My Dog Ate the Ear Off a Toy: What Now? (Solved & Explained!)

Dogs are known for eating everything they shouldn’t, including the toys you buy. So what should you do if they eat something off the menu?

Most foreign objects will pass through the dog within 1-2 days. If the ingested object is larger, it can cause an intestinal blockage, and the owner should call the veterinarian’s office. Blockage symptoms include trouble eating, vomiting, unusual barking/whining, and strange behavior.

Poor pooch! It’s never a great feeling to worry about your pet, so in this article, we’ll explore what you should do if your dog eats part of a toy and when to call the vet.

My Dog Ate Part of a Toy

First, check to see if your dog is choking or gagging. This could indicate an immediate blockage in their airway or esophagus. Then, call your vet and explain the situation. If your dog is not actively choking and because they swallowed part of a toy meant to be chewed on, the vet may recommend waiting a few days to see if the toy will pass naturally.

The vet might recommend immediate removal if the dog swallowed a more extensive section of the toy or a hard toy. Hard toys can become puncture risks to the dog’s esophagus and stomach, while larger pieces of fabric or cloth can cause abdominal blockages.

Symptoms to Watch Out For

Your vet may have you closely monitor your dog if they don’t believe it to be an emergency. Some symptoms to watch out for include lack of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea/constipation, sudden changes in behavior, and unusual whining or signs of distress.

If these symptoms appear and persist, call your vet back immediately.

Your Dog Won’t Eat

All dogs love to eat. I mean, that’s how we got into this mess in the first place! Their lack of appetite could be a sign of an abdominal blockage. Try different foods and treats to entice your pup into getting some nutrients. If nothing works, try liquids to keep them hydrated. 

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Your Dog Consistently Vomits

You may have a problem if your dog is suddenly throwing up. This could be caused by stomach irritation or the inability to digest food. Parts of toys and other foreign objects prevent digestion from happening and result in vomiting.

Your Dog Won’t Go to the Bathroom

If you find your puppy straining to go outside or won’t go at all, make sure they’re hydrated. Sometimes, they need a little more water. 

Call the vet back if the dog doesn’t pass anything for 12-24 hours, and you’ve already tried the hydration route. This is an excellent sign of a blockage and can lead to more severe problems like ulcers, punctures, and pulled muscles.

Your Dog’s Behavior Suddenly Changed

We all know our pets, so it’s easy to tell when something isn’t right. If your outgoing pup is suddenly hiding behind the bed or curled up in the corner of the couch, it may be a sign that they’re feeling ill. Pain or discomfort can also make animals appear aggressive or angry.

If your dog’s behavior suddenly changes, reach out and inform the vet. They’ll want to know the behavior changes before you come in so the office and staff can ensure they’re prepared.

Unexplained Whining, Barking, or Sounds of Distress

Some dogs are always loud, so this section isn’t for them. But if your dog is usually quiet and mild-mannered, you’ll want to pay attention to unusual whining or distressed sounds. This can sound different per dog, and you may find them reluctant to let you pet them or scratch their belly.

If your dog yelps or flinches away when you try to give them belly rubs, consider checking in with the vet about possible abdominal sensitivity. It may be nothing (or something else), but it could be a big problem when connected with a swallowed toy.

Possible Treatments for Your Dog

We can’t stress enough that the first thing to do is call the vet. Take these steps after the vet has been informed, by the vet’s recommendation, or in immediate life or death situations.

Induced Vomiting

Your first instinct may be to induce vomiting. Never do this without talking to a veterinarian first. Depending on the size of the object swallowed, the object could get stuck in a different location and become a choking hazard. Your vet may choose to take this route at the clinic.

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Intestinal Lubrication

Some foreign objects can be passed naturally with the help of a bit of lubrication. Use this method if your dog is still passing feces. Special mineral oils can act as a laxative in dogs, as well as foods like pumpkin puree or canned dog foods. 

Bread or grain is another recommendation because it has a “pushing” effect through the intestines. This treatment won’t help if the toy is lodged somewhere, but it can help if the dog is having trouble passing it. 

Check for the Toy in Your Dog’s Poop

An excellent suggestion, right? You’ll be on poop duty for the next 1-2 days if your dog hasn’t displayed any of the above symptoms and your vet doesn’t believe there’s an emergency. What you’ll need:

  • Gloves
  • Tweezers/Fork
  • Mask (just in case)

From there, pretend you’re searching ancient dino scat for a new species. It might make the experience less gross. If you find something, do your best to determine if the entire piece passed through your dog. If you’re not sure, continue monitoring for the next few days.

If you notice the dog poop is black and tarry (or different from your pup’s usual poop), contact the vet immediately. This could be a sign of internal bleeding due to the ingested toy.


Having your dog swallow something can be scary, but we hope this article has armed you with the knowledge of what to do and when to do it. Make sure to contact your vet before making any decisions, and keep an eye out for the symptoms of an abdominal blockage.