Dogs are notorious for sniffing out non-edible items and nibbling a few pieces before abandoning them. One such thing can be silica gel beads. But silica gel is unlike any other non-edible item that might be lying around in your house.
It’s toxic to pets and can harm your dog upon consumption. As a pet owner, what should you do when your dog ate silica gel? In this article, learn how silica gel can affect your dog and the measures you need to take.
Dog Ate Silica Gel – Is Silica Gel Toxic to Dogs?
Yes, silica gel can be toxic to dogs. But the toxicity doesn’t come from the gel; it comes from the packet that contains the beads. Only when consumed in higher concentration, silica gel can pose a threat to your dog.
Silica gel beads come in small bags, usually the same size as the sugar packets. You’ll find them in multiple everyday household items like shoes, coats, electronics, bags, etc.
Silica gel is also known as silicon dioxide, which finds its application in glass and quartz preparation. At times, silica gel is also useful as an anti-caking agent in food seasoning jars.
You’ll find silica gel beads in certain items because they act as a drying agent or desiccant. They retain moisture and hence prevent moisture damage.
Shoes, bags, electronics – these are all susceptible to damage from water. The silica gel pouch will absorb about 30% of its weight in water. Silica gel is inert and non-toxic.
The porous packet that ships along with these products are more poisonous than the gel itself. If your dog chews the pack, it may absorb some unwanted chemicals that the packet contains.
This ingredient can be suffocating for the dog. The canine may feel sick and develop several complications.
Symptoms of Silica Gel Toxicity in Dogs
The main symptom you’ll notice when dogs ingest silica gel packet is abdominal discomfort. They’ll express this by either moving around here and there hurriedly, frequenting their loo area, or sleeping in one corner for an extended period.
They will also develop a lower appetite for food and be unwilling to engage in physical activities.
The abdominal discomfort is because of the intestinal blockage. The dog will find it harder to take in any food or water as long as the silica gel packets’ contaminants are in the stomach.
In severe cases, this will lead to diarrhea, vomiting, and lethargy. The dog will also become weak over time.
The time frame to develop these symptoms depends on the amount of silica gel beads. If consumed in higher amounts, then the symptoms may show up within an hour of intake.
But if ingested in a smaller amount, it may take 2-3 hours for the symptoms to surface.
What to do After Dog Ate Silica Get?
The average silica gel packet is relatively small. So it’s improbable that your dog will develop any complications from just one pack.
It might also be the case that your dog chewed open the packet and consumed the silica gel instead. Your dog will not face any complications as long as the silica was pure and not dyed in such cases.
Therefore, it’s essential to confirm that the silica gel packet is the reason behind the complication and not anything else.
Trace the silica gel packet that you think your dog might have chewed. Then inspect if it has chewed the pack or consumed the gel. Check if the bag is dyed. Dyes can cause allergic reactions and intoxication.
There’s also a chance that the packet might have come in contact with any other toxic substances. After the inspection, consult with your vet accordingly.
It’s best if you can drive down to your vet if you see symptoms of intoxication. The symptoms include vomiting, pale gums, diarrhea, increased temperature and heart rate, lethargy, and seizures.
The dog may also suffer from dehydration. So in such cases, you need to provide an ample amount of drinking water to your dog. Some owners also recommend feeding chicken breasts to the dog for dehydration, but you should feed it only when directed by the vet.
To treat GI obstruction, the vet may induce vomiting. For this, he will feed a specific dosage of hydrogen peroxide, which is an effective way of inducing vomiting in dogs.
Depending on the specific case, the vet may also go for endoscopy or medical surgery to remove the stomach’s toxic substances. But those cases are among the rarest.
The bottom line is you shouldn’t fret if your dog consumes a packet of silica gel. The silica gel beads are inert and non-toxic to humans and dogs. So it isn’t likely to cause any complication.
But it’s recommended that you consult with a vet at the earliest and discuss the matter with him.
How to Prevent Dogs from Eating Silica Gels?
Silica gels aren’t harmful, but it’s something which your should be consuming. On the label, you’ll find the warning that reads “Silica Gel Do Not Eat.” That’s because it isn’t appropriate to consume silica gel.
It can react adversely with other chemicals that the food might contain.
The candy-like shape and pleasant smell can attract and seduce your dog into consuming it. Therefore, you need to take specific measures to keep your dog out of its reach.
The first thing you can do is collect all the silica gel packets that come with the products like shoes and bags.
You don’t want them to be scattered on the floor throughout the house.
Collect them and keep them in a safe place. Take them out only when you need them and apply them directly to the items.
Also, when discarding the packets, you should throw them directly in your dustbins or anywhere far away from the dog’s reach.
It would ensure your furry family member is never exposed to the silica gel beads.
To Sum up
Silica gel beads aren’t harmful to the dogs. But as a pet owner, you should take preventative measures.
If your dog consumes the packets, consult with your vet at the earliest for necessary treatment options.