My Dog Ate Puzzle Pieces What Should I Do?

Reviewed By Tom •  Updated: 06/20/21 •  3 min read
Dog Moderate Toxicity Level
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Do you enjoy putting together puzzles? Many people have fun putting puzzles together with family and friends. It’s a pastime that’s been enjoyed for decades!

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While puzzles can be fun to work on, what happens if your dog eats one or more puzzle pieces? Can puzzle pieces make your dog sick?

What are Jigsaw Puzzles?

Jigsaw puzzles are those that use cut-out pieces to create tiles that interlock with one another. The tiles usually form an image, which can be easy or difficult to put together. It depends on the image, the number of pieces, and the size of the pieces.

Some puzzles come with over 3,000 pieces! You have to be dedicated to finish one of those puzzles! These types of puzzles were first developed back in the 18th century. They were made by painting a picture on a flat piece of wood, which was then cut into small pieces.

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

These days, jigsaw puzzles are made of cardboard, though there are kids puzzles that may be made from wood.

While we can have fun putting jigsaw puzzles together, can the pieces be dangerous for dogs? What happens if your dog eats jigsaw puzzle pieces?

Jigsaw Puzzle Pieces & Dogs

Are you working on a puzzle that has very small pieces? If your dog eats one or two of these, chances are he’ll be OK. However, if your canine companion happens to chow down on half of the puzzle pieces, or more (it’s been known to happen!), then he will have a major problem.

The problem is the pieces are made from cardboard. While one or two pieces might be broken down by the dog’s digestive system, it won’t be able to handle half the pieces of a puzzle. There’s a very high risk the puzzle pieces will absorb fluid and expand. When this happens, they can bunch up together in the intestines and create a blockage. This condition is known as an intestinal blockage, which can end in death if left untreated.

Symptoms of an Intestinal Blockage in Dogs

You may notice these symptoms if your dog develops a blockage after eating jigsaw puzzle pieces:

If your dog is showing any of these symptoms, then it’s time to call the vet. This is a life-threatening medical emergency.

Note: do not induce vomiting unless this is recommended by the vet.

Treatment of Intestinal Blockage in Dogs

In most cases, the dog may need emergency surgery to remove the blockage, which in this case is caused by puzzle pieces.

The good news is that dogs who receive prompt medical treatment will go on to a full recovery. And we’re betting your dog won’t want to chow down on puzzle pieces again!

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Tom

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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