People chew gum for all types of reasons, fresher breath, a little treat, some people even chew gum to help them quit smoking. While we DO recommend using whatever helps you quit, we DON’T recommend chewing sugar-free gum if you’re a pet owner. Sugar-free gum contains Xylitol, a chemical that is extremely toxic to dogs. Symptoms can begin to show as quickly as 15 minutes after a dog ingests Xylitol, often with fatal results.
Keeping your dog away from gum can be harder than you think.
This seems like a no-brainer, right? Just don’t give your dogs gum; plain and simple. The scary part is that gum can be stuck anywhere, and all it takes is one piece. Your dogs can even sniff it out of the trash with ease. A pack of gum can fall out of your pocket or purse anywhere in your house, leaving a poisonous snack sitting around for your dog to find. The car is another potentially treacherous spot for gum to be trapped. We’ve all spit a piece of gum into a napkin and forgotten about it during one point or another in our lives. If that napkin falls between your seats, there’s a good chance your dog will be the first one to find it. Similarly, if you’re driving kids around in your car, there is no telling what they’ll leave behind.
The key part of the equation is Xylitol, which is very toxic to dogs. Most sugar-free gums contain Xylitol, as do some toothpastes, another common household item. If you dog does ingest sugar free gum, contact your vet immediately. Time is of the essence, as symptoms can begin to show quickly and continue to get more severe by the minute. At-home purging of the stomach won’t cut it in this situation, so don’t try to save yourself a trip to the vet. Acting quickly is pertinent to your dog’s survival, even after just one piece of gum.
Pay attention to your dog’s curiosity.
The best thing you can do to avoid this tragedy is to be vigilant about your dog’s curiosity, and pay attention to what they find. Dogs love to sniff around and find something to chew on, whether it’s a piece of food or your favorite shoes. If you think they might have sniffed out a piece of gum, try to find out what type of gum it was, monitor their behavior, and keep your vet on speed dial. Whenever you drive friends, family, or whoever around in your car, double check to make sure nothing treacherous has been left behind. An easy mistake by a passenger in your car leaving a piece of gum wadded up in a napkin can quickly turn into a fatal snack due to your dog’s curiosity.
The Lilly Brush Team