My Dog Ate Human Hair What To Do (Reviewed by Vet)

Reviewed By Gemma Cliffin BSC BVSC MRCVS •  Updated: 04/07/23 •  3 min read
Dog Mild Toxicity Level
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Dogs are famous for eating all types of things. They may eat wood, rocks, underwear, and more! That “and more” even includes human hair!

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Has your dog eaten human hair? Are you worried the human hair will make your dog sick? If so, then you’ve come to the right place. We understand it’s scary when your dog eats something he shouldn’t.

In this article, we’ll take a look at human hair and whether or not it can make your dog sick. Let’s get started!

Dog Ate Human Hair

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

Why Do Dogs Eat Human Hair?

There are several reasons dogs might eat human hair. For one thing, they may see a clump of hair on the floor and start to play with it. The dog may then become curious and try to eat the human hair. Yuck!

In puppies, they’re probably just exploring their new world! Puppies are curious about everything and may see the hair and play with it. While they play with the hair, the puppy may take the hair in his mouth to get a better idea of what it is. It’s at this point that the puppy may accidentally swallow the hair.

Some dogs have a condition called pica. This is a behavioral condition that causes dogs (as well as humans and other animals) to eat non-food items. Some dogs may be bored, suffer from separation anxiety, or just eat things out of habit. However, there are also dogs with pica that may have a nutritional deficiency or may not be getting enough to eat. This may cause them to eat non-food items such as human hair.

Can eating human hair make a dog sick?

Human Hair & Dogs

A little bit of human hair is not going to make your dog sick. However, if your dog eats a large amount of hair, he could develop a serious health issue. Large amounts of human hair in the dog’s digestive tract could ball up and become stuck. If this happens, it may create an intestinal blockage. If this condition is left untreated, it can lead to death.

Another problem is if the human hair is covered in any hair products. Some of these can be toxic to dogs.

Symptoms of Human Hair Ingestion in Dogs

You may notice these symptoms if your dog has eaten a large amount of human hair:

These symptoms can indicate your dog has developed an intestinal blockage. So, if your dog is showing these symptoms and he has eaten a lot of human hair,, then call the vet immediately. This is an emergency.

If you notice any human hair coming from your dog’s anus, do not pull it. This could cause an injury to the intestines, which could be very serious. It is best to call the vet instead..

The prognosis for dogs that develop an intestinal blockage is usually very good if the dog receives prompt medical care.

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Gemma Cliffin BSC BVSC MRCVS

This article has been reviewed and approved by an independent Veterinarian: Dr Gemma Cliffin MRCVS is an experienced small animal vet who combines her love of writing alongside working in practice. Since her graduation from the University of Liverpool in 2014 she has worked in a wide variety of roles including first opinion practice, as a night vet and as a locum vet. She has also spent time working at a charity clinic in the Cook Islands which was a challenge but also immensely rewarding. She loves all aspects of veterinary work, but she especially enjoys medicine cases and diagnostic imaging. She is passionate about pain-management, particularly in her more senior patients. She currently works in a first opinion small animal practice in North Yorkshire where she deals with both routine and emergency cases.

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