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Dogs happen to be one of the most curious pets out there. Their curiosity makes them do things that can harm them. For instance, dogs can eat plastic bags or pieces lying on the floor. If you own a pet, you know the level of attention and care they need. You can’t leave chocolates, plastic wrappers, uncooked food, and chemical products on the floor or furniture.
My Dog Ate a Plastic Bag
It is not uncommon for dogs to swallow small pieces of plastic. While some dogs are curious to know how the plastic tastes, others mistake the plastic for some delicious cooked food. Dogs that suffer from Pica and other eating disorders are likely to eat indigestible foods. Besides that, a dog may eat plastic if it is starving.
Plastic can cause critical health problems if swallowed in large volumes. The best prevention step is to keep plastic out of the dog’s sight. Feed your dog on time. Serve them healthy food so they don’t end up eating plastics and other harmful products. However, if your dog has eaten the plastic bag, here’s what you must do,
Check Their Condition
If a dog eats a considerable amount of plastic, they are likely to choke on it. While small pieces can pass through their digestive tract without causing any serious problem, a full plastic bag can be life-threatening. If you see your dog choking on the plastic, whining, or panicking, then take them to the vet.
The dogs sometimes swallow the plastic bags but experience abdominal pain and other critical symptoms. Bloating, recurrent vomiting and extreme pain in the abdomen can indicate an intestinal obstruction.
If it has been hours since your dog ate a large amount of plastic, there is a high risk of intestinal obstruction. Even if your dog doesn’t experience any critical symptoms, call the vet, and follow their instructions.
Try To Take The Plastic Out
Removing the plastic your dog has already swallowed is not possible, but you can at least try to remove the pieces of the plastic that are still in their mouth. Open their mouth and remove the plastic they haven’t chewed or swallowed yet.
Make sure there is no piece left stuck between their teeth or on the upper side of the mouth. Taking your pet to the vet is best if you aren’t comfortable removing plastic from their mouth. The longer they hold the plastic, the more dangerous it can get.
Find Out The Amount of Plastic They Have Eaten
Usually, pets can’t swallow a big plastic bottle. But they can break a soft plastic bag into small pieces and eat a large amount of plastic. It is important to know the quantity of plastic your dog has consumed as well as the type of plastic they ate.
Hard plastic and soft plastic (such as sandwich bags) can have a different impact on your dog’s health. The vet might ask you the type of plastic the dog swallowed and if there was anything else present in the bag.
That’s because a plastic bottle containing a chemical compound or a cleaning detergent can cause additional danger.
How Dangerous Is Plastic Consumption For Your Dog?
Dogs don’t eat plastic unless they have not eaten for days or they have an eating disorder. Plastic does not break down easily. While it can be categorized into soft and hard types, nearly all plastic products are indigestible. Plastic, in general, is quite harmful to our health. Healthcare specialists advise us not to pack foods in plastic bags and wrappers, let alone eat the plastic.
If your 160-pound German shepherd has eaten a sandwich with the plastic bag, then there is a good chance it will not show any serious symptoms. If the dog doesn’t show any serious symptoms after a few hours of plastic consumption and is eating and acting normally, then there’s nothing to worry about.
It is still advisable to contact a specialist and tell them about the amount and type of plastic your pet has gulped. Here are the adverse effects of plastic consumption on your dog:
- Intestinal obstruction – a serious medical condition that causes an intestinal blockage, making it difficult for the food to pass through the large intestine.
- Your dog might choke or face difficulty breathing if the plastic pieces get stuck in their oesophagus.
- It can cause sharp cuts in the dog’s food pipe, abdomen, intestines, and rectum. This can cause severe pain.
- It can lead to death, especially if the dog eats a plastic bag with chocolates, chemical compounds, and other harmful products.
- It can damage their mouth and teeth.
The vet may ask you to monitor the dog’s behavior for the next few hours. Usually, small pieces of a plastic bag pass through the abdomen and intestines easily. The severity of the issue also depends on the size of your dog.
If a small 12-pound dog eats a sandwich bag, you need to get them to a vet immediately. Things can get more complicated if the pup has eaten hard plastic.
It can block their oesophagus, causing breathing issues. Even if they somehow manage to get the plastic down their food pipe, they might end up with intestinal obstruction.
Can Dogs Digest Plastic?
No, dogs cannot digest plastic. However, soft plastic consumed in small volumes can pass through their intestine and get excreted.
The plastic will appear in the dog’s poop. Usually, the food takes around 8-10 hours to pass from the mouth to the intestines. It might take a bit longer if your dog eats indigestible food.
However, they may experience the symptoms of indigestion and intestinal obstruction in a few hours of consumption. You don’t have to worry about the critical issues as long as your dog hasn’t swallowed hard plastic.