Just like kids, dogs can be hard to control sometimes and we don’t always have the power over what they do at certain points in time, or what they eat. So, what if my dog ate gum, or it took it to the next stage by eating a pack of gum?
Well, the issue of dogs and gums are a long-standing matter of concern, and it is the responsibility of any dog parent to know what effect gum can have on their beloved pets.
It is equally important to learn how to make sure that the dog is okay after this kind of episode.
Maybe you just came back from work and you found out that your beloved canine has entered your gum stash and have fed on some of the goodies there.
Of course, the first instinct of any dog owner is to panic, and that is not a wrong natural response to that kind of situation.
Chocolates are bad for dogs, and gum can be just as deadly, so the panic button is a perfectly natural key to press here. However, the situation is not all bad and you can be better informed against future occurrences while managing your present situation.
How about we talk about this gooey situation at length? That way, you know just what to do when confronted with like situations.
In as much as we would advise you not to panic when your dog treats itself to a nice meal of gums, it is not healthy for your canine to have some. Dogs have had a medically proven enemy in chocolate for a very long time now, and from that point of view, gum is also an enemy to their system.
When your dog eats gum, it could be fine as long as there is no xylitol in that piece of gum but if there happens to be, there might be trouble in paradise then.
Xylitol is an artificial sweetener that has been added to gums to make them have the taste that we desire in them, but it can be toxic to the body system of dogs.
Xylitol in the bloodstream of dogs would occasion a series of chain reactions, all of which are not desirable to their overall wellbeing. For example, xylitol would immediately cause massive production of insulin in the dog’s body, effectively lowering the glucose levels and causing a massive reduction in the dog’s blood sugar.
If this is not treated on time, the dog can start to experience liver failure, some seizures, etc.
If your dog has eaten a pack of gum – a brand which is known to contain xylitol – it would start showing adverse symptoms in a space of 30 minutes to 12 hours. The dog doesn’t need to eat much to get down too.
Research proves that as little as 50 milligrams of xylitol in the body of your pet is enough to cause the side effects to show up. This xylitol we have been hammering about is a component of sugar-free gums which, although good for the human teeth, is detrimental to the canine health.
Unlike humans, dogs are not well informed enough to know that gum is to be chewed before it is being swallowed. They get everything in the top concentration into their belly at once.
This is not the way gum is meant to be consumed by those that made the sticky little mounds of flavour, and you can be sure that it won’t go down the same way.
Asides from the xylitol issue we addressed already, digestion issues could also spring up.
Sugar-free or not, gum is meant for humans and not for pets, but that asides, the sugar-free gum has to be the worst choice of treat that you can give to your pet. No matter how sugar-free a piece of gum is, there is still the sweet taste in there, and this has been achieved by the use of artificial sweeteners.
In this case, xylitol is used, and it is very harmful to the health of your dog (as has been earlier highlighted in the bullet above).
You would be hard-pressed to find a dog owner who doesn’t know that chocolate is bad for their pet. However, not this much know that xylitol is an even bigger evil that could rob them of their dog.
While a dog would need to consume a large amount of chocolate (relative to their size) before they started to show the most critical symptoms, a little bit of xylitol is enough to kill your dog.
Does your pet have a case of bad breath that you would look to correct? Or has it done something so remarkable that you wish to reward its diligence and commitment?
There are a number of ways out there to treat bad breath on dogs. There are also surely a million and one treats that you can give to your dog, asides gum.
The upside is, these treats won’t kill your pet, and you both remain safe and happy.
The best thing is to refrain from giving your dog gum of any kind, sugar-free or not, and make sure that you keep all packs of gum out of sight to avoid your pet helping themselves to just a bite, or a couple of it.
Okay, so maybe you have just found out that some of the gum you kept on the table is gone, and you don’t know where it went. Maybe it also happens that you have a dog around the house, and you would like to be sure if it has been near the pack or not (for its own safety, that is).
Well, it should not be hard to tell if your dog has eaten a pack of gum from the kind of symptoms that it would start to give off.
