What happens if my dog eats plastic?

It is not a new thing when a dog eats plastic. But the eating of plastic by the dog whom you love so much is often a panic for the owner. After seeing such a scenario, the first question that arises to mind is what happens if my dog eats plastic? How much plastic is harmful to the dog? What will be the consequence of the dog-eaten plastic? What to do after such a situation?

Well, the first thing is don’t panic and calm down. The plastic in itself is not harmful to the dog. When your dog has eaten soft plastic, and the consumed amount of plastic is less, it will pass out in the stool without harming your canine buddy. 

But in the case when the plastic consumed by your dog is hard and may have a sharp edge, it can lead to tearing in the digestive tract and severe consequences. The plastic, when consumed in more amounts, can lead to the choke condition in the dog. When the plastic is coated with some harmful or toxic coating, it may have a deteriorating health impact on your dog. In these situations, there is a need for quick action and consult the vet as soon as possible. 

IF your dog has eaten plastic, then this article might help you. Here in this guide, we will discuss what happens if the dog eats plastic? What to do after such situations? What emergency measures should we adopt before meeting the veterinarian? 

What happens if the dog eats plastic? 

The plastic toys, bags, pens, spoons, etc., sounds a tempting treat to the dog. It is not the new case when any dog eats plastic. When you see that your dog has eaten the plastic bag or some soft or you suspect that they may have done such, wait for few minutes to see the dog’s reaction.

Check if there are no symptoms of choke. In the case when you notice that your dog is breathing heavily, coughing, unable to drink water, or showing restlessness, immediately meet your veterinarian. The possibility of the occurrence of choke on eating plastic depends on the size of the dog and the amount of plastic consumed.

When a small dog consumed a plastic bag, the chances of choke are more in comparison to the same incidence with the large dog. Also, when the amount of plastic consumed is more, more will be chances for the choke.         

Also, in the case, when you suspect that your dog has consumed the plastic with some sharp end. There is a need for an immediate trip to the veterinarian. The animal doctor will analyze the risk using X-ray or other diagnostic methods. The sharp edge plastic has a chance to puncture or tear the digestive tract and lead to severe circumstances. In this case, there is a need for urgent surgery to remove the plastic from the dog’s body.  

When you notice your dog has consumed the plastic, coating some toxic or harmful substances like paint, then visit the animal doctor as soon as possible. The veterinarian will start the treatment, either induce vomiting in the dog so that the harmful plastic comes out of the dog’s body, use any antidote, or recommend the surgery. 

The soft, small, and inert plastic will cause no harm to your dog’s body. They will simply pass out of your dog’s digestive tract in the tool without causing any harm to your four-legged friend. But in the case of any doubt, you should consult your vet. 

 What to do if the dog eats a plastic bag?

The plastic bag is generally made of soft plastic. When the size of the dog is large, and the amount of plastic consumed is less, there will be less chance of harm. The plastic bag will simply pass out of the dog’s body in the stool.

But when your small fido has eaten a plastic bag, there might be chances of choke or obstruction in the dog’s digestive tract. 

What to do in this case?

When you notice choke symptoms like heavy breathing, frequent coughing, trying to expectoring something from the throat, or stomach pain, immediately visit the veterinarian. The veterinarian will either induce the vomiting in a dog or recommend the surgery in a complicated case. 

Sometimes, the larger pieces of plastic do not cause complete obstruction but cause partial obstruction. The dog with partial obstruction will show vomiting sometimes and will lead to a sensitive stomach. This condition is difficult to diagnose and may employ the use of diagnostic tools like endoscopy, X-ray, sonography, etc., to diagnose completely.   

How much time does the dog take to pass the plastic in the stool?

In general, it takes around 12 to 15 hours for dogs to pass out the plastic. If the plastic consumed is in the form of pieces, then it may take several days to pass all the plastic pieces. 

What happens if the dog eats a plastic spoon?

Since the spoon is hard, it may cause obstruction in the food pipe, stomach, or intestine of your dog. 

What to do in this condition?

There is a need for an immediate trip t veterinarian. In the case of obstruction in the esophagus or choke or upper stomach, the animal doctor will induce vomiting and provide relief to the dog. When the obstruction in the intestine or lower stomach, there is a need for surgery. 

What happens if the dog eats pen?

The pen is hard plastic and may contain some sharp edges. The pen eaten by dogs may cause severe consequences in a dog like tearing or puncture of the digestive tract. The ink of the pen will not cause any harm; the only thing you will notice is sometimes the change in the color of the stool. 

What to do in this condition? 

You should not delay in visiting the veterinarian after you suspect or see your dog eating the pen. The animal doctor will monitor your dog for some time for the signs like excessive salivation, retching, vomiting, abdominal pain, or inappetence. In the case when the vet diagnoses tearing or puncture in the digestive tract or the obstruction, there is a need for surgery. 

What home remedies a dog owner should adopt in such emergency condition?

When you, as a dog owner, suspect or see your dog has eaten plastic, the first recommendation is to visit the veterinarian. But in the emergency condition, when you see that your dog ate soft and inert plastic in a low amount, you should first try inducing vomit in them by either inserting your fingers in its throat or make your dog drink warm water with salt in it and then cause inducing vomiting in the same way.

You can also feed your dog with a fiber-rich diet to induce defecation and thus help the passage of the plastic through the gut. 

When the amount of plastic consumed is more, or the plastic is hard with a sharp edge, do not delay in visiting your veterinarian. 

The bottom line

So this is a complete guide on what to do when the dog eats plastic. Though there are some home remedies, still the first recommendation is to visit your veterinarian. 

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