My dog ate Styrofoam, what do I do? This can be a scary scenario that could potentially lead to a very bad outcome. If your dog has ingested Styrofoam, you may need to act quickly in order to prevent harm or even death.
If your dog eats Styrofoam, you need to establish what type of Styrofoam it is and act accordingly. Regular Styrofoam can potentially cause a blockage that might need expensive surgery to remove.
If left unattended, it could lead to the death of your dog. Our dogs are always curious and will want to explore anything that they find interesting or they see as potentially edible.
Dogs are not necessarily attracted to Styrofoam itself but what was in the Styrofoam. The food smells in Styrofoam remains even after the food is gone.
For this reason, they will attempt to eat it. In the case of packing peanuts, the shape and texture of them is what attracts dogs to want to play with them.
These are the main reasons that dogs end up ingesting Styrofoam. Styrofoam comes in 2 different variations being the standard type and the biodegradable corn starch variety. We will talk a little more about these in the next section.
Is Styrofoam Toxic to Dogs?
Styrofoam is not toxic to dogs when consumed once. It is toxic when consumed repeatedly over time. It has been recorded to cause cancer in dogs.
This is why it’s important to always keep Styrofoam away from them. If they eat a small quantity once-off, chances are it will pass right through the system then out through poop.
The amount that can be defined as small also depends on the size of the dog. Smaller dogs are at greater risk from small quantities than bigger dogs.
Styrofoam is not biodegradable. Even though a dog’s stomach is able to digest a bone, it is not able to process Styrofoam. This means that there is a risk of a blockage in your dog’s intestine. When the intestines block up, your dog will no longer be able to pass poop.
What to Do if Your Dog Ingests Styrofoam?
If you find that your dog has eaten Styrofoam, you need to establish how much of it they consumed. This will be of great help in situations where you want to monitor your dog or take them to the vet. This information will be really important in the next few days to weeks. Some vets recommend that you monitor them for a bit and give them water with apple juice to help them pass out the Styrofoam in their stools.
This is where knowing how much they consumed can be really useful. In some cases, your dog will pass out the Styrofoam and you’ll have no further issues.
It is always a good idea to call your vet immediately so you know whether or not to take them in for further examination. They will be able to tell you which course of action to take.
Unless they deem it necessary for you to bring them in, they will most likely recommend a course of action and that you monitor them. You will only have to take them in cases where they are showing symptoms of a blockage.
To wrap this up, always ensure that your dog is kept away from Styrofoam by securing it in your home as well as making sure it is disposed of safely. Though it may be harmless, it could also potentially mean you losing your beloved Fido. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
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.