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No, it is not safe for a dog to eat gum. Gum can contain xylitol, an artificial sweetener used mostly in sugar-free gums, which is highly toxic to dogs. While not all sugar-free gum contains xylitol, if you are unsure about the contents of the gum your dog has consumed, it is best to get urgent medical help.

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dangerous icon

Dangerous: This food is generally considered a serious threat to the health and wellbeing of dogs. Please contact your vet, a veterinary hospital or pet poison control if you suspect your dog has eaten this food recently.

Food Safety Dangerous in a small amount
Dangerous Serving 0.05 grams of xylitol per pound body weight
Poisoning Symptoms Vomiting, lethargy, seizures, loss of consciousness
Severe Poisoning Damaged Liver
Every dog is different. For specific feeding guidelines, including quantities and beneficial foods that are best for your dog, please consult your vet.

Common Ingredients in Gum

  • Xylitol: Sweetener that is highly toxic to dogs. A stick of sugar-free gum with xylitol is enough to poison a small dog.
  • Glycerol: Safe for dogs to consume but holds no nutritional value.
  • Resin: Edible resin is safe for dogs to consume but holds no nutritional value.

How Much Xylitol is Toxic for Dogs?

Even a small amount of xylitol can trigger severe hypoglycemia, i.e., low blood sugar in a dog. Doses of xylitol greater than 35-45 mg/lb1. can cause noticeable symptoms in dogs and require urgent medical assistance.

Symptoms of Xylitol Poisoning in Dogs

It takes around an hour for symptoms of xylitol poisoning to exhibit2. These symptoms include:

  • Dizziness
  • Lethargy
  • Seizures
  • Vomiting
  • Trouble walking

Actions to Take if A Dog Eats Gum

If your dog has eaten any amount of gum that contains xylitol, it is an emergency that needs immediate medical assistance from a vet. Visit your vet immediately to get your dog the required emergency treatment. If your dog consumes gum that is xylitol-free it’s still safe to consider this an emergency and contact your vet for instructions.

How is Xylitol Poisoning Treated in Dogs?

There is no cure for xylitol poisoning but it can be treated. A vet can take several steps to stabilize the dog’s blood sugar. These include intravenous glucose administration and close observation for a few days in case other complications develop.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Gum without xylitol is generally not harmful for dogs but may stomach problems. A large amount of gum can also cause intestinal obstruction.

  • Xylitol is incredibly poisonous to dogs; one piece or stick of gum can be enough to poison a 10 pound dog.

About the Writer
Dan Greco , Dog Dad

Having been a dog dad for 5 years, I know how hard it is to make sure your dog gets the right nutrients and stays away from hazardous foods. With the help of a veterinarian who specializes in nutrition, I created this blog to help dog owners quickly access food information they need.

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About the Contributor
Dr. Hillary Wolfe , Veterinarian & Certified Food Therapist

Dr. Wolfe holds a doctorate in veterinary medicine from Kansas State University and holds nutrition certifications from the NAVC and CIVT. Her business, Tula Veterinary Nutrition, hosts online courses that teach owners how to cook for their pet for optimal health and longevity. Follow her on Instagram at @doctorwolfe.dvm for dog nutrition tips, recipes and insights.