My Dog Ate a Phone Cord or Charger What Should I Do? (Reviewed by Vet)

Reviewed By Aisling O'Keeffe, MVB CertSAM ISFMCertAdvFB •  Updated: 09/27/23 •  4 min read
Dog Severe Toxicity Level
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If you’re like most people, you have a nice assortment of phone cords and charger cables lying around. And if you have a family, that means that there are even more cords and cables around the house. That’s usually not a problem, except that sometimes dogs are drawn to eating things like cords and cables.

Dogs Eating Foreign Objects

Dogs are known for eating a wide variety of things including food and non-food items. When it comes to non-food items, vets have found all sorts of things inside dogs including:

When dogs eat something that’s a non-food item, then the item is called a “foreign object” or “foreign body”. A foreign object is just a fancy name for that non-food item your dog may have eaten.

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

If your dog has eaten a non-food item, it’s strongly recommended that you call your veterinarian.

The Dangers of Foreign Objects in Dogs

Foreign objects can pose a severe hazard to a dog. The obvious dangers include toxic substances, but also include the development of an intestinal blockage. Sometimes a dog will eat a foreign object, such as a phone cord or charger, and then vomit it back up. Other times, the foreign object will pass on through the stomach and into the intestines.

Once inside the intestines, the non-food item can cause something called an intestinal blockage. This is when something becomes stuck in the intestines and nothing can move. If the dog eats, the food stays ahead of the foreign object and they may vomit. An intestinal blockage is a very dangerous medical condition, which can lead to death if not treated promptly.

Phone Cords, Chargers and Dogs

It may be that your dog has eaten only a portion of the cord or charger cable; however, it’s also possible he’s snarfed down the entire cable. Either way, your fur baby can become very sick. Not only can this cause an intestinal blockage, but the cord or cable can wrap up the intestines.

Sometimes if a dog eats something like a cable, you may notice that part of it may be sticking out from your dog’s behind. The temptation is to “help” your dog by pulling the cable out. However, this is the worst thing you could do. The reason is that the pressure applied when pulling out the cable could cause the intestines to tear, which could quickly cause death to your dog.

Symptoms of Intestinal Blockage in Dogs

The symptoms of an intestinal blockage in dogs can include the following:

If your dog is showing any of these symptoms, it’s best to call your vet right away.

What to Do If Your Dog Eats a Phone Cable or Charger

If you suspect or know for sure that your dog’s eaten a cable or charger, then please call the vet immediately. This could be a life-threatening health issue, which requires treatment as soon as possible.

The vet will explain what you need to do next, and the next steps in helping your dog. Don’t wait for this to resolve itself. Call the vet right away—you may just save your dog’s life.

Diagnosis of Intestinal Blockage in Dogs

Did you see your fur baby eat a foreign object, such as a phone cord or charger? If so, do not induce vomiting. This could cause additional complications for your dog. Only induce vomiting if the vet tells you to do so. If your dog has swallowed a cord or charger, the vet may ask you to bring him in.

At the vet’s, they will give your dog a physical exam. The vet may also run blood tests and X-rays to determine where the blockage is located.

Treatment of Intestinal Blockage in Dogs

Depending on where the phone cord or charger is located, the vet may be able to safely remove it through an endoscopic procedure or surgery. It all depends on the location of the blockage, the amount of time it’s been stuck, and the shape/size of the object.

Recovery After Surgery for Intestinal Blockage

Most dogs will make a full recovery if they’ve received medical treatment as soon as possible after eating a foreign object. The vet will provide you with post-surgery instructions on how to care for your fur baby as he heals.

In addition, the vet may prescribe pain or other medications for your dog’s recovery. Be sure to follow the vet’s instructions on how to give the medication to your dog.

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Aisling O'Keeffe, MVB CertSAM ISFMCertAdvFB

This article has been reviewed and approved by an independent Veterinarian: Aisling qualified as a vet 7 years ago from University College Dublin. She has worked in a mixture of UK small animal hospitals along with Irish practices. She worked for 3 years in a feline-only hospital where she further developed her feline medicine and surgery skills. She currently lives and works in a small animal hospital in Cork, Ireland.

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