What To Do When Your Dog Swallows a Toy

Posted by: Pet Palace Resort, on November 8, 2017


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 he 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 My Dog Experience If He 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

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.

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 He Shouldn’t?

The best way you can keep your dog from swallowing things he shouldn’t 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, locks on low cupboards, and by 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 allowing him to play with toys.

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 Dog Day Care is the perfect treat for those days they can’t be home to play with their pet. If you’d like to learn more about our Dog Day Care, click here. We also offer dog and cat boarding services.

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