What Happens if a Dog Swallows Chewing Gum?

dog chewing gum

Chewing gum is definitely one of those foods that your dog cannot have.

It is important that you learn about the possible consequences of your dog eating it. Not all dogs react to this food the same way, but it is never good.

Consequences of Dogs Eating Gum

There are a variety of ways in which your dog’s body can react when ingesting gum. Even a small amount can do substantial harm to your pet. In fact, it only takes one piece of gum to have a toxic effect on a dog that weighs 10 pounds.

1. Xylitol Toxicity

Xylitol is a chemical that is commonly found in most chewing gum. While it is perfectly safe for humans, it can be highly toxic to dogs.

Your dog could experience a wide range of negative reactions from ingesting even a small amount of xylitol.

Some of the common symptoms of xylitol toxicity in dogs include seizures, vomiting, lethargy, tremors, and pale gums.

2. Low Blood Sugar

If your dog consumes enough gum at once, its blood sugar levels can drop significantly. This is due to the xylitol that is in most gum. Even gum that is totally sugar free can still have a decent amount of this chemical in it.

Some of the signs of low blood pressure that you should look out for include:

  • Disorientation
  • Restlessness
  • Increased hunger
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weakness
  • Seizures (only associated with severe low blood sugar)
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While it is true that low blood sugar is not usually life-threatening, it can still be dangerous for your dog.

3. Liver Damage

It is also possible that your dog could get liver damage from eating chewing gum, especially if they consume a large amount at once. Your veterinarian will be able to determine if they sustained any liver damage and what the extent of it is.

Some of the signs that your dog has liver damage include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Problems with balance when walking
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Increased thirst
  • Confusion
dog mouth

What to do if Your Dog Eats Chewing Gum

There are a few steps that you will need to take if you see your dog eat any chewing gum or even suspect they have. These steps can potentially save your pet’s life, so it is important to keep them in mind.

Is it Truly an Emergency?

The very first thing that you need to determine is whether or not you should rush your dog to the veterinarian. Keep a close eye on your pooch for the first 30 minutes after it ingests the gum. Make sure that you look for the signs of liver damage, low blood sugar, and xylitol toxicity listed above.

If you notice any of these symptoms, you’ll want to get your dog to the vet right away. The longer you wait to get it treatment, the more likely it is that complications will develop. 

You also need to determine if the gum your dog ate does indeed have xylitol in it. While your dog could still have a negative reaction regardless, this is important for you to do. If there is none of this chemical in the gum, your dog will probably be okay.

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Keep in mind that your dog could start exhibiting symptoms in as little as 10 minutes after swallowing the gum.

The Next Hour

You should make a point of staying by your dog’s side for at least an hour after it has ingested chewing gum. This will ensure that it is in no immediate danger. While symptoms can begin to manifest after an hour, it is fairly uncommon in most cases.

dog chew

Monitor Your Dog Closely for the Next Few Days

It could take up to a few days for an intestinal blockage to occur after your dog has eaten chewing gum. This can easily be fatal, especially if you don’t get your dog treatment as soon as you notice there is a problem.

Some of the signs of an intestinal blockage include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness
  • Dehydration
  • Bloating (one of the most common signs of a blockage)

If you even think that your dog might have an intestinal blockage, you shouldn’t wait to take him or her to the vet. Putting this off could cost your pet its life, so you need to keep that in mind if it has recently eaten any amount of gum.

Call Poison Control

You can call the ASPCA poison control number, which is 888-426-4435. It is a good idea to do this if you believe that your dog is having a toxic reaction to the gum it has eaten. 

You should instantly call this number if they eat more than one piece of gum. In this case, it is almost certain that they will have a severe negative reaction. 

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This phone line is open at all times of the day every single day of the week, including holidays. You should not hesitate to call if you notice any strange or concerning behavior from your pet after it has eaten the gum.


  • The main reason that chewing gum is poisonous to dogs is because it contains xylitol, a chemical that is added to sweeten the taste.
  • Dogs that ingest gum can suffer from liver damage, low blood sugar, and other serious health problems.
  • Keep a very close eye on your dog for at least the first hour after it swallowed the gum.
  • Symptoms of xylitol toxicity usually begin presenting within 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Your dog could develop an intestinal blockage up to three days after eating the gum, so keep a close eye on them.
  • If you ever notice any symptoms of an intestinal blockage or liver damage, you need to see your veterinarian right away.
  • When you see your dog pick up chewing gum, try to take it out of its mouth as quickly as possible before it has a chance to swallow.