You see your dog biting a piece of gum. Did you dismiss it thinking it wasn’t a problem? Meanwhile, someone else can think, oh god! My dog biting a piece of gum. What happens if a dog eats gum? What should I do? In this way, some dog owners get upset and some dog owners ignore it.
If you think it is ok for dogs to eat gum and avoid it, your dog may face many health issues. Gum is not suitable for dogs at all. It is very harmful to dogs. But some types of gum are not an issue.
What happens if a dog eats gum? Xylitol, a chemical found in sugar-free gums, is very harmful to dogs. It is absorbed into your dog’s blood within a few minutes, and it reduces blood sugar levels significantly (hypoglycemia). So, if you see your dog eating gum, take it to a vet immediately.
However, let’s look at all the things you need to know about dogs and gum. Especially, we will see what happens if a dog eats gum and what should you do in this situation.
Let’s dive in.
Why Dogs Should Never Eat Gum?
First of all, we are going to see why gum is not suitable for dogs. The main problem is Xylitol which is a sugar-free gum that is very toxic to dogs. This Xylitol contained in the gum can cause many health problems in dogs.
Meanwhile, you may have a problem, that is how much Xylitol would my dog need to eat to get sick? a few pieces of gum can cause many serious health problems. So, you should keep all sugar-free gum away from dogs.
But what is this Xylitol? Don’t worry. I’ll tell you what the Xylitol is.
What is Xylitol?
Xylitol is a synthetic substance that is used to improve the taste of sugar-free products. It is also a type of alcohol. Xylitol is found naturally in berries, plums, corn, oats, trees, and some other fruits.
Source: Xylitol Poisoning in Dogs
Xylitol has no nutritional content. It’s just a chemical that provides no value calories.
According to the Pet Poison Hotline, the usage of Xylitol has increased dramatically since 2015. Also, Pet Poison Hotline reports that calls for Xylitol poisoning increased by 50% between 2018 and 2019.
We can guess that this percentage will have increased by 2022. However, it is unacceptable that we give Xylitol to dogs. Let’s see why and what happens if a dog eats gum below.
What Happens If a Dog Eats Gum?
The biggest thing that sugar-free gum causes is a drop pretty quickly drop in blood sugar. Therefore, these sugar-free gums should not be fed to dogs at all, it is a hazardous substance.
When this sugar-free gum is ingested by the dog, Xylitol is quickly absorbed into the dog’s blood. You can see the Xylitol impact in 10 – 60 minutes. That’s why I said earlier if Xylitol is ingested by the dog, meet a veterinarian immediately.
So, sugar-free gum absolute no in dogs hide it and put it in areas that they cannot get into it. Because it is a very dangerous problem.
Symptoms of Xylitol Toxicity in Dogs
Your dog may show some or all the following symptoms from sugar-free gum poisoning. Below are symptoms of a dog eating gum.
- Lack of coordination or difficulty walking or standing
- Weakness/sluggishness or lethargy
Source: Xylitol Poisoning in Dogs
Why Is Xylitol Toxic to Dogs?
Now you may wonder why Xylitol is so poisonous to dogs, which is not toxic to humans.
Blood sugar levels are controlled by insulin in both humans and dogs. But Xylitol does not stimulate the release of insulin in humans. But not so for dogs. Xylitol potently stimulates insulin release in dogs. This process of releasing excess insulin from the pancreas lowers the blood sugar level.
This process can happen within 10 – 60 minutes after the Xylitol ingestion. Because of this, your dog may suffer from hypoglycemia. Therefore, it is very important to treat it as soon as possible.
How Much Xylitol Would My Dog Need to Eat to Get Sick?
One single stick of gum is powerful enough to kill a small puppy. Accordingly, even a very small amount of gum is very harmful to dogs.
Usually, 0.05 grams of Xylitol is sufficient for poisoning in dogs. A piece of chewing gum contains between 0.2 – 1.0 grams of Xylitol. You can understand the seriousness of the gum here.
Therefore, never give the dogs these sugar-free, Xylitol-contained gum.
What Do I Do If My Dog Ate Gum?
So, what to do if your dog eats gum? Take the dog to a vet immediately.
Do not give your dog anything to induce vomiting. (Give only if your vet tells you) The most important thing is that you get the dog to a vet as soon as possible. Because if it is delayed, there is a chance that your dog will suffer from hypoglycemia.
Your vet will examine your dog (at least 12 hours) and provide the necessary treatment. Sometimes it can be a few days. Because symptoms are observed and treated through them.
If blood sugar levels are too low in the dogs, vets recommend treating the dog with an IV glucose solution for several days.
Related Article: Puppy Dehydration: Powerful Signs Of Dehydration In A Puppy
Is It Ok to Eat Gum That Doesn’t Contain Xylitol?
Not all sugar-free gums contain Xylitol. But when your dog eats these, it can cause some problems like an intestinal blockage. So, it is best to keep gum away from the dog.
What Other Things Contain Xylitol?
Some other foods containing Xylitol are listed below. Keeping these foods away from your dog is best for his health.
- Chewing gum
- Peanut butter
- Sugar-free candy
- Sugar-free breath mints
- Fruit drinks
- Jellies and jams
- Baked goods
- Sugar-free puddings and Jello
- Over-the-counter vitamin supplements
Final Thoughts on What Happens If a Dog Eats Gum.
So, never give your dog sugar-free gum. Because the chemical called Xylitol contained in sugar-free gum reduces the sugar level in the dog’s blood very much. It is very dangerous. Therefore, the dog may develop hypoglycemia. If your dog has accidentally ingested gum, take the dog to a vet immediately. Finally, my recommendation is that you never give gum to your dog.
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