I always keep a pack of mint Tic Tacs in my car. And since my faithful companion, Claude, is always by my side, I couldn’t help but worry when he found a hard Tic Tac mint and decided to devour it. I immediately thought, “Wait, don’t these mints contain xylitol, which is toxic to dogs?”
To ease my concerns, I decided to call my friend, who happens to be a vet. I also conducted my own online research to determine if dogs can safely consume Tic Tacs. Here’s what I discovered.
Can Dogs Eat Mint Tic Tacs?
The verdict is in: dogs should not eat any form of Tic Tac candy or gum. Although the hard and smaller Tic Tacs that come in the plastic box no longer contain the toxic ingredient xylitol, Tic Tac gum products still do. So, whether dogs can eat Tic Tacs safely ultimately depends on the type they consume.
Feeling a bit confused? I understand. It all comes down to this: to ensure the safety of your furry friend, it’s best not to let them consume any food that isn’t specifically designed for their diet. This is especially important when it comes to candy, sweets, gums, and mints.
However, it’s crucial to make an important distinction here. Normal Tic Tacs no longer contain xylitol, but Tic Tac gum still does. And that’s where the danger lies for our four-legged buddies.
Are Tic Tacs Toxic to Dogs?
Let’s break it down:
- Normal hard Tic Tacs are not toxic to dogs since they do not contain xylitol.
- Tic Tac gum, on the other hand, is toxic to dogs because it contains xylitol.
So, to summarize, Tic Tac gum is harmful to dogs, while the harder candy-based Tic Tacs are not. I’ve included an image below to help you understand it better.
However, this doesn’t mean you should let your dog munch on the harder non-gum Tic Tacs that don’t have xylitol. Why? Well, let me explain.
Can My Dog Eat Tic Tacs?
No, your dog should not eat Tic Tacs at all. Apart from potentially being a choking hazard due to their size, these mints offer no nutritional value. They are also high in sugar. Plus, the gum version contains xylitol, which is extremely toxic to dogs.
Calories and Sugar Are Also Bad…
Let’s talk about the calorie content in Tic Tacs for a moment. This aspect can have a negative impact on your dog’s health and diet.
To illustrate this, I decided to calculate the daily calorie intake for two popular dog breeds based on their average weight:
- An average French Bulldog weighs 25 pounds and should not consume more than 625 calories daily.
- An average Labrador weighs 70 pounds and should not consume more than 1,750 calories daily.
Now, considering these numbers, let’s examine the calorie content of Tic Tacs:
- A pack of Tic Tac mints in a box contains 60 calories. This amounts to 9.6% of a French Bulldog’s daily intake and 3.4% of a Labrador’s daily intake.
What Happens If a Dog Eats Tic Tacs?
If a dog consumes normal Tic Tacs, they might experience an upset stomach due to the following ingredients found in mint Tic Tacs:
- Thickener (Gum Arabic)
- Rice Starch
- Anti-Caking Agent (Magnesium Salts of Fatty Acids)
- Mint Essential Oil
- Glazing Agent (Carnauba Wax)
None of these ingredients are beneficial for a dog’s digestive system and could lead to vomiting and diarrhea.
If a dog ingests Tic Tac gum with xylitol, the consequences are far more severe. Here are the ingredients:
- Gum Base
- Natural and Artificial Flavors
- Magnesium Stearate
- Gum Arabic
- Acesulfame Potassium
- Acetylated Mono and Di-Glycerides as Emulsifier
- Carnauba Wax
Two ingredients that stand out, in particular, are xylitol and talc. Why would anyone want their dog to ingest talc, right?
However, it’s xylitol that presents the biggest concern when it comes to Tic Tac gum.
If a dog consumes Tic Tac gum with xylitol, it can lead to a rapid release of insulin. This is known to cause seizures in dogs and can potentially result in liver failure, brain damage, and even death.
According to a study, 63% of the 192 dogs that ingested xylitol-containing products were hospitalized for supportive care, and 15% experienced hypoglycemia. The study also found that the lethal dose of xylitol for dogs is around 50 milligrams per pound of body weight.
My Dog Ate Tic Tac Gum… What Now?
So, can a single Tic Tac gum be fatal for your dog? Probably not, as it would require a larger quantity to cause severe harm. However, your dog might still become ill. If you suspect your dog has ingested Tic Tac gum, it’s best to seek immediate veterinary advice.
One vet on the JustAnswer.com website provides the following insight:
“There are 2,000 mg of sugar alcohols (xylitol and sorbitol) in 6 pieces of that gum. Assuming the worst-case scenario – that nearly 2,000 mg of xylitol are in 6 pieces, there would be 1,333 mg in 4 pieces. 1,333 mg/45 lbs = 29.6 mg/lb of xylitol. Hypoglycemia arises at doses greater than 35-45 mg/lb, so she should remain safe. There’s no need to induce emesis or treat in any manner.”
Despite this, if you witness your dog consuming Tic Tac gum, it’s still advisable to contact your vet due to conflicting information found online. According to Embrace Pet Insurance, as little as 500 mg of xylitol can make an average-sized dog sick, and it can be lethal for smaller dogs.
It’s also important to be cautious of other human foods that may contain xylitol, such as baked goods, cereals, fruit drinks, jellies and jams, mouthwash, over-the-counter vitamin supplements, peanut butter, sugar-free candy, sugar-free puddings and Jello, and toothpaste.
Do Tic Tacs Contain Aspartame?
Tic Tacs may or may not contain the artificial sweetener aspartame. While it’s not listed in the ingredients, it’s not entirely impossible for it to be present. However, according to the Cuteness website, aspartame is generally safe for dogs. Studies show that dosages up to 4,000 milligrams per kilogram of body weight have no adverse effects on dogs. The negative effects on memory and learning skills only become significant when dosages exceed 5,000 milligrams. Considering this, it’s unlikely that your dog could ingest enough aspartame to endanger their life accidentally.
Can Dogs Eat Orange Tic Tacs?
Assuming it’s not a gum version containing xylitol, your dog can safely consume an orange Tic Tac without experiencing any ill effects. The same goes for any of the current flavors of hard candy Tic Tacs that come in a box, including Coca Cola, Fresh Adventure, Fresh Mints, Frosty Mint, Orange, and Wintergreen.
However, veterinarians recommend refraining from letting your dog indulge in candy or sugar-based snacks altogether. Sugar is just as detrimental to dogs as it is to humans. It can lead to weight gain, dental problems, and, in extreme cases, even canine diabetes.
In conclusion, it’s vital never to allow your dog to eat Tic Tacs or any candy or chewing gum. These treats do not provide any nutritional value and are simply not suitable for dogs.
But perhaps even more crucial, never let your dog consume Tic Tac gum. The presence of xylitol in this variety could potentially harm them. If in doubt, don’t hesitate to consult your vet.
If you enjoyed this content, feel free to check out other interesting blog posts where I frequently discuss topics related to dogs and potential foods that they might accidentally consume. And remember, I am not a vet—this advice is based on my own research and common sense. For personalized guidance, always consult your own veterinarian regarding your dog’s diet.