My Dog Ate Plastic – What Should I Do Now?

It is a common occurrence for dogs to eat strange things.

This article will discuss what you can do if your dog ingests plastic, such as pieces of toys or packaging.

The first thing you should do is take your dog to the vet, who will likely need surgery or anesthesia in order to remove the pieces from their stomach. In the meantime, give your dog lots of water and induce vomiting with hydrogen peroxide. Be prepared for lots of drooling as well!

Quick Facts About Dogs Eating Plastic

Many dogs like to chew on things like toys or sticks. However, they can also end up swallowing chewing gum, pieces of packaging from food items (often resulting in surgery), or even worse – pieces of plastics such as bottle caps or balloons. 

It is common for puppies to play with things lying around the house by tearing them apart. You may find your dog chewing on an item and then later find only a piece left, such as half of a balloon or plastic bag.

The most common types of objects that dogs ingest are toys like squeaky balls or pieces from ripped-up packaging.

According to vets at Midway Animal Emergency Services, balloons are one of the most common items that dogs ingest. They are often found lodged in the stomachs of dogs and require surgery for removal.

Why Do Dogs Eat Plastic?

dog with plastic cup on his nose

Dogs eating plastic is not uncommon and often happens because of curiosity.

This can happen in the house or outdoors. In most cases, dogs will eat things that are lying around while their owners aren’t looking (this usually happens when they’re puppies), but sometimes they chew on items out of boredom or as a game.

If you have an older dog who has been chewing plastic regularly, it’s important to take him to the vet for an exam. 

Older dogs may have dental problems that need attention such as cavities filled with plastic debris or foreign objects in teeth that can cause problems if left untreated.    

Does This Happen Often?

Unfortunately, yes! 

Dogs find it irresistibly fun to chew on plastic and this has resulted in many emergency cases for veterinarians (it is a good idea to keep some number of your vet’s phone line!). 

In the end, most dogs make it through eating plastic with no serious issues. If there are any problems that come up after an experience like this then you can always contact your veterinarian for help or advice.

The Dangers Of Eating Plastic For Dogs

dog with plastic in front of him

Dogs can choke on small pieces or suffer a blockage in their intestines from larger pieces. 

If your dog ingested a balloon, it is likely that they will need emergency surgery if the balloon got lodged into their intestines. With other items such as packaging from food products or plastic caps, there is much more room for error and obstruction to occur before symptoms show. 

This can happen with any size dog but puppies are more vulnerable than adult dogs because they still have an immature digestive system.

Symptoms Of Dog Eating Plastic

The first thing to watch out for are changes in their behavior (e.g., avoiding food and water). 

Typically dogs with abdominal pain don’t want to eat anything because it hurts to move! Other common symptoms include weight loss, diarrhea/constipation, vomiting, lethargy, loss of appetite, sneezing, nose bleeds, coughing, etc.

My Dog Ate Plastic – What Should I Do Now?

Plastic can cause damage to the stomach or intestines, it is important that you bring your dog in for emergency surgery as soon as possible.

It may take several hours for them to remove all pieces of plastic from your dog’s stomach but be prepared for at least one night’s stay in the vet clinic.

It will also be costly and painful to your pet. 

It is a good idea to make sure your dog cannot get into things that they should not have access too but if you do find them chewing on something dangerous then try and take it away from them before it gets too late.

Fear not! One common thing people do wrong when trying to help their dog after eating plastic is panic or stress the animal out more than they already are.

It is important to remain calm and allow the animal’s body to go into natural processes, such as vomiting. If you try and force your dog to vomit by using products like ipecac syrup you may end up doing more damage than good.

It is important to stay calm and respect your pup’s natural instincts. Keep an eye on their drooling, they will likely start swallowing the plastic again and again which can cause serious throat infections and scarring.

When Should You Worry?

There are many cases where people find a piece of toy, packaging, etc., but their dog is okay. 

However, if you find a large piece of plastic and your dog has been chewing on it for a while or your dog is lethargic or vomiting, it’s important to have them checked out by a vet.

In most cases where dogs eat plastics are not dangerous; however, some toys might be toxic so always check labels before giving toys to pets (especially those that chew). 

In the case of finding pieces of toys or other items in the yard or house, contact an expert first. If you find something hard to identify, leave it alone until you can consult with professionals.

How Can You Tell If Your Dog Has A Blockage?

It is important to visit a vet if you are unsure of whether or not your dog has eaten plastics. 

If the ingested item cannot pass through their system, there is a chance that it will get stuck and cause problems requiring emergency surgery (such as cutting the stomach open).

In most cases where an obstruction occurred, dogs show some common signs: vomiting, diarrhea/constipation, lethargy, loss of appetite, sneezing, nose bleeds, coughing, etc.

If your dog shows any of these signs after having access to plastic then contact a veterinarian immediately!

Can Dogs Digest Plastic?

Yes! Although it takes a lot of chewing for dogs to digest food themselves, it is possible for them to digest most non-toxic plastics that end up in their digestive system. 

