If Your Dog Swallows Something Sharp

Updated on August 8, 2010
Dogs sometimes chew on things they shouldn't ingest.
Dogs sometimes chew on things they shouldn't ingest.

My dog ate something sharp!

Dogs often chew on things they really shouldn't ingest. Some dogs are worse about this than others and will swallow toy squeakers, rocks, dirt, and just about anything small enough to fit in their mouths.

Anything a dog swallows can be potentially dangerous, so it's important to go to the vet's a soon as possible.

Sometimes, though, time is of the essence. If your dog eats something sharp and pointy, such as cooked chicken bones or a glass Christmas ornament, you'll want to prevent further damage and huge vet bills by using this simple tip as soon as you see a problem.

Again, although this helps in many cases, the dog should be checked by a vet.

You Will Need:

  • real cotton balls (not the imitation cotton kind)
  • yogurt, sour cream, pudding, or any other tasty, goopy substance your dog might like

What to do:

  • Choose the correct amount of cotton balls for your dog's size. A small dog might need only one, a medium dog 3, and a very large dog 4 or 5. Don't overdo it.
  • Shred the cotton balls into little pieces and soak them in the goopy substance**.
  • Feed these to your dog.

(*note: Use your head when choosing goopy substances. Chocolate- and coffee-based yogurts or puddings would not be a good idea here. Chocolate and coffee are not the best idea for dogs and can potentially be toxic.)

Why it works:

All those little fibers move through the gastrointestinal tract and wrap around the sharp pieces, pulling them out safely.

The day after cotton-ball-snack-time, watch for cotton balls coming out the back end.

Some vets suggest feeding high fiber bread or pumpkin to help get sharp things out as well, as the fiber works the same way as the cotton balls.

Signs that a vet is needed immediately:

  • Repeated vomiting, especially upon attempting to drink water or eat food
  • Vomiting blood or what looks like feces
  • Dark blood in the stool
  • A hard, distended abdomen
  • Dog shows pain when its abdomen is palpated
  • Dog bites constantly at its flanks, as if something is hurting it
  • Dog's nose is hot, and he has a fever
  • Dog seems listless, depressed, and inactive
  • Dog is dehydrated (pinch skin on the back of neck - if it stays up for a few seconds, the dog is dehydrated; if it falls right back down, dog is most likely not dehydrated)


This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

Questions & Answers

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      • profile image

        COlin 

        8 months ago

        My dog ate through a cat food can and ripped it open

      • MoRita profile imageAUTHOR

        MoRita 

        8 years ago from IL

        Thanks for commenting! :0) It is frustrating indeed. I'm "lucky" that all my dog eats outside are mice and goose poop! :0P

      • dgicre profile image

        dgicre 

        8 years ago from USA

        Thanks for helping dog owners beware of this dangerous and sometimes fatal problem. Some dogs are more prone to this than others but it can be frustrating to say the least.

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