Dogs love to sniff and eat almost everything. It can be some dead thing or alive, but the main thing you should know is if it is harmful to them or not? Well, while many things are harmless, at the same time, many others are harmful to your dog.
Dogs love to sniff around and eat a lot of things that are present in your home, and that includes soap. Soaps smell like food to dogs and us, too, so they may think soap is something to eat.
It is obvious for you to get worried if your dog eats soap. But the question arises: Is it safe for your dog to eat soap? Is soap poisonous for your dog, etc.? Read the article to know whether you need to panic or not if your dog eats or licks the bar of soap.
What is Present in the Soap?
While most soaps are different from one another, the common things in all liquid soaps and bar soaps are that they all have fragrance, oils, water, dyes, and other ingredients normally, including triclosan parabens, sodium lauryl sulfate, and Cocamidopropyl betaine.
You may think that all soaps have similar components. So the answer is yes, most soaps have similar components, even those termed natural soaps. Essential oils and dried herbs are also common in some other soaps.
Is Soap Dangerous For Dogs?
No. Most bar soaps contain non-toxic ingredients that are not so dangerous for your dog.
When the dog eats soap, it may feel pukish after eating it. This is because your dog’s body may start purging or cleansing the soap from both ends. So unless your dog ate a ton of soap, you don’t need to take it to the veterinarian.
Besides this, if your dog has some medical condition and it eats soap, you can consider taking it to the veterinarian.
However, the soaps that contain essential oils are dangerous for dogs as they can sicken your dog and worsen its health.
Do not induce vomiting in your dog by yourself, as it may be dangerous for your dog to induce vomiting in them. But if the veterinarian suggests you do so, you can induce vomiting, but only up to a limit. When you induce vomiting in your dog in certain situations and conditions, it is dangerous for the dog.
If your dog consumes or swallows a large bar of soap, there is a risk that the soap will get stuck in your dog’s esophagus and intestine. Since the soap is highly slippery, there are very few chances for this condition.
There can be instances when the soap gets inside your dog’s eyes. The soap near your dog’s eyes won’t cause much trouble, only a little redness, and irritation. Still, you must be careful and wash the area with plenty of water. The dog will often start feeling better by flushing the soap with water, but if not, you can consider the veterinarian for help in this matter.
Should You Be Worried if You Notice Your Dog Ate Soap?
Humans should not consume soap because it contains components that are extremely dangerous to them. However, to my guess, the extent to which these soaps and ingredients can be dangerous for dogs is not confirmed.
The essential oils present in the soaps that the dog consumes can be extremely dangerous for the dog’s health. In addition, pine oil in disinfectants and cleaning products can cause very severe effects on your dog who consumes them.
If the dog consumes a soap with pine oil, you will notice your dog suffering from skin irritation, weakness, drooling, loss of muscle control, vomiting, etc. All these problems by soap consumption can cause your dog’s kidneys and liver to be damaged.
Also, if the dog ingests the soap, it can cause a chemical reaction and irritation in your dog’s mouth and esophagus.
The Symptoms You Should Watch for if Your Dog Consumes Soap
If you notice that your dog has consumed some soap, you should remove the soap from your dog’s mouth and clean the area and mouth of your dog. After that, you should use water to flush out the remaining soap in your dog’s mouth. You should be careful while treating your dog and immediately take the dog to the veterinarian if some problem arises.
After cleansing and removing the soap, you should contact the veterinarian. He will suggest you to check and monitor your dog for a few hours, or in some cases, you have to take your dog to the veterinarian.
The following are the signs and symptoms you should look for in your dog if it has consumed soap:
1. Excessive Vomiting or Diarrhea
If your dog consumes soap, your dog will suffer from issues with the esophagus, intestines, and some digestive issues also. In addition, the intestinal issues and digestive issues in your dog cause your dog to vomit a lot. Along with this, your dog may suffer from diarrhea too.
You may notice that these symptoms fade within 24 hours, which is normal; however, if the symptoms persist for more than 24 hours, you must contact the veterinarian.
2. Breathing Difficulties and Swelling of the Face and Mouth
If you notice that your dog is breathing heavily and there is swelling on its face and mouth, this can be a symptom of some severe allergies your dog faces due to soap.
