15 Apr Dog Ate Gum? Here’s What to Do – Quick Guide for Pet Owners
As a professional veterinarian, I have seen many cases where dogs have ingested gum. While it might seem harmless, gum can be dangerous for dogs as it can cause various health problems. In this article, I will provide a quick guide for pet owners on what to do if their dog eats gum.
Why is Gum Dangerous for Dogs?
The main reason why gum is dangerous for dogs is that it contains xylitol. Xylitol is a sugar substitute that is commonly used in sugar-free gum, candy, and baked goods. While it is safe for humans to eat, it can be toxic to dogs. When ingested, xylitol can cause a rapid release of insulin, which can lead to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Symptoms of hypoglycemia include vomiting, loss of coordination, seizures, and even coma.
What to Do if Your Dog Ate Gum?
If your dog has ingested gum, it is important to act quickly. Here are the steps you should take:
Check the Label: Check the label of the gum to see if it contains xylitol. If it does, your dog may be at risk of hypoglycemia.
Call Your Vet: Call your veterinarian immediately and let them know what happened. They will ask you about the type of gum, the amount ingested, and the weight of your dog.
Observe Your Dog: Observe your dog for any signs of hypoglycemia, such as vomiting or loss of coordination. If your dog shows any of these signs, take them to the vet immediately.
Monitor Your Dog: If your dog is not showing any symptoms, monitor them closely for the next 24 hours. If they develop any symptoms, take them to the vet immediately.
Prevention: To prevent your dog from ingesting gum again, make sure to store it in a place that is out of their reach.
Other Foods That Are Dangerous for Dogs
While gum is one of the most common foods that can be dangerous for dogs, there are other foods that can also be harmful. Here are some of them:
Chocolate: Chocolate contains theobromine, which can be toxic to dogs.
Grapes and Raisins: These can cause kidney failure in dogs.
Avocado: Avocado contains persin, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs.
Onions and Garlic: These can damage a dog’s red blood cells and cause anemia.
As a pet owner, it is important to be aware of the foods that can be dangerous for your dog. If your dog ingests gum or any other harmful food, it is important to act quickly and seek veterinary care if necessary. By taking these steps, you can help keep your pet safe and healthy.
What should I do if my dog eats gum that contains xylitol?
If your dog has ingested gum that contains xylitol, it’s crucial to seek immediate veterinary attention. Xylitol is highly toxic to dogs and can cause a rapid insulin release, leading to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Symptoms can include vomiting, loss of coordination, seizures, and even liver failure. It’s important not to induce vomiting or give your dog any food or water before seeking veterinary care.
What if my dog ate gum that doesn’t contain xylitol?
If your dog has eaten gum that doesn’t contain xylitol, it’s still important to monitor them closely for any signs of gastrointestinal distress, such as vomiting or diarrhea. Chewing gum can also pose a choking hazard, so be sure to keep an eye on your dog’s breathing and seek veterinary attention if you notice any signs of distress.
How can I prevent my dog from eating gum in the future?
The best way to prevent your dog from eating gum is to keep it out of their reach. Make sure to dispose of gum properly and keep it in a secure location, such as a closed cabinet or drawer. If you have a curious pup who likes to explore, consider using baby gates or crates to confine them to a safe area when you’re not able to supervise them. Additionally, providing plenty of chew toys and treats can help satisfy your dog’s urge to chew and reduce the likelihood of them seeking out other objects to chew on.