Raising a pet dog is like having a toddler. If you are not careful and pay less attention to him, he might get into something mischievous.
Dogs can accidentally swallow pieces of rubber. This can lead to obstructions in the digestive tract, infections, peritonitis, and if not properly removed, can lead to death. Although sometimes this may pass undigested, ensure to take your pet to the vet as soon as possible if he swallows rubber.
Let’s see what happens if your dog eats pieces of a rubber toy.
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Can dogs digest rubber toys?
No. Like humans, dogs cannot digest rubber.
However, if your dog eats very small bits of rubber or small rubber bands, it can pass through his digestive tract without digestion and get eliminated.
But, you must remember pieces of rubber can get obstructed in your pet’s digestive tract.
What will happen if your dog eats a rubber toy?
Eating rubber toy pieces or rubber bands is not good for your pet’s health. If you ever see him swallowing rubber pieces or if there is evidence that he ate rubber, you must immediately be alarmed.
There are several critical conditions associated with eating pieces of rubber. If you do not act immediately, it can be life-threatening for your pet.
The effects caused by swallowing rubber can change from dog to dog depending on the size and age of your pet. Here are some common possibilities associated with swallowing rubber toys.
1. Can pass undigested.
This is the least damage that can be caused if your pooch eats rubber. However, this again depends on the size and age of your pet.
If you have an adult large dog, and he eats a very small piece of rubber or a small rubber band, it might not get obstructed in his gastrointestinal tract. It will pass with his feces within 12- 24 hours.
But if you have a cute puppy or a small breed, even a rubber band will not easily get eliminated.
Obstruction is the major outcome of swallowing rubber pieces. Your dog’s digestive tract is a long muscular tubular organ.
If the size of the piece of rubber is larger than the diameter of the tubular part, it can get stuck.
If the piece of rubber gets stuck in the upper part of the digestive tract, it can lead to choking.
This will cause severe breathing difficulty in your pet. If not attended immediately, it will lead to a life-threatening condition.
If the piece of rubber gets stuck in the latter part of the digestive tract( in the small intestine), it will cause intestinal obstruction.
Your dog will not show immediate symptoms if there is intestinal obstruction. But he won’t be able to poop, and with time it can lead to constipation and loss of appetite.
This can also lead to a life-threatening condition if not properly diagnosed at the beginning.
Obstruction can occur with many other food items like large bones. Under any condition, obstruction of the digestive tract should be considered a very severe condition.
Even if the small piece of rubber can pass through the upper part of the digestive tract (esophagus) and enter the stomach, it can stay in the stomach for a long time without digesting.
So, this can lead to a condition known as peritonitis, which means an infection in the stomach.
You have to understand that swallowing rubber can lead to death if not properly diagnosed and treated at the earliest possible time.
Obstructions in the digestive tract lead to choking and difficulty in breathing. This is the main cause of death in dogs when they swallow rubber.
Suggested Reading: Why do dogs face gulping attacks?
What can you do if your dog eats a rubber toy?
As a responsible pet parent, you must know the protocol to follow during some household accidents like swallowing rubber.
If your pooch swallows rubber or any hard object which can get lodged in his digestive tract, you must know what to do and, most importantly, what not to do.
The actions you take during such an accident can save your pet or make the condition worse.
First, we’re gonna a closer look at what you should do if your dog swallows rubber.
1. Take the dog to the veterinarian ASAP!.
As soon as you find your pooch ate rubber, this should be your first step.
If you see the following symptoms in your pet, act as soon as possible.
- Difficulty in breathing.
- Excessive drooling.
- Pain in the abdomen when touching.
- The bloat of the stomach.
There are no home remedies for these conditions. Therefore, take him to the vet ASAP.
Your veterinarian will treat him accordingly.
Your dog will be given meds to vomit, or in very severe cases, he might need surgery.
How to confirm your dog ate rubber.
If you suspect your pet ate a piece of rubber or a hard object which can get stuck in his throat, in order to confirm that, you can do a quick checkup.
Try to look into his throat and observe whether there are any hard objects stuck in his deep throat.
What you should not do –
1. Never induce vomiting.
Even if you are certain your pet has something stuck into his throat, never try to induce vomiting without consulting your veterinarian.
