Dogs eat the strangest things sometimes! And it happens before you even have a chance to grab up whatever your dog is after. Sometimes our canine companions use stealthy measures to get what they want, too. So, don’t feel bad. Accidents happen.
Here’s what you need to know about dogs who eat plastic and what you need to do next.
Why Do Dogs Eat Plastic?
It can happen by accident. Maybe you threw away a container that still had some food in it. Your dog may be motivated by that yummy smell coming from the garbage and decide to help himself. As he wrangles with the plastic, trying to get at the food, he ends up eating some of the plastic in the process. This can happen.
Some dogs may be driven by boredom, anxiety, and even curiosity to try their teeth in plastic. This, too, is pretty common.
Plastic is Dangerous for Dogs
Plastic is dangerous for dogs if ingested. Plastic, after it’s been chewed and crunched, can splinter down into very jagged, sharp pieces. These plastic pieces may pass through the digestive tract without causing any problems. However, they can also cause injuries to the esophagus, the stomach lining, and the intestines.
These small injuries could be cuts or punctures, which can lead to serious health issues. Another problem is that many small pieces of plastic can clump together in the dog’s digestive tract, causing a bowel obstruction. This is a life-threatening emergency.
One more danger is that plastic pieces can also choke a dog.
What to Do Next
Try to determine the type of plastic your dog’s chewed and about how much of it he may have ingested. Then note any symptoms. Next, call the vet and let them know what’s happened. They will provide guidance on the next steps needed for your fur baby.
Symptoms of Bowel Obstruction in Dogs
You may need to watch for these symptoms of bowel obstruction in your dog (depending on the advice from your vet):
- Abdominal bloating/pain
Treatment for Dogs Ingesting Plastic
Treatment will depend on the type and amount of plastic the dog has eaten, as well as the dog’s symptoms. The vet will order lab work and x-rays. The images will be done to determine if there is a bowel obstruction; if so, then your fur baby will probably need surgery.
The good news is that dogs who receive prompt medical care will go on to a complete recovery.