My Dog Ate Tic Tacs and Seems Fine – What Should I Do?

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Key Takeaways:

  • Tic-tacs are high in sugar and can upset your dog’s stomach.
  • The size of tic-tacs is ideal for dogs to choke on.
  • Even though tic-tacs aren’t toxic, they’re still not healthy or safe for your dog.

Tic-tacs are convenient and easy to carry in a purse, pocket, or car for a quick breath freshener. But what if your furry friend munches a few of these tasty treats? Are they toxic?

Once upon a time, tic-tacs were dangerous for dogs because they contained the sweetener xylitol. Fortunately, the company changed its formula, so that’s no longer the case. However, the tiny mints are still loaded with other sugars that can make your dog sick if he eats a bunch of them. 

In this article, we’ll discuss why tic-tacs are bad for your dog and what you should do if he ate some of them. We’ll look at the symptoms you may see after Fido ingests the breath mints and why they can make your dog sick. Finally, we’ll discuss what your vet will do to treat your dog if he swallows tic-tacs and what recovery looks like.

How Many Tic-Tacs Does It Take to Make Dogs Sick?

Most dogs can handle eating a few tic-tacs without trouble, but if they get a mouthful, they may upset your pooch’s digestive system. These tiny candies contain ingredients that include

  • Sugar
  • Fructose
  • Maltodextrins
  • Rice starch
  • Flavorings
  • Essential oil
  • Wax-based glazing agent

The substances in tic-tacs are irritating to your pooch’s stomach, and some dogs may be sensitive to them. Not only that, but the high sugar level can cause your pup to gain weight, and may eventually contribute to diabetes. The bottom line is that tic-tacs are not a healthy option for dogs.

Dogs may be able to eat a few tic-tacs without getting sick, but the tiny breath mints are not a healthy option for dogs. They’re high in sugar and contain other substances that can make your pup sick.

What Should I Do If My Dog Ate Tic-Tacs?

If your dog ate some tic-tacs, you don’t need to panic. Start by assessing the situation.

  • Remove any remaining mints from your pal’s reach 
  • Determine how many he ingested
  • Check your dog’s mouth and remove any remaining pieces
  •  Call your vet and let him know what happened

Observe your pooch for the next several hours for symptoms of choking or digestive upset like vomiting and diarrhea.

If your dog ate tic-tacs, figure out how much he ingested and remove any remaining mints from the area. Watch your dog for signs of digestive upset.

What You Should Do Immediately If You Suspect Your Dog Has Eaten Tic-Tacs

If you walk into the room and find your tic-tac box open on the floor with fewer mints than you remember, check the area for stray pieces. Look in your dog’s mouth to see if you can find any evidence of ingestion.

Usually, swallowing a few of the tiny candies will have minimal effect on your dog. If Fido eats a container full, he may become sick. Watch him for vomiting and diarrhea and provide supportive care. It’s wise to call your vet and let her know what happened, but there’s no need to panic.

If there’s evidence that your dog ate some tic-tacs, figure out how many he may have ingested. Check his mouth and watch for vomiting and diarrhea. You should also call your vet and report the incident.

What if My Dog Ate a Lot of Tic-Tacs But Is Acting Normal?

If your dog recently ate a lot of tic-tacs, you may not notice signs immediately. Because the company removed xylitol from the formula, the candies are not toxic. But they can still upset your pal’s digestive tract. You may not notice symptoms for several hours but be prepared for vomiting and diarrhea.

You may not notice symptoms of illness immediately after your dog eats a pile of tic-tacs. However, there may be digestive upset with vomiting and diarrhea after several hours.

What Happens to Dogs When They Eat Tic-Tacs?

Have you ever noticed how dogs eat yummy food? Sometimes they swallow small pieces whole. So, it’s no surprise that a pup is likely to gulp tic-tacs without actually chewing them. The problem with this is that the mints are a perfect size to get stuck in your dog’s throat and trigger gagging or choking.

If the tic-tacs make it to the stomach, the ingredients may irritate your pooch’s digestive system. As a result, your pup may have nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Of course, the sugar in these tiny treats isn’t good for your dogs either. Over time, giving your pup tic-tacs can cause him to put on weight. 

Many times, dogs will swallow tic-tacs without chewing them, and this can lead to choking or gagging. In the stomach, the ingredients can irritate the digestive tract and cause diarrhea and vomiting.

Why Are Tic-Tacs Harmful to Dogs?

Tic-tacs may not be toxic, but they can still be dangerous for your pup. If they get stuck in your dog’s throat, they can cause choking. The tiny mints may also lodge in the esophagus and damage the soft tissue.

There are no beneficial additives or substances for dogs when it comes to tic-tacs. As a matter of fact, the sugar-based ingredients and flavoring may upset your pup’s stomach and trigger vomiting, diarrhea, or an allergic reaction.

With a high sugar content, tic-tacs also have more calories than your dog’s diet can afford. A box of these breath mints contains about 60 calories. That may not sound like much with respect to a human diet. But when it comes to dogs, it’s a different story. In general, canines need about 25 calories/per pound each day. If a small dog that weighs around 10 pounds consumes a box of tic-tacs, the food would equal almost 25% of that day’s calorie requirements. 

Tic-tacs are dangerous to dogs for a few reasons. They can lodge in the throat or esophagus and cause choking or soft tissue damage. The ingredients may also upset your pup’s stomach and cause vomiting and diarrhea. The mints also are high in sugar and calories.

How Will My Vet Treat My Dog After Eating Tic-Tacs?

You usually won’t have to take your dog to the vet for eating tic-tacs. However, if your pooch chokes on a mint, he may need emergency care. The vet may sedate your dog to calm him down. After that, he’ll check the mouth and throat for an obstruction. If the doctor can safely grasp the item and remove it, he will. If the foreign body is deep in the throat, your vet may attempt the Heimlich maneuver to eject the object. If the material won’t budge, or there’s a risk that forcing the foreign body out could cause damage to the throat, your vet may perform a tracheotomy to allow your pup to breathe. 

Most dogs will not require veterinary care for eating tic-tacs. If a dog chokes on one of the mints, you should take your pooch in for emergency care. The vet will attempt to remove the foreign body. If that’s not feasible, he’ll perform a tracheostomy to create an airway.

How Long Will It Take for My Dog to Recover After Eating Tic-Tacs?

The recovery period will depend on how the mints affected your pup. If your dog chokes on tic-tacs, the recovery period will take 1-2 weeks or more depending on how quickly your pooch received treatment. Dogs that develop vomiting and diarrhea after eating tic-tacs should recover in a few days. 

The recovery period depends on the effects of the tic-tacs. It can be at least 1-2 weeks for choking and a few days for digestive upset.

The Final Woof

Tic-tacs aren’t toxic to dogs, but they can cause your dog to choke or get sick. If your pup eats a few mints, it’s probably no big deal. However, when they gobble up a container of the tiny candies, it can cause vomiting or diarrhea. And the mints can help your pooch put on the pounds.

If you find evidence that your dog ate tic-tacs, assess the situation. Determine how much your dog consumed and remove any leftover mints. Check for signs of discomfort or distress, and let your vet know what happened. You usually won’t need to take your furbaby in for an exam or treatment unless he chokes on one of the pieces. 

Photo of author
Dr. Libby Guise earned her DVM from the University of Minnesota in 1994. After working in private practice in Wisconsin for two years, she joined the USDA as a Veterinary Medical Officer. In 2011, Libby came home to focus on raising and teaching her adoptive daughter. She lives in Wisconsin with her daughter, husband, and two furbabies: Charis, a lab-mix rescue pup, and Chesed, a Springer Spaniel.

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