Help! My Dog Ate a Whole Pack Of Gum!

QuestionDog Ate a Whole Pack of Gum: What Should I Do?
AnswerSeek Immediate Veterinary Care
More Info1. Xylitol Toxicity: Many gums contain xylitol, which is extremely toxic to dogs. 2. Symptoms of Poisoning: Watch for signs like vomiting, lethargy, loss of coordination, or seizures. 3. Gastrointestinal Blockage: Gum can cause blockages in the digestive tract.

Decision Tree: Dog Ate Chewing Gum

  1. Identify the Gum’s Ingredients
    • Contains Xylitol: If the gum contains xylitol, a common sugar substitute, proceed immediately to Step 3.
    • Xylitol-Free Gum: If it does not contain xylitol, proceed to Step 2.
  2. Xylitol-Free Gum Eaten
    • Small Amount: Monitor for gastrointestinal upset or blockage.
    • Large Amount: There’s a risk of gastrointestinal blockage, especially in small dogs. Contact your veterinarian.
  3. Gum Contains Xylitol
    • Immediate Risk: Xylitol is extremely toxic to dogs, even in small amounts, and can cause rapid insulin release leading to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), seizures, liver failure, or even death.
    • Emergency Veterinary Care: Contact your Vet or go to the nearest veterinary clinic or emergency animal hospital immediately.
  4. Veterinary Intervention
    • Provide Information: Tell your vet about the type of gum and estimate how much was ingested.
    • Treatment: Treatment may include inducing vomiting, administering activated charcoal, IV fluids, blood sugar monitoring, and supportive care.
  5. Monitor for Symptoms
    • Post-Veterinary Visit: Even after treatment, watch for symptoms like lethargy, vomiting, loss of coordination, collapse, or seizures.
    • Follow-Up: Follow your vet’s advice for follow-up care and monitoring.
  6. Prevent Future Incidents
    • Safe Storage: Keep all gum and sugar-free products securely stored away from your dog’s reach.
    • Educate Family Members: Ensure everyone in your household is aware of the dangers of xylitol and other harmful substances to dogs.

Key Points:

  • Xylitol Toxicity: Recognize that xylitol, commonly found in sugar-free gums, is highly toxic to dogs.
  • Immediate Action: Quick response is critical in cases of xylitol ingestion.
  • Prevention: Keeping such products out of your dog’s reach is the best way to prevent accidental ingestion.

Remember, time is of the essence, especially if xylitol is involved. Don’t wait for symptoms to appear before seeking veterinary care if you suspect xylitol ingestion.

Gum That Contains Xylitol

Xylitol is a common sweetener used in many sugar-free products, including various brands of chewing gum. Here’s a list of some popular gum brands that often contain xylitol:

  1. Trident
    • Known for its sugar-free varieties which often contain xylitol.
  2. Ice Breakers
    • Many of their sugar-free gums include xylitol as a primary sweetener.
  3. Orbit
    • Offers several flavors that are sugar-free and use xylitol.
  4. Epic Dental
    • Specifically markets itself as a xylitol-based gum brand.
  5. Spry
    • Known for using xylitol in their dental health gums.
  6. Pur
    • Promotes itself as an aspartame-free, xylitol-sweetened gum.
  7. Mentos Gum
    • The sugar-free versions usually contain xylitol.
  8. Peppersmith
    • A UK brand known for using xylitol in their gum.
  9. Zellie’s
    • Their gum is marketed as being 100% xylitol sweetened.
  10. Dr. John’s
    • Known for their health-focused gum products containing xylitol.

It’s important to note that formulations can change, and not all varieties of these brands may contain xylitol. Always check the ingredient list on the packaging to be sure, especially if you have pets at home.

Keep any xylitol-containing products well out of reach of dogs, as xylitol is highly toxic to them. If you suspect your dog has ingested gum containing xylitol, call the vet immediately.

Gum is Nothing But Bad for a Dog

Gum often contains several ingredients that can be harmful to dogs, with artificial sweeteners being a primary concern.

Here’s a list of these harmful ingredients, focusing particularly on artificial sweeteners:

  1. Xylitol:
    • The most critical artificial sweetener to watch out for.
    • It can cause a rapid release of insulin in dogs, leading to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), which can be life-threatening.
    • Even small amounts can cause seizures, liver failure, or death.
  2. Sorbitol:
    • It is generally considered less toxic but can cause digestive upset in dogs.
    • It’s not as dangerous as xylitol, but it’s still best avoided.
  3. Mannitol:
    • Like sorbitol, it’s less harmful but can cause gastrointestinal distress.
    • Often used in sugar-free products.
  4. Aspartame:
    • Less toxic to dogs compared to xylitol, but it can still cause stomach upset.
    • In rare cases, it may lead to more serious health issues.
  5. Acesulfame Potassium (Ace-K):
    • Generally recognized as safe for dogs in small amounts.
    • However, any artificial sweetener is unnecessary in a dog’s diet and should be avoided.
  6. Other Artificial Sweeteners:
    • Various other artificial sweeteners might not be as toxic as xylitol but can still cause health issues.
  7. Chewing Gum Base:
    • While not an artificial sweetener, the gum base can cause intestinal blockages, especially in smaller dogs.