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  • Writer's pictureThe Vet Experts

When Your Puppy Eats Something They Shouldn't

Puppies explore the world by mouthing, tasting, and chewing pretty much everything. Because of this, puppies are known to accidentally gulp some things down that could be dangerous. Foreign body obstruction in puppies can be a medical emergency that may cost your pet their life.

The top 10 most common things surgically removed from pets' gastrointestinal tracts are socks, underwear, stones, balls, play toys, corncobs, bones, hair ties/ribbons, and sticks. But the list doesn’t stop there - here are a few things you should know if you think your pup may have eaten something that they shouldn’t have.

If the item was consumed within two hours, then it is likely still in your puppy's stomach, so call your local urgent care vet or emergency vet right away. If the object isn't sharp, they will likely have you bring your pet in for a quick exam and possibly induce vomiting. If the object is potentially sharp then your urgent care vet or emergency vet will assess what the next step is to retrieve the object before it causes any harm to your furry friend.

If you are not sure when your puppy ate the foreign object, still definitely call your local urgent care vet or emergency vet. Depending on what the item is, there may be some precautionary measures that you need to take to ensure your dogs safety.

Most objects small enough to maneuver through the digestive tract may be eliminated in your puppy's stool and cause no problems at all. In which case your vet will most likely recommend to feed a bulky meal of dry food to help them move the foreign object on out. Food also turns on the digestive juices, which can help soften wads of rawhide treats, so they pass more easily.

Typically, as long as it's small enough, objects pass harmlessly through the body. Definitely monitor your puppy to make sure that they are not displaying any symptoms that something is wrong. If you notice that the swallowed item may be stuck do not pull on the observable end, it could be embedded in tissue farther down the digestive tract, so be sure to call your urgent care vet or emergency vet right away. Trying to pull it out could further injure the intestines and cause grave injury.

Please take note that there is a small object exception. If your puppy consumed metal like coins or batteries do not wait to get your pup to the urgent care vet or emergency vet. Stomach acids interact with these metallic objects and can lead to zinc or lead poisoning. String is another dangerous thing when consumed and needs to be addressed by your local urgent care vet or emergency vet immediately.

If you know your puppy consumed something they shouldn't have and they start vomiting, won't eat, drink water and throw it right back up, have any behavior changes, or repeatedly cough, seek help immediately. Any object, even tiny ones, can possibly get lodged in their intestinal tract. A partial foreign body obstruction can cause vomiting on and off for days or even weeks. However, a complete blockage is a medical emergency and could be life threatening.

Most puppies do outgrow this type of behavior, but in the meantime the best thing you can do is prevent your dog from swallowing dangerous items. Choose dog-safe toys that can't be chewed into tiny bits, keep dangerous things out of reach, and keep them crated when they can't be supervised. Anything that a kid would put in their mouth is fair game for dogs.

Puppy-proof your house in an effort to prevent a trip to see us. We all know that even with all the puppy proofing possible, accidents do still happen and we are here for you if they do. Don't hesitate to call us.

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