My Dog Ate Plastic, What Do I Do?

Dr. Guiuliana Miranda

Nov 8, 2021

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If your dog ate plastic and you’re completely sure of this, then stop reading and take your pet to the vet or emergency vet right away. However, if you’re unsure that your dog ate any plastic or if you just want to know what to do if this ever happens to your pet, read on.

6 Things You Should Do if You Think Your Dog Ate Plastic

Below are 6 things you should do if you think your dog ate plastic, or if you’re trying to determine if they did:

Try to Determine the Amount

As long as your dog is not in immediate distress, try to determine how much plastic he has ingested. Look at the toy or other item he’s been chewing on and see if you can tell how much of it is missing.

If you can’t tell how much plastic your dog ate, or if he is suffering or in clear distress, don’t spend too much time on this step. Although it can be important to tell your vet the amount of ingested plastic, the vet has other methods of determining this in an emergency situation, too.

Look for Signs of Choking

Some large pieces of plastic may get lodged in the throat and cause choking. Watch your dog carefully for signs of choking. If any, take your dog to the emergency room.

Sometimes, dogs may also inhale smaller pieces of plastic into the nose. This method of choking is not nearly as common as getting plastic stuck in the throat, but it can still occur. Your dog may sneeze or paw frantically at his nose if this occurs, and it should also be treated as an emergency.

Check Your Dog’s Posture

Your dog’s posture can tell you a lot about how he’s feeling. If he’s standing up normally and positioning himself normally when he lays down, then there’s probably nothing seriously wrong with him. If, however, he is hunching over often, straining to poop without anything coming out, or hunkering low with his tail between his legs, these are all body language signs that something is wrong.

If your dog is hunching and whining at the same time, this could mean a stomachache, and it’s a bad sign that your dog ate plastic. This sign could also indicate a serious bowel obstruction that will need to be taken care of immediately by the vet.

Watch for Breathing Issues

If your dog is having trouble breathing, this may mean that he has ingested too much plastic, or the plastic is causing an obstruction. Breathing issues may include heavy panting, excessive movement of the sides while breathing, or lying on one side and breathing with an open mouth.

If you notice any of these signs in your pet, it’s time to head to the vet for more assistance.

Remove Any Extra Plastic

If your dog ate plastic, there’s a chance he may still have plastic in his mouth or stuck in his teeth, especially if he’s been chewing on the offending object for a long time. In this case, you should try to open your dog’s mouth and remove any plastic that is still present there.

If your dog might bite you or if you are otherwise uncomfortable opening his mouth to remove the plastic, it’s time to go to the vet. The vet will be able to take care of this step as well as check your dog thoroughly for signs of an obstruction.

Go to the Vet

Finally, you should take your dog to the vet or emergency vet right away in the following situations:

  • If you determine your dog has eaten a lot of plastic
  • If your dog is showing any signs of difficulty breathing or choking
  • If your dog’s posture shows that he is in pain
  • If you have any questions or concerns about your pet’s health

If your regular vet is not available, take your dog to the emergency vet. Waiting too long can be fatal in this situation.

Call VEG Right Away if Your Dog Ate Plastic

As you can see, plastic can be extremely dangerous for dogs. Even swallowing just a little bit of plastic can cause a deadly bowel obstruction, so it’s vitally important to respond as quickly as possible by taking your pet to the emergency vet if you suspect or know he has swallowed plastic.

Additionally, make sure to only give your dog toys that are intended for dogs to chew on. Most chew toys for dogs are made of rubberized plastic that cannot be bitten off and swallowed. No matter what type of toy you give your dog, however, make sure you always observe him when he’s playing with or chewing on a toy, so you can stop him before he swallows something he shouldn’t.

If your dog ate plastic, don’t hesitate to call our team at VEG right away. With locations nationwide, many of which are open 24/7, you can be rest assured that someone will always be available to help you. When you call any of our VEG locations, you’ll talk with an emergency vet who will be able to provide you with the best advice for your dog’s situation. When it comes to your dog’s health, time is always of the essence.