Dogs get into everything, and if you leave a wine cork out, a dog will have a hard time resisting it.
Dogs can and do swallow corks from time to time. As long as your dog chews it first, a wine cork will usually pass a K-9’s digestive tract without complications.
Unfortunately, if the dog swallowed the cork whole, it can lead to serious health complications that require immediate medical attention.
A whole or large chunk of wine cork can cause an intestinal obstruction. Call your Vet if your dog ingested a wine cork.
In this article, we will discuss the dangers of a dog eating a wine cork and what steps should be taken if your pet has ingested one. We will also provide some tips on how to prevent your pup from getting into mischief with corks in the future.
What is a Wine Cork Made Of?
A traditional wine cork is made from the bark of cork oak trees found in Mediterranean climates, such as those found in Spain, Portugal, and North Africa.
The good news is that cork itself isn’t poisonous to dogs. The problem is that it’s not digestible. It can expand in the digestive system and block the intestines.
If you have a bottle of wine with a plastic cork, it’s not digestible either.
What Are the Dangers if a Dog Swallows a Wine Cork?
If your dog ate a wine cork, it can be a serious danger to their health. The trace amounts of alcohol on a wine cork should not be enough to cause any concern.
The Corks Size
The first concern is the size of the cork itself; if it’s too large, it can become lodged in the dog’s throat or digestive tract and cause an obstruction. The more your dog chews the cork before ingesting it, the less concern there needs to be. Little pieces of cork should pass through the dog’s stomach without much fuss.
If the cork is whole, it can prevent food and water from passing through the digestive tract, which can cause intestinal blockage (particularly in smaller dog breeds) leading to malnutrition and dehydration.
The Cork Can Expand
It’s important to keep in mind that the cork is made from an organic material that can expand in the stomach.
The upside of the cork being organic is it can break down in the stomach over time. This reduces the risk of serious intestinal damage or obstruction but doesn’t completely eliminate it.
Yes, there is a potential danger if a dog swallows a wine cork. If the cork is made of real cork rather than plastic or another material, it could potentially cause digestive blockage in the dog.
I saw my dog eat a cork. Should I call the vet?
If your dog ate a cork, call the vet immediately. They may wish to observe the dog for signs of distress. They may also wish to induce vomiting before the cork enters the intestines.
Treatment usually involves administering medication to help the dog pass the cork, along with supportive care such as intravenous fluids and nutrition.
Surgery may also be needed in some cases if the obstruction is severe enough. Fortunately, most dogs who swallow wine corks do not require surgery and recover with no long-term consequences.
Can I use a cork as a dog toy?
A cork should not be used as a dog toy. Most dog breeds will have a cork chewed into pieces in no time.
It is important to be aware of the potential danger if a dog swallows a wine cork. The cork may cause digestive blockage and other health complications that can lead to serious consequences.
If your pet has eaten a cork, monitor their behavior for signs of discomfort and seek veterinary care as soon as possible. With timely treatment and supportive care, most dogs are able to recover without long-term damage.
However, it’s still important to take preventative measures such as supervising pets when around any type of foreign object that they could potentially swallow.