My Dog Ate Aluminum Foil – What Now? (Solved & Explained!)

Some dogs just can’t help themselves when it comes to a delicious snack. Even if you’ve tried to hide it away, your canine companion can sometimes surprise you and get to the goodies anyways. So, what if your dog ate aluminum foil? What should you do?

In most cases, your dog will pass the foil out into their stools within 24-48 hours. Make sure that your dog can breathe freely – foil can easily get trapped in their throat— and after that you need to watch for signs of intestinal blockage, such as vomiting, slowness, or appetite loss. If you see these, get to the vet immediately.

In this article we’ll talk a little more about aluminum foil ingestion and your dog. We’ll tell you what to expect, what you can do, and tell you more about which contents are the worst. Read on for important information on aluminum foil and your dog!

Aluminum is a potential choking hazard

The first thing to worry about with aluminum ingestion is going to be its potential as a chocking hazard. Check to make sure that your dog is breathing okay – even a small wheeze is not something to ignore – as this will be your primary concern.

If your dog is having difficulty breathing, check out the video below for steps on what you can do. The link will take you to a veterinarian showing you a doggy version of the Heimlich maneuver so that you can se firsthand how to clear out your dog’s airway.

If they are breathing okay, then you can relax a little, as breathing complications are the biggest risk when a dog ingests aluminum foil. That’s not to say that you and your dog are out of the woods yet, however, but at least the worst part is past.

What happens if a dog eats some aluminum foil?

When a dog ingests a small amount of aluminum foil, it will usually travel through the body without problems and end up in your dog’s poo. That said, with puppies or senior dogs, you might still want to get them in to the vet just to make sure that everything’s okay, though a healthy adult will usually be fine.

The problem with ingested aluminum foil that you DO need to worry about is when your dog has eaten big pieces of it. After all, even if it’s flexible, this is still metal that we are taking about and large pieces of it may potentially cause an intestinal blockage.

While that’s certainly scary, the good news is that you won’t have to worry about the metal leaching out into your dog’s bloodstream. Aluminum foil is designed for use with food, after all, so even if it is ingested, it’s not going to leach out toxins and poison your dog in the process.

Signs of intestinal blockage

For the next 24 to 48 hours, you should start seeing shiny bits of aluminum foil in your dog’s stools, but if they are very small compared to what you know that they’ve eaten or simply not appearing at all, then it might be time for a vet visit to speed things along.

Let’s take a look at signs of intestinal blockage to watch for:

  • Lethargy/lack of energy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • No bowel movements or very painful ones

If you see any of these signs, then it’s best to get your vet involved right away. In most cases, your dog’s super-efficient digestive system will simply puzzle over the aluminum for a moment and then send it out quickly, but blockage can and does occur so you’ll need to watch your dog closely for the next 48 hours.

So, most dogs can poop out aluminum foil?

Yes, most dogs will be fine if only a small amount of foil was eaten, and should pass it quickly through their systems within the next 24 to 48 hours.

Aluminum and even tinfoil are bot going to leak toxins out that could make your dog sick, but the next thing on your agenda needs to be figuring out what was in the foil. If you live alone, then this is easy to do, but if you have roommates or a family then it’s going to take a little more work.

If your dog didn’t eat all of the foil and you’ve found part of it, then a quick whiff of the remaining foil can give you an idea of what was eaten, otherwise you may need to make a few texts or phone calls.

If that’s not practical or you simply aren’t sure, then it’s best to err on the side of caution and visit your vet.

Problem contents that require immediate attention

Some contents are much worse than others, of course, with one of the biggest problems being chocolate. Hershey’s kisses and other aluminum/paper hybrid-wrapped chocolates are usually put into a bowl for easy consumption, and if your dog gets a hold of those then you need to get them to the vet right away.

Chocolate has a chemical called Theobromine that is extremely toxic to dogs, and while most of the ‘kisses’ type chocolates will be milk chocolate, even half an ounce of them is highly toxic and potentially lethal for your dog. So, if they’ve eaten chocolate, put your dog in their crate and get them to the vet immediately.

Other contents of concern include allium plants, such as garlic, chives, leeks, and onions, and even fruits such as grapes or apple (core/seeds, not the flesh) can be potentially dangerous for your dog. If it’s something innocuous like a pork chop or a burger patty, then it should be fine, but if you aren’t sure then get to the vet.

In conclusion: Foil is risky, but not as bad as you think

While it’s not something that you want to encourage, of course, foil ingestion is generally going to result in foil in your dog’s poo and some new storage rules about foil-wrapped food at home. That said, you want to check your dog’s breathing first and if you hear even a tiny wheeze, then it needs to be dealt with.

After that, it’s a waiting game, so you must watch your dog for the next 24 to 48 hours to make sure that they get the foil out of their systems. If you see any signs of blockage or if the contents of that foil are potentially toxic, then it’s best to take a trip to the vet to get it dealt with right away.

Be sure to use the tips we’ve shared today and with a little luck (or vet assistance when applicable), your dog should be feeling like their old self again in no time!