There have been cases of animals eating pieces of hard plastics with no ill effects. As before, be sure to visit a veterinary clinic if the dog consumes any toxic plastics.

Does The Type Of Plastic Matter?

Well, it depends on the type of plastic your dog has eaten. Some varieties of plastics are toxic and some others are not. 

Most cases where dogs eat plastic do no damage at all (luckily!), but always consult with a vet if you can’t easily identify what it is or if they have been chewing on it for a while.

Should I Induce Vomiting?

There are many differing opinions on whether inducing vomiting is the right thing to do. 

Some vets will tell you to induce vomiting with hydrogen peroxide, others will say it’s better not to. 

It can be helpful in some situations but also harmful in others so it’s a good idea to call your vet and ask what is best when dealing with a dog that has eaten plastic.

Will I See Plastic In My Dog’s Poop?

Typically, the pieces of plastic will be too small to see in your dog’s poop. 

Again, it is likely that they will bring it back up later though so if you have any concern that there are still pieces inside them then monitor their drool carefully and try and get them to spit up any crumbs. 

You can also run a washcloth under cold water and wipe their mouth/throat area if they don’t feel like doing this themselves.

How Will My Dog React?

No two dogs react exactly the same when presented with emergency situations or surgery.  

Some may be quite anxious but others may not seem bothered at all and just want to go about their day as normal. 

If your dog was calm during the whole ordeal then that’s a good thing, it means they were not stressed and will likely recover faster.

How To Remove Plastic From The Intestines Of Dogs

Your vet will likely need surgery in order to remove the plastic pieces from the intestines of your dog. 

However, if you find foreign objects in your dog’s stool then you should take them to the veterinarian immediately for help with removal. 

It is best not to try removing these items yourself because you might accidentally push the object further down into their digestive system which would have more severe consequences later on (e.g. entering the stomach or becoming lodged in the intestines).

There are some methods that have been used by veterinarians to remove objects from dogs’ digestive tracts. 

One method involves using a tube attached to a syringe filled with water. The vet can use this method to flush out your dog’s intestinal tract and hopefully dislodge any blockages. If this doesn’t work then sedation should be administered so that anesthesia can be given and an incision made for removal of the foreign object(s).

The results after surgery will depend on how long they had eaten plastic before it was discovered and treated, as well as what types of materials were ingested. Dogs can often make full recoveries if their digestive system is not too damaged!

Dogs that eat plastic can’t be around children or other pets until they have recovered. The danger is not from the material that was eaten, but rather because of the surgery and anesthesia which has a risk of infection.

If your dog does ingest something then you should contact your local vet to ensure proper treatment for your dog. It’s important to know what to do in case this situation arises!

How Much Does Bowel Obstruction Surgery Cost?

The cost of this surgery depends on whether your dog needs sedation and/or anesthetics, or if they can handle the procedure without it. 

Giving anesthesia to a dog is riskier but will be cheaper than doing so with a human patient. 

The average price for bowel obstruction surgery in dogs that need general anesthesia is around $1000-$1500 (USD). However, some veterinarians may charge less while others more depending on where you live and what type of practice you are going to. 

Most important thing: make sure to discuss all options with your vet!

How Long Does It Take For Plastic To Pass Through A Dog?

Most of the time dogs will pass the item within one or two days. However, if your dog has trouble passing it then you should take them in to be evaluated by a vet.  

The longer it takes for something to pass through your dog’s intestines, the more likely it is that they will develop an infection from bacteria associated with plastic.

How To Prevent Your Dog From Eating Plastic In Future

One way to help prevent this from happening is by feeding your dog things that will make their stomachs full but will not cause them to eat plastic in the first place.

You may want to avoid bones or rawhide chews for a while until you are sure that your dog has no problems with eating plastic or other foreign objects.

If you prefer high-quality toys then consider those made of rubber or hard rubber-like materials such as Nylabones, Kongs, and Therapists. The most important thing is that you are aware of the risks and dangers of your dog eating plastic.

As a pet owner, it is important to make sure you are keeping your home clean and safe for your new puppy or dog!  

Some common items that can be dangerous if they fall into the wrong hands include trash bags, detergent bottles, ribbons/bow ties, bottle caps, plastic forks, spoons, straws, etc. Keep these things out of reach when you aren’t actively using them so that your pet doesn’t have an opportunity to chew on something harmful to their health. 

If you find that they are chewing up plastic anyway then take it away from them before they ingest it because sometimes once a piece is chewed up it becomes even more appealing!

If you do not take action fast then it may be too late to save your pup, but if you act before it gets too late then hopefully your dog will make a full recovery and his actions will never cause him to eat plastic again!


In conclusion, it is important to (a) pay attention to how long they have been eating plastic before it was discovered and treated, as well as what types of materials were ingested; and (b) take your dog immediately to your veterinarian if you think they might have eaten some plastics during playtime!

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