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Can Dogs Eat Tic Tacs? (See Which Type is Toxic!)

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One thing you might never leave home without is a small box of Tic Tacs. These minty treats are very small and are great for freshening up your breath in the morning. However, if you have a dog, then you might be wondering if you can give them one of these to freshen up their stinky breath in the morning.

Tic tacs

In short, the answer is yes, but it is not recommended. Tic Tacs used to contain xylitol, which used to be a harmful chemical agent. However, even though the regular Tic Tacs no longer contain this element, the Tic Tac gum still does. So this will all depend on what type of Tic Tac you’ll be feeding your canine.

We all know that dogs have delicate stomachs, and certain dogs are allergic to a whole range of foods, especially sweets. You might already be aware that your dog has allergies to certain foodstuffs and might have an intense reaction from accidentally chewing one of these appetizing treats.

If your dog ends up accidentally ingesting this Tic Tac gum, then you probably won’t have to go rushing to the vet, as trace amounts will not be too harmful. Most likely, it will just have an upset stomach and pass it through without issue.

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But what happens if your dog has already ingested some of this harmful ingredient? What other sweets and candy treats are harmful to dogs? Are there any other harmful ingredients that you can be sure will cause your dog some havoc in the stomach department?

Well, for answers to all these burning questions, you should read on. This is a comprehensive guide to all things dog and mint related. We’ll talk about what you should do if your dog has an increasing curiosity about mint and whether or not eating chewing gum will require an immediate trip to the vet.

Is A Tic Tac Toxic To Your Dog?

You might be thinking: well, if Tic Tacs were toxic for humans, then they wouldn’t be available on the market. So, if they are fine for humans to eat, then they should also be fine for dogs to consume, correct? Well, in theory, yes. But it’s more complicated than that.

Dog looking at bowl of tic tacs

In simple terms, you should remember that normal Tic Tacs do not contain the harmful ingredient xylitol, so you won’t have to worry about ingesting it. However, these mints do not contain any positive additives either, although they will be able to freshen up your dog’s breath in small doses.

However, the Tic Tac gum does contain this agent. Therefore, it is toxic to canines and should be kept out of their reach.

The easy method of distinguishing between the two is the shape. Tic Tacs are round and white and come in a small, clear plastic container. The gum, on the other hand, comes in a packet. You should easily be able to distinguish between the two as the latter will have the word ‘gum’ written on the side in big, bold letters.

However, we would strongly dissuade you from feeding your dog Tic Tacs for a variety of other different reasons. They are very small and easy to choke on, are high in sugar, and have no nutritional value whatsoever.

What Does A Tic Tac Contain That Might Be Harmful To Your Dog?

Tic tacs lined up

Tic Tacs are very high in sugar, given how small they are. So if you are feeding your dog Tic Tacs regularly, then you can be expected to see a sharp increase in their sugar intake and possibly weight gain if your dog is older.

You should be aware of the recommended calorie intake for your dog based on what breed they are. Dogs, on average, should eat only around 25 calories per pound every day, with treat counting for a total of 10% of their daily intake.

So, using this as a guide, we can see that a dog breed, such as a French bulldog weighing 25 pounds, should eat no more than 625 calories per day. A labrador that weighs 70 pounds should eat no more than 1750 calories per day.

A box of Tic Tacs contains 60 calories, which way exceeds the dog’s treat portion of its day. Given the fact that there are many other treats out there that can give your dog more nutrients and minerals than a Tic Tac, we would advise against going to this mint as your dog’s daily treat allowance.

My Dog Has Eaten A Tic Tac! What Now?

If your dog has ingested a regular Tic Tac, then it might result in your dog experiencing mild diarrhea and vomiting. This will surely not be pleasant for you to deal with and will cause your dog some unnecessary pain and discomfort.

However, you can expect the consequences of your dog eating Tic Tac chewing gum to be all the more serious as it contains the toxin xylitol. Out of the two things that it could ingest, Tic Tac gum is probably among the worst. Another harmful ingredient in this Tic Tac gum is talc, as that too will not be great for your dog’s digestion.

Once your dog eats this sugar-rich substance, then it will start producing large amounts of insulin. This spike in insulin can result in liver disease, seizures, and brain damage.

A dog only needs to ingest 50 milligrams of xylitol per pound of its body weight to cause itself a serious illness. The higher dose of this that your dog eats, then the higher the chances it will experience liver failure and death.

In short, there is only cause for alarm if your dog has consumed a large quantity of Tic Tac gum rather than ordinary Tic Tac mints. However, if you are overly concerned about the effect that this can have on your dog’s health, we recommend calling the vet and informing them of your situation.