Keep close tabs on the dog as they can start to exhibit symptoms within just 30 minutes and could span as long as 12 hours.
Different dogs have different levels of tolerance. The weight of the dog and the amount of gum consumed is also a factor in determining how fast the symptoms would start to show.
The last symptom has been placed there for a reason.
Sadly, if you don’t treat your dog fast enough or get them under the care of a vet, they could die from the pack of gum they ate.
That is why it is good to be observant of your pet, and once you start noticing all of these symptoms, get in touch with a vet with your concerns.
If it was that you had a pack of gum lying around, and you believe that your dog might have taken some, keep the dog close by for observation.
Make sure you have a local vet on speed dial at the same time. It is better to be safe than sorry. Choose safe.
The first advise to dog owners when they find out that their pets have swallowed some gum is to not panic. Seriously, panicking would just make matters worse, and you need to be a steady state of mind to deal with the situation head-on.
The recommended thing to do is to place a call to your vet, and let them know what has happened.
Depending on the amount of gum your dog has taken, and their weight being taken into consideration, there might not be an issue with the pet.
This doesn’t mean you should neglect to go get them checked though. Negligence like that can be costly and it is better to just nip things in the bud as fast as they come.
As we have told you what the right thing to do is when your dog eats gum, there are also mistakes that you need to avoid. Unless your vet has okayed it, you are not to induce vomiting in your dog by yourself to get them to expel the gum they took.
Likewise, refrain from administering any oral treatment to the dog. There is the chance that you would just end up making things worse for the dog. For example, your dog might already have a case of hypoglycaemia and making them vomit could just make matters worse for them.
Now that you know just how bad gum can be for the health of your dog, it is time to start looking at ways to stop your dog from having just some of that bar of sweetness.
The first step starts with you ensuring that you don’t have any course to give gum to your dog. There are a lot of dog treats out there, and everything has been deemed safe for your dog, so stick to those.
Keeping your packs of gum out of reach can also help a lot. Research has shown that a lot of dog owners calling the Pet Helpline admitted to having left a pack of gum lying around.
We said gums are not good for dogs, and this is not limited to those fresh from the pack. Make sure your jackets and bags are always hung on doors too, or behind a closet (this is the safer option).
If your goodies are kept in your coat pocket and left to hang around, an intelligent dog might just devise a way to get to it.
Your dog would eat almost anything, and if it smells nice, they are surely going to want a taste of whatever is in there.
Keeping your dog on a leash might look like a tough choice, especially if you are one that love your pet to roam freely, but you might be doing the furry fellow a lot of good.
When you are going out on a walk with your dog too, maintain a leash on them at all times. This would help you see whatever the dog is doing and by that, you can prevent them from scavenging on gum remnants that might have been spat on the sidewalk.
If your dog is one that is known to scavenge a lot, consider using a muzzle for them when you are going out to get some fresh air.
The onus also lies on you to properly dispose of chewed gum materials. Leaving them anywhere around the house might be an invitation for your dog to feed on the remnant.
Educate everyone around you on the dangers of gums to dogs, and they respect your no-gum policy for your dog.
Your dog is also an integral part of the family, so you should make an effort to care for your furry little bundle by taking note of them and observing them. Be well informed and guided about sugar-free gum and the mean content that causes harm to dogs – xylitol.
While it can’t be told the exact amount of xylitol that is contained in each bar or bubble of gum (this is being kept as a trade secret by every manufacturer), know that just about any amount can cause severe discomfort for your pet, and you could lose them too.
With the increasing use of xylitol in home products by manufacturers, it is important to keep tabs on every jar whose content is made of xylitol in the home.
Asides from your packet of gums, you might want to keep the peanut butter out of sight too.
In all, always seek professional medical help when your dog ingests gum, or you start noticing any of the symptoms above.
Don’t think you can take care of your pet on your own. In the end, you might just end up complicating matters. Seek professional help for your pet today.
Happy dog parenting!