My Dog Ate Tin Foil What Should I Do?

Reviewed By Kim •  Updated: 07/13/22 •  3 min read
Dog Moderate Toxicity Level
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Dog Ate Tin Foil

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Dogs love to dig in the trash and eat what we throw away, especially in the kitchen. Our canine companions may wait until we’re not watching and then stealthily go through the trash until they find something yummy.

That something could be a bit of food wrapped in tin foil. Or the dog could find tin foil that was used to wrap some great tidbit but is now empty. The foil still smells like the food it once contained. These are treasured treats for some dogs! But what happens if a dog eats tin foil?

Has your dog eaten tin foil? Are you worried the tin foil will make your dog sick? If so, you’ve come to the right place. We understand it can be scary when your dog eats something like this.

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

We’ve put together some information about tin foil and whether it can make a dog sick. Let’s get started!

What is Tin Foil?

Here, we’d like to specify that “tin foil” is actually aluminum foil. The difference is that before the 20th century, tin foil was used in the US, and it was made from tin. However, after WWII, aluminum foil started to become more popular. The reason for this was the aluminum foil didn’t give food a “tinny taste” like tin foil did. So, we’re discussing aluminum foil in this article, though some people still call this “tin foil.”

Tin foil (aluminum foil) is made from thin sheets of aluminum that can be used for many things, including wrapping food to preserve its freshness. Foil is pliable and can easily be shaped to the food you want to wrap!

While aluminum foil is safe when used correctly, what happens if a dog eats the foil?

Tin Foil & Dogs

Dogs eating aluminum foil is a very common problem. However, if your dog swallows a very small piece of foil, chances are it will go through your fur baby’s digestive tract and come out the other end with no problems. But larger amounts of ingested foil can cause some problems for dogs.

Choking: a large piece of foil could become stuck in a dog’s esophagus.

Aluminum may be toxic: it’s also possible that aluminum foil may be toxic if ingested. However, the foil usually doesn’t stay inside your dog long enough to cause this problem.

Intestinal blockage: another problem is that if the foil is large enough, it could cause intestinal blockage in your dog’s digestive tract. This is a very dangerous condition that can be life-threatening if not treated. However, intestinal blockage with foil is not common.

Additional considerations: dogs can also become sick from licking things off foil, such as a lot of fat, sugar, chocolate, and more. A dog could develop chocolate toxicity, pancreatitis (from the fat),and more.

Symptoms of Tin Foil Ingestion in Dogs

You may notice these symptoms if your dog has ingested aluminum foil:

If your dog has any of these symptoms, call the vet immediately. This is an emergency. And if you’re worried about your dog eating a small piece of foil, it’s best to call the vet for their guidance.

Prevention is Best

Treatment of aluminum foil ingestion depends on the dog’s symptoms. However, we can say that prevention is always the best medicine!

If your dog likes to dig through trash, you may want to consider investing in a dog-proof kitchen wastebasket!

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Kim is a talented author, who loves animals especially dogs. She engaged in writing books and articles relating to animals a decade ago. Kim resides in Chicago with her husband and son. The family is the proud owner of a dog and a parrot (Jack and Lily). Kim wanted more than these two pets, but her husband put his foot down... She often visits elementary schools to talk to the kids about what she learned about pets and how they could learn from them.

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