What Happens If My Dog Has Eaten Tic Tac Gum?

If your dog has ingested the Tic Tac gum, then it would have to have had a lot of it in order for it to be lethal. Your dog will most likely be ill rather than lethally sick, so all you have to do is keep a close eye on your pet for any signs of increased discomfort or pain.

However, if you notice that your dog has consumed a larger dose of Tic Tac Gum, which contains xylitol, then we would definitely suggest that you ring your vet. Enough of this chemical can make a large dog sick and even kill a smaller pet if it has consumed too much.

Tic Tacs aside, what other candies and sweet treats contain chemicals that can be harmful to dogs?

Well, unfortunately, you can find xylitol in a lot of other foods. It is a popular ingredient, it seems. Here is a list of foods that contain it:

  • Baked goods
  • Cereals
  • Fruits drinks
  • Jellies and jams
  • Mouthwash
  • Over-the-counter vitamin supplements
  • Peanut butter
  • Sugar-free candy
  • Sugar-free puddings
  • Toothpaste

A lot of these sugar-free materials contain ingredients that aren’t sugar but are harmful in other ways. A common sugar substitute is sucralose and aspartame, both of which have a history of serious side effects on both humans and animals.

But what if your dog has ingested either of these sugar-free substitutes? Can you look forward to any unwanted symptoms or even make a rush trip to the vet?

Does A Tic Tac Contain Aspartame? Is That Harmful To Dogs?

Luckily, Tic Tacs do not contain aspartame, which has a list of horrible-sounding after-effects that are as long as your arm. However, if it did contain this drug, your dog would have to consume around 5,000 milligrams, which would be difficult to keep contained in one single Tic Tac.

To give you some idea of the size, 8 ounces of artificially-sweetened yogurt only contains 124 milligrams of aspartame. Your dog would have to consume at least ten times this amount to even start to feel slightly ill. So if your dog has swallowed a few Tic Tacs, then you won’t have to worry about it keeling over and dying. 

Are Orange Tic Tacs Harmful To Dogs?

Orange tic tacs

In much the same way as the regular mint Tic Tacs, the orange versions contain zero xylitol and therefore are of no greater harm to your pet. However, we would also recommend feeding them to your dog regularly as they contain zero benefits in terms of nutrition and minerals.

We would also recommend feeding your dog the orange Tic Tacs because they contain just the same high levels of sugar. Having this larger sugar intake does no good for your dog’s diet. These sugar spikes can even lead to diabetes as your dog gets older.

Your dog could even eat other flavors of Tic Tac without experiencing any serious side effects. That includes the coca cola, fresh adventure, fresh mints, frosty mints, orange, and wintergreen flavors.

However, again, we would strongly recommend against letting your dog eat candy. These are sugar-based snacks that only contribute negatively to your dog’s diet. These treats can make your dog overweight, can cause massive fluctuations in heart rate, and can, over time, be the cause of potentially lethal liver disease.

Giving your dog an excessive amount of sugary treats can also cause them to lose their teeth, which is very detrimental to their health as they get older. Your dog needs to retain its ability to chew its food, as the digestive system slows down dramatically in old age.

A high-sugar diet will also affect your dog’s ability to digest particularly tough foods such as spinach and broccoli. This is important if you are trying to keep your dog healthy and want it to have the most amount of greens that it can possibly have to improve its nutrient count.

Our Final Say

While it is not lethal for you to feed your dog Tic Tacs, we would not recommend that you feed it to them on a regular basis. Introducing high levels of sugar into your dog’s diet is very detrimental to your dog’s health, so you’ll have to make sure that these are kept very low.

If your dog is going to consume Tic Tacs regularly, then make sure that it is kept within healthy limits. If your dog’s treat consumption is more than one-tenth of its overall nutrient intake, then you can be sure that you’ll have plenty of trips to the vet. This could cause your dog to experience liver damage, as well as spikes in sugar levels.

It is important to make sure that your dog does not consume the chemical xylitol, as this could be potentially life-threatening if consumed in large enough quantities. Remember that this chemical is not found in regular Tic Tacs but is present in small amounts in Tic Tac gum.

If you are going to give your dog this treat, then we would limit it to once a day. This way, you can make sure that your dog’s sugar levels remain within healthy limits.

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About the author


Kerry White is an avid dog lover and writer, knowing all there is to know about our furry friends. Kerry has been writing for PetDT for three years now, wanting to use her knowledge for good and share everything she can with new dog owners.Kerry has two dogs herself - a German shepherd called Banjo and a chocolate labrador called Buttons. Kerry knows more than anyone how adjusting to new life with a puppy can turn your life upside down, and she wants to ease some of the burdens through her articles.