Gum comes in all sorts of colors and flavors – which makes it pretty hard not to want it. Dogs like to imitate their owners – so should dogs be eating gum like their owners? No, dogs should not eat gum. Xylitol, an ingredient in sugar-free gum, is highly toxic to dogs. Xylitol is often used in diabetic snacks, baked goods, and popular gum, and candies because of its sugar-free properties. For humans, xylitol is considered a safe chemical and can even be beneficial. But when it comes to dogs make sure they steer clear. If a dog consumes even a small amount, it could be incredibly toxic to them.
But what should you do if your dog eats gum?
What Happens if Your Dog Ate Gum?
Whether your dog has found your gum stash, or they found it off the street, you need to act because gum can be toxic to dogs. Firstly, contact Pet Poison Helpline®, at 855-764-7661, and your veterinarian. If the gum is still in your dog’s mouth you need to remove it.
Dogs that consume xylitol may experience drops in blood sugar and liver damage. Typically, the smaller the dog the greater the risk for xylitol poisoning. One piece of sugar-free gum for a 10-pound dog could be dangerous. Xylitol consumption is not a concern for cats or humans. At least 0.05 grams per kilogram of body weight, or 0.1 grams per kilogram of body weight, can induce poisoning.
Symptoms of Gum Poisoning in Dogs
Depending on the amount of gum your dog ate, symptoms of poisoning can take some time to appear. In the meantime, you should take your dog to the vet clinic.
Common Gum Poisoning Symptoms:
Blood glucose levels must be checked immediately by a veterinarian. When treating xylitol poisoning, activated charcoal is not recommended since it does not consistently bind to the toxin. The suggested treatment is IV dextrose supplementation, IV fluids, and regular monitoring of glucose levels in the blood and liver enzyme activity,
Most dogs should recover from xylitol poisoning with little complication. The biggest worry is their glucose levels because that is incredibly important. After some time, your pet should feel better and, hopefully, never get into gum again!