At the veterinary clinic your veterinarian will induce vomiting to remove the remains in their stomach. IV fluids may be given to address any dehydration. Your veterinarian will perform liver monitoring tests to detect potential liver damage. To avoid any xylitol poisoning incidents, remove all products containing xylitol out of your dog’s reach. If you’re unsure if a product contains xylitol, contact Pet Poison Helpline for confirmation.