my dog ate gum what should i do

My Dog Ate Gum: What Should I Do?

There are inevitable circumstances that could lead to a dog eating gum. This undoubtedly creates room for agitation due to the widespread knowledge of the dangers of dogs eating gum. However, it is essentially important to be informed on the instances to panic, and when to take a deep sigh of relief and think tactically – and more importantly, to know exactly what to do when faced with such circumstances. This article gives a general breakdown of what to do when your dog chews gum, shedding light on diverse essential information, and how to take the necessary actions.

Is Gum Bad For Dogs?

In more cases than none, gum is indeed bad for dogs. However, this solely depends on a lot of factors that we are going to consider in this article. These factors reveal the degree of danger that a dog is in after taking gum, and will help you to know if you should be alarmed and call the veterinarian instantly, or if it’s something you can handle on your own. We indulge you to clearly and actively relate these circumstances to your current situation, and apply the coherent actions according to the degree of situation.

Cute beagle lying on white carpet at home

What Type of Gum Did Your Dog Take?

The first factor to consider is the type of gum that your dog ate. The type of gum clearly dictates the urgency and degree of danger that your dog is in. For urgency purposes, if your dog has eaten a sugarless gum, containing xylitol, it is mandatory you call a veterinarian as soon as possible.

Further explaining, the type of gum that a dog takes in, and the degree of danger the dog might face, is dependent on the ingredients contained in the gum. Any gum containing xylitol poses a bigger threat than all other types of gum, but that does not exclude the fact that all types of gum have to be considered.

In other words, if your dog ate gum, the first thing to do is to refer to the ingredients contained in the gum, and then take the necessary steps towards helping your dog. We have already established that the sugarless type of gum, with the inclusion of xylitol is extremely toxic for your dog, and should be addressed immediately by contacting a veterinarian – now we will consider the scenarios where your dog perhaps had all other types of gum.

If your dog had a sugary type of gum, then your dog is undoubtedly on the safer side. This might cause an upset in the stomach, of which you can call a veterinarian to get some recommended remedy, depending on your dog’s weight and all other factors. Also, if your dog ate the dreaded sugarless gum, but thankfully, does not include the toxic element xylitol, and has several others such as sorbitol, or mannitol, then you should be at ease. The degree of danger in this case is minute, and can be handled with a simple call to your veterinarian. This is simply because these artificial sweeteners pose no hazardous dangers to your dog, unlike xylitol.

On occasions where you can’t find the packet of the gum you suspect your dog has chewed, it is mandatory that you consider the types of gum with the tendency of being in the vicinity make a quick research on the ingredients you suspect that your dog has just ingested. After this, you should follow according to your findings, and communicate them to your veterinarian. If it is circumstantially impossible to get this information, you might have to wait for symptoms to show, of which will be better explained later in the latter part of this article.

How Long Ago Did Your Dog Take the Gum?

The time span before you realize that your dog swallowed gum will greatly affect the manner and degree of help that can be administered to your dog. After finding out the type of gum your dog took, the next thing to do is to estimate how long ago your dog took it. This should be gauged whether it has been up to 30 minutes, or it has been longer. After doing this, the necessary steps need to be taken.

  • Within the First 30 minutes

The degree of danger within the first 30 minutes of intake is reduced, simply because the necessary actions can be put into place to ensure that your dog is safe and secured. It is important to call your veterinarian immediately after noticing the intake, and receive instructions on what to do. If it is in the case of the intake of xylitol, the vet may request for vomiting to be induced. This should be done using a recommended volume of hydrogen peroxide. This should be followed precisely with the instructions given by the veterinarian.

  • After the 30 minutes of intake

At this point, if your dog has taken any gum containing xylitol, seeing your vet is the next and immediate solution. This is because the degree of danger is higher and needs the most immediate care to avoid issues from spurring.

Man with his dog

What Quantity Of Gum Did Your Dog Take?

The quantity of gum that your dog may have ingested also greatly affects how urgent the situation will be. If your dog ate a pack of gum, and it is of the sugary type, which is not detrimental or toxic to your dog, then the stomach upset is definitely going to be higher than the scenario of eating just a tiny piece.

The weight of your dog also greatly affects the magnitude of effects or symptoms that will show in correlation to the quantity taken. For example, if a small dog takes in a large amount of gum, be it toxic or not, the effects will be higher than a larger dog taking the same amount. Hence, if you suspect your tiny dog has taken some piece of gum, the urgency of the situation should not be taken for granted. The same goes for all other sizes of dog, however, this information is simply to show the correlation between the quantity taken, and the weight that the dog has.

The case of a dog eating chewed gum should also be considered. More often than less, all the sweeteners, whether harmful or not, must have been extracted. However, to ensure total safety, it is important to contact your vet and look out for symptoms in your dog.

Are There Any Symptoms?

Checking out for symptoms is quite essential in many scenarios. This happens in cases where the owner isn’t sure on the type of ingredients in the gum, or the quantity that their dog ate. In this case, it is essential to keep a close watch on your dog, to be able to determine a next line of action. It is also important that your vet is contacted if you are suspicious or certain that your dog indeed ate gum, and follow the instructions given. Nonetheless, when checking to see if your dog ingested xylitol, some symptoms such as vomiting, seizures, tiredness, tremors, and all that are closely similar to these should be taken into consideration.

In the meantime, while waiting for symptoms to show, it is important to give your dog snacks every once in a while, perhaps every two hours or more, in order to increase your dog’s level of blood sugar.

Why Xylitol is Dangerous for Dogs

To better explain why it is essential to try to increase your dog’s blood sugar level, when you’re not certain whether it has ingested xylitol or not, we will explain what exactly xylitol does, and why it is so dangerous for dogs. Xylitol may be completely harmless to we humans, but when eaten by a dog, causes the dog’s body to produce a tremendous level of insulin, which in turn, crashes the sugar level of the dog. This is why symptoms of the intake of xylitol includes tiredness, tremors, and may lead to shock. This condition is what is referred to as hypoglycemia, and requires immediate attention to essentially stabilize the sugar level.

What to Do If You Can’t Contact a Veterinarian?

When you haven’t been able to reach your veterinarian, it is not advised to try to induce vomiting with a hydrogen peroxide solution, as a lot of factors have to be put into place, including the weight of your dog. This can only be done by a vet. When faced with such a challenge, you can contact any other poison control agency you can get in touch with, to effectively handle the situation.

sick french bulldog lying at home

Necessary Precautions

To avoid such situations from occurring again, it is important that necessary precautions are put in place. If you have a dog that is liable to take food lying around, it is essential that all substances containing xylitol is removed from the home. If it is circumstantially impossible for substances containing xylitol from being in the hoe, then active measures have to be put into place to ensure it is out of reach to your dog. Doing this will guarantee a safe environment for your dog at all times.


  1. Toxicity from Gum, Candy, and Toothpaste in Dogs, PetMD

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