Dogs are truly special animals. Not only are they cute and lovable, but they also bring an amazing amount of joy and silliness to our lives. From their goofy antics to the way their tails wag when we (finally!) get home from work, dogs show us the beauty and fun in everyday life.
As responsible pet owners, it’s our job to make sure that our furry friends stay safe from harm’s way; while taking into account the unique needs of each pooch so that they can live happy and healthy lives.
From providing them with plenty of tasty food to playing with them to ensuring that their vaccinations are always up-to-date, it is essential for us to give back to these silly companions who bring such joy into our lives.
So, what about when your dog does something that could hurt her? What if your dog ate a sponge? Ideally, your dog will pass the sponge, however, she could face painful medical problems if the sponge blocks her GI tract. Knowing what to watch out for when your dog eats a sponge is important. I’ll cover what can happen and what to do in more detail below.
Are Sponges Toxic To Dogs?
By themselves, the plain sponges that you use to do your household chores or makeup aren’t toxic to your sweet dog.
But, keep in mind that even though these sponges aren’t toxic they could have soaked up any number of things that can be detrimental to your dog’s health.
For instance, many cleaning supplies are harmful, and if you’ve been using them with the sponge your dog just ate, then those hazardous substances may still be in the sponge and pose a real source of danger for your pooch!
But a toxic sponge isn’t the only problem your dog could face.
What Will Happen To A Dog That Ate A Sponge?
If the sponge is a regular household sponge that hasn’t been soaked in anything toxic, then your pup won’t be in any immediate danger. But it’s still not a good idea for your pup to swallow a sponge or even part of a sponge because it could lead to digestive problems.
A major complication from ingesting a sponge is intestinal obstruction. This happens when the sponge gets stuck in the digestive tract, preventing other food and liquid from passing through as it should.
Sadly, if left untreated, this can be fatal and will also cause a great deal of discomfort for your good girl. Symptoms of an obstruction include vomiting, loss of appetite, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and bloating.
If these symptoms arise (and you know your dog swallowed a sponge) you need to take her to the vet right away so they can help treat the blockage. Depending on the severity of the blockage, surgery may be necessary to remove it safely.
Luckily though, a blockage isn’t the most common outcome for dogs that ate a sponge. Oftentimes, your dog may be able to pass the sponge on its own with no intervention needed.
What Should I Do If My Dog Eats A Sponge?
Okay, I’ve gone over what could happen to your dog if she eats a sponge, but what should you do? Because the consequences can be deadly for your dog, knowing what to do is very important!
It’s easy to panic when your dog eats something she shouldn’t. But remember, dogs eat all sorts of things – yes some even eat sponges – and turn out okay.
It’s important to not let your head go straight to the worst-case scenario, especially if there are no signs of something that bad happening.
Make Sure Your Dog Isn’t Choking
If your dog isn’t breathing, I doubt you’re reading this. Rather, you’re probably doing the doggy Heimlich Maneuver. But choking isn’t the only thing that could happen when your dog gets a sponge stuck in her throat.
If your dog ate a sponge and won’t quit coughing, then the sponge may be stuck in her throat. If the situation isn’t resolving itself, you’ll probably want to call your vet for personalized advice. Unfortunately, I can’t give a one-size-fits-all answer to how (or even if you should try) to get a stuck piece of sponge out of your dog’s mouth. Factors like your dog’s size and how large of a piece of sponge she ate are important variables.
Observe Your Dog
Watch your dog for vomiting and any other signs she isn’t feeling well. After swallowing a sponge (or other foreign objects), watch out for certain signs that might indicate illness or a blockage of some sort.
There are normal signs of distress, such as vomiting, that can indicate something is wrong with your dog. Other signs that could suggest blockage include lethargy, swelling, pain, unusual stools, and constipation. If your dog ate a sponge and is experiencing these, then it should be addressed with immediate veterinary care since these can be signs of serious complications.
Keep in mind that you’ll likely need to keep an eye on your dog until she successfully passes the sponge, which may take days.
Call Your Vet (If Necessary)
If at any time while you’re monitoring your good girl you notice any of these symptoms mentioned above then don’t hesitate – contact your veterinarian right away!
Timely intervention can help ensure that no permanent damage occurs so paying close attention to even subtle changes in behavior is key here – even though sponges aren’t toxic per se, they still pose a potential health risk depending on where they get lodged within the body leading up to more serious conditions like intestinal blockages which may require surgery.
While each situation will require individual assessment from a professional vet, knowing which signs and symptoms signify a more severe problem allows you to act quickly if needed and increase chances for successful treatment in these cases.
Should I Induce Vomiting Or Try To Get Her To Drink Extra Water?
Out of the many odd things a dog might eat, sponges can present a unique challenge. Because of their ability to soak up water and expand, I can’t tell you if extra water or making your dog vomit will help or not.
Just like with the question of choking, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer. Depending on things like how long ago your dog swallowed a sponge and whether the sponge is in her throat or stomach, the answer will vary.
Your vet will be able to give you personalized advice tailored to your situation.
Can Dogs Pass Sponges?
In many cases, a sponge will be no problem for your dog to pass but do not let your guard down until you’re confident she has passed it.
If a serious condition arises, like a GI block, you should get your dog medical help as quickly as possible.
How To Stop A Dog From Eating Sponge
Training your dog is one of the best ways to prevent them from eating sponges. If you see your pup going after something that you don’t want her to have, take action right away! Give her a firm ‘no’ and use positive reinforcement when she responds correctly.
If your pooch just can’t seem to stay away from sponges, make sure they are kept where she can’t access them.
With consistent training and patience, you should eventually be able to stop your dog from eating sponges with success!
Why do dogs like to eat sponges?
Curiosity is one of the main reasons dogs like to eat most things that they shouldn’t. They may also be attracted to a sponge’s texture or just wonder what the heck it is.
Sponges don’t only soak up liquids though, smells such as good foods and your scent (in the case of makeup sponges) can also be trapped in a sponge. With scents like these, it’s no wonder your dog might like to take a bite of your sponge!
Summary: My Dog Swallowed A Sponge
If your dog has eaten a regular household sponge that hasn’t been soaked in anything toxic then she shouldn’t experience any immediate harm. However, there is still potential for serious health risks if her body isn’t able to pass it.
Keep an eye on your pet and watch for any signs of discomfort until she successfully passes the sponge. If you notice things like vomiting or abdominal swelling, then you should consult with your veterinarian as soon as possible.
They will be able to assess the situation and intervene if necessary.