My Dog Ate Styrofoam! Concerns + What To Do!

Dogs: the ultimate embodiment of fun and mischief!

Of course, these lovable fur balls bring joy to our lives!

But let’s face it, they can also be quite the troublemakers.

Even the most responsible dog owners have experienced those ‘oh no’ moments when their pup gets into something they shouldn’t.

And so, all good dog owners must know how to react when their furry friend decides to munch on something that’s not on the menu.

Like Styrofoam! My dog ate Styrofoam, now what? Whether your dog experiences an intestinal blockage, passes the Styrofoam without any problems, or anything in between, it’s important to be aware of potential medical issues and know how to respond.

Let’s jump into more detail about the possible consequences that your dog might face and how to effectively handle these various issues.

What Happens If A Dog Eats Styrofoam?

When your dog ingests Styrofoam, it can result in a range of potential health complications which can vary in severity.

Gastrointestinal Blockage

If your dog eats Styrofoam he won’t be able to digest it.

In an ideal scenario, his system will push out the foreign material, helping him avoid any major issues.

However, there is a concern that the Styrofoam may become lodged somewhere along his digestive tract.

If this happens, it can lead to severe complications and even require surgery to remove the blockage.

Keep an eye on your dog’s behavior after he has ingested Styrofoam; if he shows signs of distress like vomiting, diarrhea, or lethargy, consult your veterinarian immediately.

Tough On The Body

Even though your dog cannot digest Styrofoam, his body will still attempt to process it.

Unfortunately, this can put a strain on his organs and overall system as they work hard to digest the indigestible.

Choking Hazard

Aside from the internal risks, one of the more immediate concerns related to Styrofoam ingestion is choking.

If your dog begins coughing or hacking after consuming Styrofoam, it may be lodged in his throat, creating a choking hazard.

In such cases, your dog will hopefully be able to ‘hack’ it out. However, knowing the Dog Heimlich maneuver could prove life-saving.

If you’re not familiar with the Dog Heimlich, it’s a good idea to learn the technique just in case your furry friend encounters this kind of situation.

What Are The Signs My Dog Ate Styrofoam?

So, how can you tell if your dog has eaten Styrofoam?

Here are some of the signs to keep an eye out for:

  1. Styrofoam pieces in your dog’s mouth: If you notice bits of Styrofoam clinging to your dog’s teeth, stuck on his tongue, or hanging from the corners of his mouth, it’s a surefire sign that he’s been munching on the stuff.
  2. Torn up or missing Styrofoam: Did you have a piece of Styrofoam lying around that’s now ripped to shreds or partially missing? Chances are, your curious pup got his paws on it. Look for Styrofoam remnants scattered around the area, and be ready to monitor your dog’s behavior in case he swallowed some.
  3. Vomiting or passing parts of Styrofoam: This is a clear indication that your dog has ingested Styrofoam.

Knowing that your dog ate Styrofoam will give you the head start you need in case your good boy does need medical intervention from a veterinarian.

What Should I Do If My Dog Eats Styrofoam?

First off, stop beating yourself up! Even the best dog owners can’t prevent their pups from getting into trouble sometimes. If you’ve discovered your dog munching on some Styrofoam, here are helpful steps to handle the situation.

Remove The Styrofoam

Gently take away the Styrofoam from your dog if possible. Only do this if your dog will allow you (you don’t want to get hurt!).

Ideally, you will be lucky enough to be able to retrieve all of the material before he ingests any.

But if that’s not the case, don’t panic.

Watch For Signs Of Distress

Keep an eye on your dog for at least 48 hours following the incident.

Look for any changes in behavior, such as labored breathing, vomiting, discomfort, or other signs that could indicate his body is struggling with the Styrofoam.

Contact Your Vet

If your dog exhibits any signs of distress, contact your vet right away.

Be prepared to give them all relevant information, such as your dog’s size and how much Styrofoam he ate.

This will help your vet offer personalized advice for your dog’s situation.

Should I Induce Vomiting Encourage Eating Food Or Give Extra Water?

You might be tempted to induce vomiting, encourage your dog to eat more food or give him extra water to flush out the Styrofoam.

However, it’s important not to take any of these actions without consulting your vet first.

Each situation is unique, and your vet can provide guidance on what’s best for your dog.

By following these steps, you’ll be able to effectively handle the situation and be sure your canine pal gets the care he needs.

Is Styrofoam Toxic To Dogs?

If your dog has had a run-in with Styrofoam, you’re probably wondering if it’s toxic to him.

While Styrofoam is not exactly a healthy snack for your dog, the good news is that it’s not toxic.

First off, let’s clarify that Styrofoam isn’t poisonous as long as it hasn’t been heated up.

It’s common to worry about Styrofoam leaching toxins, but rest assured that this isn’t a risk for your dog.

Remember, one major environmental concern about Styrofoam is its inability to degrade quickly, and while that is a problem for the environment, it also means that there isn’t enough time for the material to break down and release toxins in your dog’s body.

Will Dogs Pass Styrofoam?

That depends on a few factors, such as the size of your dog, the amount of Styrofoam he consumed, and, quite frankly, a bit of luck.

Usually, though, a dog will be able to pass Styrofoam with little to no problems.

