A dog eating plastic is never a good thing. If you suspect your dog ate plastic, you need to get yourself to an emergency vet. It doesn’t matter how much your dog has swallowed; their life is on the line.
On this page, we want to go through what you should/shouldn’t do if your dog has eaten plastic. We also want to give you some of the symptoms that you should be on the lookout for, just in case you suspect your dog ate plastic, but you aren’t 100% sure.
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What Happens When Your Dog Eats Plastic
Generally speaking, your dog is smart. While it may have a sniff at a bit of plastic, the chances are that it probably won’t chow down on it. Dogs know what food is, and what isn’t food.
Still, there may be some times when a dog gobbles away a little bit too much and they inadvertently swallow a chunk of plastic.
In the best-case scenario, nothing is going to happen. The plastic will work its way through your dog’s system slowly, and it is going to come out the other end. However, that is the best-case scenario. You cannot assume that this is going to happen to your dog. You always need to assume that the worst is going to happen.
If the plastic is pretty large, then there is a chance that it will get stuck in your dog’s throat. This will cause breathing difficulties for your furry friend. This could result in their death, and thus the plastic needs to be removed as quickly as possible.
If the plastic doesn’t get stuck in their throat, there is a chance that it could get stuck in their bowels. Again, this can be life-threatening. Bowel obstructions prevent waste from working its way through the body. A build-up of waste is never a good thing.
What To Do If Your Dog Swallows Plastic
So, what can you do it you suspect your dog ate plastic? Well, there are a few things that you must do.
Remove The Plastic From The Dog’s Mouth
If you believe the plastic is causing breathing difficulties for your dog, you may be able to reach in and pull it out of their mouth/throat. Although, do bear in mind that your dog may not be too happy about this. However, it is something that needs to be done. If the breathing difficulties are too serious, then you may not make it to the vet in time.
If your dog has swallowed the plastic, then you won’t need to do this. However, you still have to deal with the issue of swallowed plastic.
Call an Emergency Vet
It doesn’t matter how much plastic you believe your dog has swallowed. It doesn’t matter whether you have been able to pull the plastic out of their throat; you need to give the emergency vet a call. They will walk you through the next steps. Yes. A dog swallowing plastic is a medical emergency, no matter how much they have swallowed.
The vet will advise you on the next steps. They may tell you to keep an eye on symptoms, and they will almost certainly ask you to come into the emergency vet so your dog can be scanned.
If the plastic has no chance of working its way through your dog’s system, then the emergency vet will need to carry out surgery on your dog. This will remove the plastic from wherever it is obstructing. The sooner this is done, the easier the process will be.
Keep An Eye On Your Pet’s Symptoms
If you suspect that your dog has eaten plastic, then it is vital that you keep an eye on your dog’s symptoms. In some cases, the quantity they have swallowed is so small that they probably won’t really have any adverse effects, although we still wouldn’t risk it. An emergency vet will always check them over if you suspect they have ingested larger quantities of plastic.
Watch For Breathing Issues
If you notice that your dog is struggling to breathe or hear slight wheezing when they breathe, then there is a good chance that the plastic has become lodged in their throat. If you are not able to remove this yourself, then you are going to need to take a trip to the vet.
Remember, even if a small amount of oxygen is getting into your dog, it probably isn’t going to be enough to sustain them. They will eventually get weaker.
Watch Your Dog When They Poop
If your dog is struggling to poop i.e. nothing is coming out, then there is a chance that your pup is dealing with a bowel obstruction. This is an incredibly serious condition and requires immediate vet care.
A little poop may come out in some cases, but the dog tries to force more, but nothing is really happening.
If poop does come out, then check. You may notice that there is some plastic in it.
Check Your Dog Isn’t In Distress
Finally, keep an eye on your dog’s behavior. You may notice if the way that they are acting has suddenly changed e.g. they seem a bit more docile, or they are not running around quite so much. A lot of dogs that are in distress tend to stay out of your way. They want peace and quiet.
If your dog is making any noises, particularly whimpering, then you need to get your dog to a vet immediately. This indicates that the plastic has become lodged somewhere in their system and is causing them pain.
If your dog age plastic, chances are that nothing will happen to them, assuming it is in small quantities. However, it is still important that you get your pet to an emergency vet. This is the only way to be sure that your pet doesn’t have a blockage. If they do have a blockage, it could be fatal for the animal.
My name is Ken and I’m one of the staff writers at Petloverguy.com. I’ve cared for pets most of my life starting with hamsters, turtles, and snakes. Then moving up to parakeets, guinea pigs, and even ducks.
I currently live with two yorkies and a chihuahua mix.