My Dog Ate a Lighter What Should I Do?

Reviewed By Tom •  Updated: 12/06/23 •  5 min read
Dog Severe Toxicity Level
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Has your dog ingested a lighter or chewed on the lighter and swallowed lighter fluid? Then you’ve come to the right place.

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If this is the case, the please call the vet right now. This is a medical emergency.

If you’re only reading this article out of curiosity or believe your fur baby may one day try to eat a lighter, then read on.

Why Would a Dog Eat a Lighter?

Dogs eat odd things for a variety of reasons. Here are some of the reasons a dog may eat a lighter or other objects:

It is strongly recommended to contact a Pet Poison Helpline or your veterinarian.

Some dogs eat strange items, such as a lighter, if they have a condition called pica. Dogs with this condition feel compelled to eat non-food items, including:

Fortunately, this condition can be treated by the vet. Pica can be caused by an underlying health issue, medication, stress, anxiety, and boredom.

Petroleum Products are Toxic to Dogs

Petroleum products are extremely toxic to dogs, to say nothing of the plastic lighter case. The substances that are dangerous are called hydrocarbons. These are toxic to both dogs and their pet parents.

Lighters and lighter fluid are commonly found in many households. Sometimes lighters may be left in a place your fur baby can reach. In fact, your pup doesn’t even have to eat these substances. Instead, he can even suffer toxic symptoms with skin contact or your dog licking his fur after the fluid spills on him.

Lighter & Lighter Fluid Symptoms in Dogs

Your fur baby may show the following signs and symptoms if he’s eaten a lighter and/or lighter fluid:

Chances are you may not know exactly how much lighter fluid your dog has ingested. However, you may be able to tell how much of the lighter he may be swallowed by checking to see how much lighter is left.

If you believe your pup has swallowed the light and/or lighter fluid, the call your vet immediately. This is a medical emergency.

Your vet will run tests to check your dog for organ issues including his intestines, lungs, liver and kidneys. He may need to draw fluid samples from these areas, in addition to running blood tests. He may also want to do an x-ray to see where the lighter pieces are.

Treatment of Lighter & Lighter Fluid Ingestion in Dogs

Your vet probably will not choose to induce vomiting, as lighter fluid can be easily aspirated. However, the vet may choose to give your fur baby activated charcoal and then treat your dog’s symptoms as they develop. They may give supplemental oxygen, IV fluids and medications such as antibiotics.

If your fur baby has eaten a large portion of the lighter, and/or if the pieces are sharp, the vet may need to perform surgery to extract these pieces. They could puncture your pup’s digestive track or cause a intestinal blockage.

Prevent Your Dog From Eating a Lighter

Here are some steps you can take to keep your dog from eating a lighter in the future!

We hope your fur baby has not eaten a lighter or swallowed lighter fluid. But if he has, please call the vet immediately. We wish you both very well!

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Tom has always loved to write since he was little - he wanted to be either a writer or a veterinary doctor, but he ended up being a professional writer while most of his works are based on animals. He was born in San Francisco but later moved to Texas to continue his job as a writer. He graduated from the University of San Francisco where he studied biotechnology. He is happily married and a soon to be father!

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