Table of Contents
Out of curiosity and the instinct to explore, dogs often land themselves in hot water. Pet parents know that dogs sometimes lick, chew, or swallow items that are not designed to be ingested. Since Styrofoam is a big part of modern life, it’s becoming more common for dogs to consume this material – especially when the foam was used to hold store-bought meat.
This article focuses on the symptoms and consequences you need to know in case you suspect that your pooch has snacked on some Styrofoam.
What is Styrofoam?
Styrofoam refers to close-celled polystyrene foam used in making walls, containers, roofs, and foundations.
Consumption of Styrofoam isn’t risk-free. While you don’t usually have to worry when the animal had eaten small quantities, vast amounts of Styrofoam consumption can be dangerous.
Let’s learn all about the health hazards of Styrofoam below.
Signs Your Dog Has Eaten Styrofoam
The effect of eating Styrofoam on your dog’s body depends on the quantity consumed. If your dog has consumed a small amount, it should be fine. However, if your little beast has ingested a large amount of Styrofoam, it can be a problem! Some of the signs in this case are:
- Difficulty in defecating
- Stomach or abdominal pains
- Complete lack of appetite
My Dog Ate Styrofoam – What Now?
A small amount of Styrofoam ingestion might not affect your dog at all. However, when eaten daily or in large quantities, it can be very harmful to your dog. Styrofoam can be toxic as it consists of plastic. Their kidneys and liver may get overworked processing plastic continuously, and they may eventually collapse.
The chemicals in Styrofoam can also give rise to several infections and diseases in dogs, including cancer. Cancer is one of the most commonly occurring diseases in dogs above the age of 10.
If your dog is unable to pass the Styrofoam through defecation, it may require surgery. Thus, prevention is the key to avoiding such drastic conditions and situations.
Why Dogs Eat Styrofoam
Dogs get attracted to small, stimulating objects. When it comes to Styrofoam, it isn’t the Styrofoam itself, but whatever the material or foodstuff the Styrofoam was in contact with. This can be a coffee cup, a doughnut plate, or a package that held the raw chops you bought the previous day.
What Styrofoam Does To Your Dog
In addition to the symptoms mentioned above, it can also lead to a great sense of discomfort in your dog. It may happen in the form of intestinal blockages or stomach aches.
Most ingestion of Styrofoam happens in the form of packing peanuts. It is because some dogs, especially puppies, seem to find these “peanuts” very entertaining and easy to ingest. Needless to say, they also present a choking hazard.
The smaller the size of your dog, the greater the risk associated with eating Styrofoam. In any case, visiting the vet after your dog has swallowed the foam is the best solution.
Avoid Doing This When Your Dog Has Eaten Styrofoam
As a responsible dog owner, you mustn’t adopt any home remedies to help your dog. You must especially avoid advice that tells you to induce vomiting – not unless your vet recommends it and shows you how to do so safely. If done incorrectly, Styrofoam may get stuck in the esophagus during the process and choke your dog. It may worsen the emergency and make it even more difficult to help the dog.
How to Keep Your Dog Away From Styrofoam
To avoid a dangerous situation that may arise from Styrofoam consumption, listed below are a few steps that you can take:
- Clear all tables and floors properly after packing or unpacking things
- Keep a close eye on your dog to avoid mishaps
- Use dog-proof trash cans to avoid Styrofoam consumption from toppled-over garbage
- Walk your dogs under close supervision to avoid Styrofoam consumption at other locations.
Wrapping It Up
In conclusion, to stay on the safe side, you can assume that any consumption of Styrofoam for your dogs isn’t healthy.
Depending upon the quantity of Styrofoam consumed by your dog, you must ensure that the animal receives a proper diagnosis and treatment from a vet.
Symptoms of Styrofoam consumption include vomiting, diarrhea, stomach aches, and intestinal blockages, something that requires immediate surgery.
Responsible dog parents can reduce the chances of Styrofoam ingestion by securing trash cans, and supervising a dog that has eaten odd stuff before, especially during walks.