What to Do When Your Dog Swallows a Toy | Pet Boarding Resort | Pet Palace

What to Do When Your Dog Swallows a Toy

What To Do When Your Dog Swallows a Toy
It’s definitely an alarming experience to discover your dog has swallowed a toy. While we hope this situation never occurs to you, we’d like you be prepared if it were to happen. The calmer you can react, the better things will be for you and your dog.

What Types of Things Will Dogs Swallow?

Actually, if a dog can fit it into his mouth, there’s not a whole lot it won’t swallow.

In addition to chew toys, plush toys, and squeakers, dogs have also been known to eat common household items including underwear, fruit pits, gravel, golf balls, socks, corn cobs, plastic gadgets, magnets, and pennies.

What Symptoms Will a Dog Experience If It Swallows a Toy?

A dog who has swallowed a toy will often exhibit some of the following symptoms:

  • Vomiting or gagging
  • Painful abdomen
  • Lack of appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Changes in typical behavior
  • Diarrhea or constipation

Unfortunately, if your dog swallows a toy, there can be further complications that come along. If it wasn’t the first time, there can be small portions that come together and form a physical obstruction. Things can also unravel and cause problems in the small intestine. Lastly, the sharp edges of plastic or bones can pierce your pup’s intestine, causing an abdominal infection. For these reasons, we recommend calling a vet immediately.

What Should I Do If My Dog Swallows a Toy?

The most important thing to know if your pet swallows a toy, or if you suspect he has, is that time is of the essence. Rather than waiting to see if it will “pass,” or attempting to induce vomiting on your own, contact your vet immediately. If it’s after-hours and your vet can’t be reached, call an emergency vet clinic.

Upon arrival at the vet clinic, your dog may receive a physical examination combined with X-rays, an ultrasound, or a doggy endoscopy to find the root of the issue.

You have about a 2-hour window before the object makes its way into the intestines. Before that occurs, there’s still a chance the object can be quickly and safely extracted. Once the toy has made its way into the intestines, your vet will probably recommend intestinal surgery, which could potentially require the removal of part of the bowel.

As PetMD puts it, “the potential severity of a simple unchewed corn cob or tube sock cannot be underestimated.” That’s why you don’t want to wait, nor do you want to try to resolve the issue at home on your own, as it could actually worsen the matter.

How Can I Minimize the Likelihood of My Dog Swallowing Something?

The best way you can keep your dog from swallowing things is by dog-proofing your house. Just like you’d keep babies from accessing areas they shouldn’t, try doing the same for your dog by using dog gates, installing locks on low cupboards, and storing foreign objects in high places.

Also, be very careful about what foods you serve to your dog. For instance, if you were to offer your dog corn or fruit, make sure it’s been removed from the pit or cob.

Lastly, while you should always buy dog toys that are the right size and comprised of the right materials, you should still keep a close eye on your dog when they play with toys.

Other things to keep in mind to prevent your dog from swallowing a toy or other household items include:

  • Dispose of well-chewed toys that can break apart easily
  • Maintain a tidy home and keep things like shoes and socks off the floor
  • Keep any fridge magnets out of reach
  • Be sure to put away any children’s toys
  • Always supervise your pet

How Can I Keep My Dog Busy and Happy While I’m Away from Home?

Speaking of keeping a close eye on dogs, many pet owners find that our well-staffed doggy day care is the perfect option for those days they can’t be home to play with their pet.

Your dog will benefit from the following when they are under our care and supervision, keeping them out of trouble while you’re away working, running errands, and beyond:

  • An individual villa with heating and air conditioning
  • Quality bedding material for nap times
  • Feeding sessions based on the duration of stay
  • Regular fresh drinking water
  • Running and exercise time
  • Bathroom breaks
  • Medication and health monitoring, if necessary
  • Playtime with their favorite toy

At Pet Palace, we offer more than just dog sitting, and we take care of each pet as if they were our own. If you’d like to learn more, visit our doggy day care page. We also offer dog and cat boarding services for your convenience!

Keep Your Dog Out of Harm’s Way with Our Doggy Daycare

Keeping your dog safe and entertained during the day will make sure they stay out of trouble. We hope to see your pet in one of our several locations soon.

For more information on our doggy daycare, be sure to reach out to our team today!

About the author

Lora Shaw

Lora Shaw is currently the Vice President of Operations at Pet Palace.

Categories: All Posts, Pet Safety, Tips for Your Pets