Your dog’s allergic condition calls for medical help, so quickly go to the veterinarian and let someone call the vet beforehand to attend to your dog immediately.
3. It Can be Bloating, Visible Pain, Unusual Postures
The above symptoms indicate many things, but the main thing is that the dogs may face difficulty due to the obstruction of the dog’s intestines by large bar soaps that they consume.
Take your dog to the veterinarian, and the vet will observe your dog’s digestive system and other problems. The vet needs to imagine the digestive system to ensure that there is no clogging up of the dog’s digestive system due to the soap bar.
4. Excessive Drooling
You will notice that the dog will drool excessively if the dog consumes soap. This drooling can be because some piece of soap remains stuck in your dog’s mouth, and your dog drools to remove it from the mouth.
Check again for any soap remaining in your dog’s mouth and rinse your dog’s mouth with water properly to ensure that there isn’t any problem.
5. The Dog Will Lick Around More Than Usual
Excessive licking is another symptom you will notice in your dog. You will notice that your dog will lick around more than normal, which can be due to irritation of the part where the soap remains, and the dog tries to remove it using its tongue.
In such instances, you have to wash your dog, but if the condition persists for more than normal, then have contact with the veterinarian for this matter immediately.
6. Frequent Swallowing by Your Dog
You will notice that the dog swallows a lot, i.e., you will observe your dog swallowing after short intervals. This is because there can be some soap in your dog’s mouth, and either the dog tries to remove it by excessive drooling or swallows it.
Now you must be very careful and wash your dog’s mouth again. First, use a tissue to clean your dog’s mouth and then rinse his mouth with water until the remains are removed from his mouth.
7. Constant Pawing at the Face of Your Dog
Taking notice of your dog pawing the face after eating soap is normal. This behavior can be due to the soap residue on your dog’s face near the mouth, irritating your dog. It will also cause your dog to behave weirdly in many situations.
You can seek medical assistance from your dog’s veterinarian for further treatment.
Be Careful of the Difference Between Detergent and Soap!
Often, soaps and detergents are assumed to be the same, but there is a difference between both in many ways. Although the terms “detergent” and “soap” can be used interchangeably, there is a difference between the two in many aspects.
Detergents are more dangerous as compared to soaps. We will not talk about the chemical composition of both, but we will write in the context of their effect on dogs.
Generally, soaps won’t make your dog seriously ill, while detergents will make your dog ill and destroy the health of your dog badly.
The symptoms of detergents on your dog will differ from the effects of soaps on your dog. Talking about detergents, there are nearly hundreds of different kinds of detergents that will affect your dog differently.
For example, some detergents may cause harm to your dog’s body by damaging the liver, kidney, digestive system, etc., while some can cause burning or chemical effects on your dog’s body.
Contact the veterinarian immediately if you notice your dog consuming detergent or soap. These detergents can be any type, including laundry detergents, dish detergents, shampoos, etc.
Also Read: Can I Used Head And Shoulders On My Dog?
Why Do Dogs Prefer Eating Soap?
The exact reason many dogs prefer eating soap is not known yet, but this can be because dogs sniff and explore the world with their mouth and nose. In addition, many dogs have the attitude of eating first and asking later, so it is normal that they sniff and eat the soap.
You may notice that most bar and liquid soaps are strongly scented, which can attract your dog’s attention.
If your dog nibbles on soap once in a while, it’s normal and not very problematic, but if you notice that the dog nibbles on soap repeatedly, it is a problem.
There is a difference between the dogs that nibble on soap once, learn from the experience, and don’t repeat the same thing, but others may keep nibbling on the soap often.
If you have a young puppy, this can be due to the teething process of your dog. In these cases of small puppies, your dog may not be able to consume most of the soap and will continue chewing it only.
The snacking of soap bars related to teething is easy to fix. Keep the soap away from your dog so that it doesn’t eat or reach for it.
During this time, to soothe your dog, give him some chewy toys. It will eventually reduce your dog’s teething on the soap bar.
A behavior disorder, also known as Pica, can also be the reason for your dog chewing a lot on the soap. Dogs who suffer from Pica find it strangely satisfying to chew on inedible things. Pica is a condition where your dog consumes most inanimate objects such as soap, dirt, mud, clothes, etc.
