So, you’ve kept the actual muffin away from your dog, but what happens when they dig the wrapper out of the trash? Is it okay if the dog ate muffin wrapper?
Thankfully, the wrapper itself is designed to ‘technically’ be edible, downgrading the situation to what basically amounts to ‘my dog ate paper’ – unless there was chocolate residue on it. Sans the chocolate scenario, however, what your dog doesn’t digest should pass through their body within 24 to 28 hours.
This is a question that deserves a little more detailed answer, however, so in this article we’ll explore it in a little more detail so that you have the real scoop on muffin wrapper ingestion and what you need to know. Let’s dive-in and get down to the facts of the matter!
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Are muffin wrappers really edible?
The proper answer for this would be ‘mostly’, as a lot will depend on the vendor and the type of wrappers that they are using. Cupcakes, for instance, are most often lined with an edible wrapper, though muffins might be the same, or they could employ paper, and in worst-case scenarios, it could be foil.
Even with the thin paper wrappers, they aren’t exactly what you would call nutritious, but depending on the thickness they will typically digest – either partially or fully – and pass through your dog’s system to show up in their stool.
Your dog might vomit a little or perhaps get a case of diarrhea, but as long as it’s not a case of recurring vomiting or excessive diarrhea then it will usually pass. Too many wrappers, however, will gain a collective mass that could cause blockage and the risk of choking or obstruction is greatly increased with foil wrappers.
Some wrappers, especially pre-2002, also employ perfluorinated chemicals for waterproofing, and these have actually been linked to kidney and other types of cancers. Ultimately, while 1 muffin wrapper won’t be a problem, you’ll need to discourage regular ingestion and hide those wrappers if your dog tends to scavenge the trash bags when you aren’t looking.
Small dogs and muffin wrappers
With smaller dogs, it’s best not to ‘watch and wait’, but rather to put them in their crate and pay a visit to your vet immediately. While 1 small wrapper might not warrant this, any more than this is going to have a higher chance of blockage than a single wrapper alone and you really don’t want to risk that.
The liners might be waxed, making them harder to digest, and the cellulose fibers that make up that paper aren’t easy on the stomach, either. Due to their diminutive build, smaller dogs are simply going to have a harder time, so getting your vet into the mix quickly is always going to be the best option.
Chocolate muffin wrappers require a vet visit
Chocolate muffins are where things can actually get dangerous, especially if they have any sort of frosting in them, but even cake bits that have chocolate can be dangerous due to the small amounts that are required for chocolate toxicity in dogs.
Chocolate contains caffeine, but more importantly it also has a chemical called Theobromine, which is produced as a by-product of roasting cacao beans to make chocolate. Unfortunately, while humans can digest this easily and even get an ‘endorphin rush’ from it, your dog’s physiology is a very different matter.
Theobromine gets released from the chocolate ingestion, starting at the stomach, but then becoming reabsorbed once it hits the intestines, leading it to cycle through your dog’s bloodstream again and again.
Theobromine actually has a half-life of around 18 hours in dogs and can damage their organs during this time! This can lead to seizures or even a coma and if enough is ingested, it can be fatal.
Chocolate toxicity by type and your dog’s weight
If chocolate is involved, then you are going to need a thorough understanding of exactly how toxic this is by your dog’s weight. While any chocolate ingestion is a 100% ‘get your vet involved NOW’ scenario, here are the toxic amounts so that you will have that knowledge:
- Baking chocolate – The ‘big baddy’ of the bunch, baking chocolate just take .2 ounces per pound of your dog’s mass/body weight to be considered dangerously toxic.
- Milk chocolate – Aside from white chocolate, milk chocolate is the least toxic, at .5 ounces per every pound of your dog’s weight.
- Semi-sweet and dark chocolate chips – .3 ounces is the toxic amount per-pound for semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips, which are a common addition to many popular muffins.
- White chocolate – White chocolate in a muffin is actually good news, as it doesn’t really have more than trace amounts of caffeine or theobromine, since it’s not technically a ‘real’ chocolate, but rather just marketed that way. It’s really just cocoa butter, sugar, and coloring, unless real cacao chunks are added on purpose (and you’ll see those).
This should give you a basic idea of the toxicity levels, but let’s drive the lesson home with a comparison that is easy to visualize. With baking chocolate, the most toxic variety, that .2 ounce-per-pound ratio means that 2 little squares of baking chocolate can be fatal for a 20-pound dog.
It’s that serious – so if those muffin wrappers had a bit of chocolate residue or even if they MIGHT have, then you should play it safe and pack your pooch into their travel crate, because it’s time to visit your veterinarian.
Some final words on muffin wrappers and your dog
Summing things up, in most cases, muffin wrappers won’t be a big deal. The cellulose paper won’t digest very well, but it should pass through into your dog’s feces somewhere between the next 24 to 48 hours. With smaller dogs, there is an increased risk of blockage, so consider the vet in these cases to avoid this danger.
Foil wrappers are riskier, and also a good excuse for a vet visit, and if any chocolate was involved in that muffin then an immediate checkup is vital. Now that you have the facts, you can examine any remaining wrappers and you should have a good idea of your next steps, but if you are in doubt then don’t worry
Your vet is just a phone call away!