You need to be skilled to perform such a procedure. If you do it wrong, it can worsen the situation. Therefore, it’s always advisable to take your pet to the vet.
2. Never try to remove the piece of rubber.
After seeing a hard object lodged in your pet’s throat, your first instinct is to remove it. But this is another step you should never take.
If the procedure is performed wrong, the object can further move down the throat, causing choking.
How to keep your dog from eating rubber toys?
The most common way a dog can swallow a piece of rubber is by chewing toys.
Overused, wet, or very small chew toys can cause breaking pieces of rubber from it, causing them to get lodged in your pooch’s digestive tract.
Here are 5 tips for you to prevent such accidents.
1. Supervise your dog.
If you have a puppy, and you have just introduced him to chew toys, it is advisable to supervise and guide him when he is chewing. Never let him break small pieces of toys and swallow them.
This is applicable to older dogs as well. If not properly trained, they can try to chew on any rubber or wooden objects. So always keep an eye on what they chew on.
2. Do not leave chewing toys around the house.
If you are not home, don’t keep these toys lying around your house. They can accidentally swallow pieces of rubber.
3. What you should not give.
With time the rubber can easily be broken into pieces. Therefore, do not give your pet very old and overused chew toys.
Chew toys become wet will also make them more prone to breaking. Avoid leaving such toys around your house.
4. Change chew toys.
When your pooch grows, the size of his mouth will be larger than the chew toy. This will allow him to fit the whole toy in his mouth. Accidentally he can swallow the whole toy.
Therefore, choose a larger toy than your dog’s mouth, and change it according to your pet’s growth.
5. Use a muzzle.
We know chewing is a natural instinct of your dog. Some dog breeds have more strong biting instincts than others.
If your pet is like that, you can use a simple muzzle when you are not around to supervise him. This will help you to avoid swallowing accidents.
What if your dog even eats kong toy rubber?
Similar to rubber toys, your dog cannot digest kong toy rubber as well. Therefore, you will have to act depending on the size and the amount of rubber he swallowed.
If he ate very small pieces of rubber, it could pass through his digestive system. You can either induce vomiting or facilitate defecation.
But as we mentioned before, do not try to induce vomiting without contacting your veterinarian.
If your dog is not distressed or shows any signs of pain when touching the abdomen, he might not be in any serious danger.
However, the first thing you have to do when you find out he ate rubber is to contact your veterinarian.
\If there is any home remedy, your veterinarian would suggest that. You have to closely observe your pet during this time. If he vomits, check whether he passed the rubber pieces.
In an instance where your pet swallowed large pieces of kong toy rubber or the whole toy, it might lead to obstruction of the digestive tract.
Look for the earlier mentioned signs. Consider contacting your veterinarian and taking your dog to him ASAP.
Suggested Reading: Do vets overcharge?
Things to be aware of.
What you should consider when purchasing a rubber toy?
Dogs’ natural instinct is to bite on things. They have many advantages in that. However, if we do not provide for their biting need, they will destroy our furniture.
Therefore, most dog owners’ first thought is a chew toy.
Chew toys come in different shapes, sizes, and different materials. But not all toys are safe for your pet.
Here are 6 tips for you to choose the best for your pet.
- If you are purchasing a rubber toy, choose hard rubber toys. These will be durable and dogs are not able to destroy these. Purchase an authentic brand, so it will not contain any toxic substances for your pet.
- Size of the toy- this is a really important point. The toy you purchase should fit your pet’s mouth. If it is too small he can swallow that, which can lead to choking. If the toy is too large he might not be able to bite it.
- As a habit check your pet’s toy once in a while. If the pieces of rubber or nylon are not intact, remove the toy and replace it with a new toy.
- Avoid purchasing toys that look like stuffed dolls, toothbrushes, or shoes. They can’t distinguish between the toy and the real equipment. They can damage the real items thinking those are his toys.
- Rawhides are a favorite treat of your pet, but there are some disadvantages of rawhides as well. Beware of those before buying a good rawhide.
- Laser pointers are not always a good option as a toy. It teaches your pet to hunt a moving light continuously, but he can never hunt that down. This can frustrate your pet. Also, he can get used to the fact, that he should hunt all moving lights. This can lead to many dangerous outcomes.
The article addresses the consequences of your dog swallowing rubber toy parts and how to respond in such a situation.