We’ve all seen hilarious gum and dog videos where dogs try to chew gum but you may be wondering what actually happens if a dog eats gum or whether gum is poisonous for dogs. Generally speaking, it is never a good idea for dogs to have gum. Besides the fact that it adds absolutely zero nutritional value, gum can actually be harmful to dogs. In fact, there are thousands of cases of Xylitol, aspartame, or sorbitol toxicity in dogs arising from dogs that ate gum with sweeteners. Xylitol, aspartame, and sorbitol are bad for dogs and you should seriously consider seeking veterinary treatment if your dog starts to exhibit symptoms from gum poisoning.
Is Gum Bad For Dogs?
Although humans chew gum, dogs don’t actually understand this concept. To dogs, gum tastes like food and they will naturally try to eat and swallow it. Some dogs will chew first, but the end result is always the same.
If it is a large piece of gum, there is always the risk that a dog is going to choke on it. But, this could be the least of your worries when it comes to how dangerous gum is for dogs.
Many gums are artificially sweetened with sweeteners like Xylitol, which are sugar and alcohol-based sweeteners. While safe for us to ingest, these sweeteners are highly toxic to dogs.
Xylitol can cause a dog’s blood sugar levels to drop and lead to some serious health problems, including liver disease and ultimately liver failure.
However, Xylitol isn’t the only thing that you have to worry about. Gum also contains a lot of other ingredients that are not good for dogs, including dyes, chemicals, and preservatives.
What Happens If A Dog Eats Gum?
As careful as you may be, there is always a chance that your dog could end up getting into some gum. It doesn’t have to be gum that they find around the house either. Dogs are notorious for eating just about anything that they find on the ground, including chewing gum.
If your dog ends up ingesting gum, you need to watch for the following symptoms:
- Lethargy and weakness
- Lack of coordination
If you notice any of these symptoms within 15-20 minutes of your dog ingesting gum, it is important that you contact your veterinarian immediately for treatment. Dogs that have ingested too much gum may even slip into a coma or die, so it is imperative that you seek immediate treatment.
Be sure to tell your vet the type of gum if possible. If the dog got the gum in the home, bring the package so the vet can see the ingredients and be better able to choose the right course of treatment.
No, Dogs Can’t Eat Gum
It may not always be a matter of life and death when your dog eats chewing gum, but your best course of action is to always contact your vet, especially if you notice any of the symptoms mentioned above. A little bit of gum may not cause any harm to your dog at all, but it is always best to err on the side of caution when it comes to your furry family members.