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Can Dogs Eat Tic Tacs? Vet Reviewed Facts & FAQ

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By Nicole Cosgrove

Can Dogs Eat Tic Tacs

Vet approved

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Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Amanda Charles

Veterinarian, BVSc GPCert (Derm) MRCVS

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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There are some things that some people never leave the house without, including breath mints and their dogs. Tic Tacs are nifty, pocket-sized, on-the-go breath fresheners, and it can be tempting to throw your dog one after they’ve come in for the kiss and the well-known but not well-loved odor hits your nose like a wave. Ideally, dogs should not eat Tic Tacs. They contain no ingredients that can benefit your dog, and while xylitol is no longer found in the hard candy, this toxic ingredient is still present in Tic Tac gum.

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Are Tic Tacs Safe for Dogs?

To answer this question, we will first talk about the gum variety that contains xylitol. Unfortunately, some dog owners are unaware that xylitol is a toxic ingredient for dogs.  If a dog ingests even a small amount of xylitol, it can cause an increase in insulin production which can lead to brain injuries and liver failure and can sometimes be fatal.1 The tic tac gum variety that contains xylitol is not safe for dogs. So does this mean they can eat the candy that doesn’t contain xylitol? The answer is still no, and here is why.

They have zero nutritional value and are high in sugar. Sugar is unhealthy for dogs as it can lead to weight gain and associated problems such diabetes when consumed regularly. While Tic Tacs don’t contain life-threatening ingredients for your dog, except for the Tic Tac gum that contains xylitol, the consensus is that Tic Tacs are not ideal for dogs.

However, if your dog accidentally eats one or two, it will most likely be fine, but you should avoid sharing your Tic Tacs. To ensure your dog is safe, you should avoid allowing them to eat any food that isn’t designed for their diet, especially candy loaded with sugar.

Can Dogs Eat Tic Tacs?

Pyrenean Mountain Dog lying down on bed looking up with paws crossed
Photo Credit: Anne Richard, Shutterstock

Tic Tacs that do not contain xylitol are not toxic for your dog. However it is not advisable to feed them purposefully to your pup. As a general rule, treats should only make up 10% of a dog’s total daily food intake. Look for healthier treats that are not high in sugar, fat or salt. Another reason you should not allow your dog to eat Tic Tacs is the potential choking hazard, especially for a dog with a small mouth.

These sweets are small and hard and can be tough to bite through. The chances of choking are probably not great, especially on one Tic Tac, but if your dog is given a handful, the chances are increased with all the small hard bullets swirling around in a dog’s mouth while it tries to bite through them.

The bottom line is that you don’t need to worry too much about your dog accidentally ingesting Tic Tacs that do not contain xylitol, but the candy contains no beneficial ingredients and is high in sugar. If your dog shows any adverse effects it is most likely to be gastrointestinal upset and signs such as vomiting and diarrhoea.

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What Happens if a Dog Eats Tic Tacs?

If your dog has eaten one or two Tic Tac sweets, it will most likely cause no harm, but if your dog has ingested a whole box, the excessive sugar  is most likely to cause a gastrointestinal upset with vomiting and diarrhea.

If your dog ingested some Tic Tacs, try not to panic and calmly assess the situation. Monitor your dog for the next few hours and look out for signs of stomach upset. If you have any concerns or your dog has ingested an excessive amount of Tic Tacs or chewed and swallowed any of the hard plastic container then contact your vet.

 If your dog ingested tic tac gum with xylitol, it is much more of a concern. Xylitol can cause serious hypoglycemia ( low blood sugar levels), if consumed in as little as amounts of 50 milligrams per pound of body weight. The likelihood of liver failure and death increases with the dose your dog consumes. Don’t take any chances in this situation, and get your dog to the vet immediately.

Healthy alternatives to Tic Tacs

mint plant
Photo Credit: photosforyou, Pixabay

You will be happy to know that there are breath fresheners on the market that are made for dogs and are more suitable as they don’t contain ingredients that will harm them.

Some people add mint leaves to your dog’s diet. Mint leaves are considered safe for dogs in small amounts, and it can help add a bit of freshness to their mouth.

Diet and Dental Tips for a Healthy Dog and Mouth

Many people are shocked to hear that the two main factors that lead to bad breath in dogs are almost exactly the same as the factors that lead to bad breath in humans. They are diet and dental hygiene. Bad doggy breath can be a sign of other health issues and disease so always get them checked out by your vet. Here are some tips to keep your dog’s mouth and teeth healthy.

  • The best way to help prevent bad dog breath is to regularly brush your dog’s teeth. Use a toothpaste specially formulated for dogs. Human toothpaste can contain toxic ingredients for dogs such as xylitol.
  • Feed your dog a high-quality balanced complete dog food, perhaps one designed for oral care. The hard kibble helps scrape away plaque.
  • In addition to being low in calories, high in nutrients, and suitable for dogs, carrots, sliced apples, cucumbers, and celery provide a tooth-cleaning crunch that can help ward off bad breath.
  • Dog dental chews can keep your dog entertained and help keep their teeth clean.

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Overall, dogs should not eat Tic Tacs. It is best to keep them out of your dog’s diet to avoid stomach upset and to avoid any chances of your dog consuming xylitol. With that being said, if you want to keep your canine companion safe, avoid treats not designed for your dog’s diet altogether, especially candy. If your dog accidentally ingests one or two Tic Tacs that don’t contain xylitol, it will most likely be fine, but you should always call your vet when you are uncertain.

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