The true cause of Pica has not been found yet, but many hypotheses have been there. Some say Pica is due to depression, anxiety, and stress, while others say diabetes and other health problems are the reasons for Pica. According to some authorities, malnutrition can be the reason for Pica.
If your dog starts eating soap, you should keep the soap in a place where your dog may not reach it. It would be best if you also considered your veterinarian for what the dog is going through.
If your visit to the veterinarian proves that there is no problem with your dog’s body, then you can consult the animal behaviorist and find a way to solve this problem in your dog.
What Should You Do If You Notice Your Dog Eats Soap?
If you come back home and find your dog has consumed soap, there are many things you can do to prevent your dog from ingesting a lot of soap. Here are a few simple steps that you can take to protect your dog.
1. Prevent Further Access to Soap
Just like the problems caused to your dog by the consumption of dangerous nuts, chocolates, chicken bones, etc., in the same way, there can be problems when your dog consumes soaps.
Firstly, keep the soap away from the dog. Then, stop your dog from getting more access to soap. Also, next time, put the soap in such a place that the dog can not have access to it.
2. Clean Your Dog’s Mouth
If possible, try to clean the soap from your dog’s mouth with water. When you clean with water, the soap will be diluted, which will make it much less harmful.
Be careful while you apply water to your dog’s mouth. If you see your dog struggling, please call the veterinarian immediately and also stop the process of using water.
Secondly, if your dog has any soap remnants spread near the eyes, you should wash the mouth and that area of your dog’s mouth. Use water to clean the area, and this will dilute the soap.
3. Contact the Veterinarian Immediately
If your dog has consumed some soap and appears normal, it is still important to contact the veterinarian beforehand for advice.
Providing the veterinarian with the soap wrapper and ingredients will help the veterinarian decide the right and quick treatment for your dog.
4. Don’t Try to Treat Your Dog at Home, be Careful
When your dog consumes some soap, it has many problems. However, some signs and synonyms you may not be able to see or notice, so it’s better to contact the veterinarian.
Causing your dog to vomit by providing things that induce vomiting in dogs won’t be beneficial and will only cause harm to your dog.
If your dog vomits foam, there are chances for your dog to inhale some bubbles. All this will cause breathing issues in your dog along with inhalation pneumonia. Instead of this, you should go to the veterinarian and follow the vet’s advice.
What to Expect From Your Visit to the Veterinarian For This?
If you think you can’t handle the situation, consider attending the veterinarian for this. At the veterinary clinic, the vet will perform a proper physical exam on your dog and decide what the issue is here.
It would be preferable if you saved your dog’s consumed detergent or soap wrapper. As there will be details of the things in the soap, it will be easy for your dog’s veterinarian to guess the harm the soap will do to your dog. Also, it will be easy for your dog’s veterinarian to treat your dog by checking the list of ingredients in the soap that he consumed.
To get a full picture of the dog’s condition, the veterinarian will do a proper x-ray or endoscopy on your dog. The course of treatment depends upon the time and how long it has been since the dog consumed the soap.
Also, the veterinarian will suggest you hospitalize your dog for better treatment.
You don’t need to panic if your dog eats the soap, and try to find the solution for it. You can take the remaining soap to the veterinarian. If your dog’s veterinarian recommends bringing the dog, then take the dog to the veterinarian’s clinic. Most importantly, try to keep the soap away from the dog to reduce the risk of your dog consuming it.
You would not want your dog to gnaw on something bad, especially if it is something like soap. So it is better that you keep soap away from your dog. The best thing is that you can take your dog to the veterinarian to treat it as the vet will give you the best advice.
Detergents and soaps are two different things. Please don’t confuse them. Detergents have more dangerous effects on dogs than soaps and need to be treated immediately by the veterinarian. Also, never try to make homemade treatments for your dog for soap ingestion instead of going to a vet for further treatment after cleansing and washing the dog’s mouth.
Meet Madison Phillips, your compassionate guide to pet well-being. With experience from VCA Animal Hospitals and Laxton Vet Clinics Bellaire Inc. Madison honed her skills and embraced the balance of medical expertise and compassion, through her articles, she simplifies pet care, whether you’re a newbie or an experienced pet parent.