Cathy M. Rosenthal: Is chewing gum danger to dogs?
Dear Cathy: Can chewing gum be bad for dogs? My dog Ralphie likes to chew gum, so occasionally I give him a piece. But my friend says that’s dangerous to do. I don’t see the harm, but thought I would check with you. Rhonda G. Dear Rhonda: If you are giving Ralphie chewing gum with xylitol in it, then, yes, it can be toxic, according to the ASPCA’s Poison Control Center. Xylitol is a sugar substitute found in some sugar-free cookies, mints and chewing gum. Dogs that consume even small amounts of xylitol-sweetened products can experience a dramatic drop in blood sugar and become shaky. Other symptoms include lethargy, vomiting, difficulty standing or walking, hemorrhaging, liver failure and even seizures. I don’t know how much your dog weighs, but as few as two or three sticks of xylitol gum could be deadly to a 20-pound dog, according to the ASPCA. Regular chewing gum has sugars in it that can bad for your dog’s teeth, too. I recommend halting the practice altogether and finding another