My Dog Just Ate Gum. Should I Be Worried?

 How to help your dog when they eat gum 

A dog’s breath can be smelly at times, but chewing gum is not the way to fix that. Our beloved pets can be very curious and get into things that they are not supposed to. This could include things like trash, cleaning products, food, and gum. You may think gum is harmless for a dog because it is perfectly safe for humans, but you are wrong. Just one small ingredient in gum called xylitol could put your dog in harm’s way.


In order to minimize the risk of xylitol poisoning in the future, we have some beneficial information listed below.


What is xylitol?


Xylitol, also known as birch sugar, is often used in diabetic snacks, baked goods, popular gums 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.



What should I do if my dog eats gum?


If your dog has eaten a piece of sugar-free gum the first thing to do is determine whether the gum contains xylitol. Immediately call your veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline® (855) 764-7661 to get professional help. 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.


Do not induce vomiting unless specifically informed to do so by a professional. Inducing vomiting could make your dog worse if they are exhibiting clinical signs of extremely low blood sugar levels. Xylitol poisoning can be fatal if there is delayed veterinary treatment.


Symptoms of xylitol poisoning

Dogs can suffer hypoglycemia, which is low blood sugar, and start vomiting and being unbalanced after 10-15 minutes of intake. The drop in blood sugar may lead to seizures shortly after as well. These clinical signs may not appear for many hours after consumption; however, this is rare. Make sure you are carefully monitoring your dog for any signs of xylitol poisoning.



Blood glucose levels must be checked immediately by a veterinarian. The suggested treatment is IV dextrose supplementation, IV fluids, and regular monitoring of glucose levels in the blood and liver enzyme activity. Pet owners should watch their dogs for clinical signs and monitor regular blood glucose levels if they suspect xylitol poisoning. If treatment is postponed or the pet has already suffered considerable liver damage, caution should be used.

Pet Poison Helpline® (855) 764-7661 or your veterinarian should be contacted as soon as possible if you fear your pet is experiencing xylitol poisoning.