In general, if you have a larger dog that consumed a small amount of Styrofoam, they are more likely to pass it through their system without any major issues compared to a smaller dog that ingested a larger amount of Styrofoam.

Can Styrofoam Kill Dogs?

It’s important to know that Styrofoam can pose a serious threat to your dog’s health. One of the most dangerous consequences of a dog consuming Styrofoam is a gastrointestinal (GI) blockage.

This occurs when a chunk of Styrofoam gets lodged in your dog’s digestive system, obstructing the normal flow of food and fluids.

This can lead to dangerous complications and may require emergency surgery to save your dog’s life.

Why Would A Dog Eat Styrofoam?

Sure dogs are known to eat nasty things, but why would our furry friends be tempted to munch on something as peculiar as Styrofoam?

Enticing Smells

I’m sure you know that dogs have an incredible sense of smell.

They often use this to explore their surroundings. And when something smells good to your pooch, he might just decide to taste it as well.

We put all sorts of things in Styrofoam, from food at restaurants to goods manufactured in factories.

This means that the Styrofoam your dog encounters might contain irresistible scents from your leftovers or intriguingly new smells from the manufacturing process.

So, it’s no surprise that your canine companion can’t resist taking a bite.


Dogs are curious about their world, and this curiosity might lead them to chew on random objects, including Styrofoam.

It’s important to remember that your dog might not know Styrofoam isn’t meant to be consumed – he’s just acting on his inquisitive nature.

Accidental Consumption

In some cases, a dog might accidentally eat Styrofoam while playing with or chewing on an item that contains it.

For example, your dog may be tearing into a bean bag chair or another household object with Styrofoam, mistakenly ingesting the Styrofoam pieces in the process.


Pica is a condition in which dogs (and other animals) develop a craving for non-food items, such as stones, plastic, or Styrofoam.

While the exact cause of pica is unknown, it could be due to a variety of factors, such as dietary deficiencies, stress, or boredom.

If you suspect your dog might suffer from pica, make sure to seek advice from your veterinarian. They can help you determine the best course of action to prevent further consumption of harmful materials.

Ways To Prevent Your Dog From Eating Styrofoam

Alright, you know what to do if your dog gets into Styrofoam, but what can you do if your dog keeps doing it?

It can be maddening when you have a dog that won’t seem to stop a bad behavior!

So let’s explore three easy strategies to prevent your dog from eating Styrofoam and keep him safe and healthy.

1. Basic Commands: Foundations For A Well-Behaved Dog

Teaching your dog some basic commands, such as ‘sit’, ‘stay’, and ‘leave it’, is an important step to being a responsible pet owner.

These commands can help you maintain better control over your dog’s behavior and prevent unwanted situations like him eating Styrofoam.

Consistently practicing these commands with your dog will help him to respond quickly and effectively in situations where his curiosity might get the better of him.

2. Keep Styrofoam Out Of Reach: A Simple Preventative Measure

Take a moment to consider where you typically store Styrofoam products, such as disposable plates, cups, and packaging materials.

Are these items within easy reach of your dog? If so, it’s time to reevaluate your storage solutions and put these tempting objects out of your dog’s reach.

Consider placing them in high cabinets or secured storage containers, ensuring that your dog’s curiosity won’t lead to a dangerous encounter with Styrofoam.

3. Properly Dispose Of Used Styrofoam: Keep Your Dog And the Environment Safe

We all know that some dogs love rooting through the trash, and used Styrofoam can be especially tempting due to lingering food smells.

To prevent your dog from rummaging through the garbage and potentially ingesting Styrofoam, invest in a dog-proof trash bin or bring your styrofoam waste straight to an outdoor dumpster when you are finished with it.

Summary: Dog Ate Styrofoam

Eating Styrofoam can pose a significant threat to your dog’s life, mainly due to its potential to cause gastrointestinal blockage. But luckily most dogs will likley pass ingested Styrofoam without problems.

Remember the (obvious and not so obvious) signs that your dog may have ingested Styrofoam like discovering pieces of it in his mouth, torn-up or missing Styrofoam, and of course, witnessing your good boy vomiting or passing it.

If your dog has consumed Styrofoam, take immediate action. Try to (safely) retrieve any remaining Styrofoam if possible and keep a close eye on your dog for at least 48 hours or until you’re sure the Styrofoam has passed.

If your dog seems upset or shows any signs of distress during this monitoring period, it’s a good idea to reach out to a veterinarian right away.

They’ll be able to provide the best guidance and support for your furry friend.

Although Styrofoam is not toxic to dogs (as long as it hasn’t been heated) it can still cause life-threatening gastrointestinal blockages.

Whether a dog can pass Styrofoam naturally depends on their size, the amount of Styrofoam they consumed and luck.

Dogs might ingest Styrofoam out of curiosity, attraction to its smell, or accidentally while chewing on something else.

To keep your dog safe from the dangers of Styrofoam ingestion, it’s a good idea to use simple commands like ‘leave it’, make sure they can’t get into your stored Styrofoam products and dispose of used Styrofoam securely when you don’t need it anymore.

By taking these precautions, you can help ensure your dog’s safety and well-being, minimizing the risk of such incidents.

Remember that early intervention and prevention are key when it comes to your dog’s health and safety!

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