What To Do When Your Dog Ingests Foreign or Toxic Objects

by Anne-Marie Smith
symptoms of ingesting foreign objects

Having dogs at home is like having babies. They will play with and eat just about anything that fascinates them because of their curious nature. It’s, therefore, your responsibility to keep your pet safe by getting everything harmful out of his reach. If you don’t, he’s likely to ingest it out of curiosity, which might put his health and life at risk. Continue reading to learn more about the symptoms of ingesting foreign objects and what you can do to prevent it:

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Preventing Your Dog from Ingesting Foreign Objects

One of the preventative measures you can take to save your dog from ingesting foreign/toxic objects is to limit access to them. For instance, if your pooch has the habit of chewing his stuffed toys and swallowing the stuffing, then stop giving him stuffed toys to play with. It’s that simple. There so many other types of toys you can buy for him that he will no be able to ingest.

Secondly, consider dog-proofing your home to make it safer for your pet. This involves things like buying baby locks for your cabinets to prevent your dog from opening them. Baby gates can also be used to limit access to rooms in your home that you consider unsafe for both your pets and babies.

You should also keep small objects that your dog can easily swallow out of his reach. This can be anything from coins to hair ties to jewelry. Lastly, keep your garbage can as well as toxic cleaning supplies and household plants in places where your pet cannot access them.

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Symptoms of Ingesting Foreign Objects

In case your pet has eaten something foreign or toxic, he may exhibit any of these symptoms:

  • Changes in bowels e.g. constipation, diarrhea, etc.
  • Lack of appetite
  • Change in his usual behavior
  • Lethargy
  • Gagging or vomiting

Call The Vet Immediately

If you notice any of the above signs in your pet, it’s advisable to contact your vet immediately. He or she will assess your dog’s situation professionally and provide the most appropriate treatment. In cases where your vet cannot be reached, consider calling an emergency animal clinic in your area and describe to them what’s going on. They’ll be able to advise you on the next step to take.

It’s important that you don’t wait to see if your pet will pass the foreign/toxic object in his stool. Similarly, you shouldn’t try to induce diarrhea or vomiting to force the object out. This is because doing any of the above will only put his health at risk. Your best bet is to seek help from a professional vet.

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Treatment Options Available


After examining your dog, your vet is likely to do an x-ray to confirm if there’s indeed a foreign object in his body. Depending on where the object is located, he can either induce vomiting or perform surgery to remove the object. The two main types of surgeries used to remove foreign objects in dogs include:


Your vet is likely to perform endoscopy if the foreign object is in your pet’s stomach. This is a non-invasive surgery that involves placing a long tube down the throat of your dog up to the stomach to remove foreign objects. It’s less risky, and your dog only needs to recover from the effects of anesthesia.

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Invasive Surgery

If the object is located deep inside your dog’s intestines, the vet might opt to perform invasive surgery to remove the object. Note that there are higher chances of complications with this type of surgery compared to a non-invasive one.

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Overall, implementing the above preventative measures will go along way in preventing your dog safe from swallowing things he shouldn’t. And if by mistake he ingests something foreign or toxic, call your vet immediately for help.

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