You’re probably very familiar with those small packets that come in medicines, foods, and even in new shoes. These are silica packets, which dogs sometimes find interesting to play with, chew on, or even eat!
Are silica packets toxic for dogs? Will your dog get sick if he eats a silica packet?
What is Silica?
The white stuff inside the packets is called silica, which is a form of silicon dioxide. In fact, sand is made of silicon dioxide, as are glass and quartz. Silicon dioxide is also used as an anti-caking agent in some foods. It’s nontoxic to both us and our dogs. Thankfully!
Silica is also used to absorb moisture when it’s placed in some type of packet. The packet may be included in medication, electronics, or even those new shoes you just bought! Silica is able to absorb up to 30 percent of its weight. This is the reason isn’t included in many types of product packaging—it protects these products from excess humidity.
What If My Dog Eats a Silica Packet?
While these packets are labeled “not for consumption,” they will not hurt your dog in most cases. If he only snarfs done one bag, he should be OK. He may suffer from some vomiting, diarrhea and nausea, but that’s about the worst of it.
However, if he munches down several of these packets, then he could develop an intestinal blockage from the packets, not the silica. An intestinal blockage is a life-threatening medical emergency that requires immediate treatment by a vet.
You’ll need to watch your dog for any of the following symptoms:
- Loss of appetite
- Abdominal pain or swelling
This condition is life-threatening, so if you notice these symptoms in your dog, then call the vet immediately.
This condition may need to be treated through surgery, though in some cases the vet may cure this condition by inducing your fur baby to vomit. After treatment, your dog may need to remain in the hospital for a few days, to make sure he’s recovering well. He may to have IV fluids to support him as recovers, too.
So, if your dog happens to eat a packet of silica, in most cases he should be OK. Monitor him for any concerning signs and call the vet with any questions you may have. They’ll be the best guide on what you’ll need to do for your dog.
JulieJulie is a graduate of the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, where she studied Animal science. Though contrary to the opinion of her parents she was meant to study pharmacy, but she was in love with animals especially cats. Julie currently works in an animal research institute (NGO) in California and loves spending quality time with her little cat. She has the passion for making research about animals, how they survive, their way of life among others and publishes it. Julie is also happily married with two kids.
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