Dog Ate Dryer Sheet: Quick Solutions and Prevention Tips

It’s not uncommon for dogs to get into things they shouldn’t, especially when they’re curious, bored, or hungry.

One household item that may seem harmless but can pose a risk to our canine companions is the humble dryer sheet. Many pet owners have been caught off guard when their dog decides that the fabric softener sheet looks like a tasty snack. But what happens if your dog eats a dryer sheet? And what steps should you take to ensure their safety?

dog ate dryer sheet

Dryer sheets contain chemicals that can potentially be harmful to dogs if ingested. Complications can range from skin and mouth irritations to blockages, poisoning, and severe dehydration.

As pet owners, it’s essential to monitor your dog’s behavior and take action promptly if you suspect they have swallowed a dryer sheet. In addition, implementing preventative measures can help keep your dog safe from household hazards such as this one.

Key Takeaways

  • Dryer sheets can be harmful to dogs if ingested, causing various complications ranging from irritation to poisoning
  • Monitoring your dog and taking prompt action is essential for ensuring their safety after consuming a dryer sheet
  • Implementing preventative measures can keep your dog safe from common household hazards such as dryer sheets.

The Incident: Dog Ate Dryer Sheet

You just finished doing laundry, threw a dryer sheet into the mix, and walked away. Upon returning, you find your curious canine chomping down on the now-fluffy, scented square. What could possibly go wrong?

Well, as it turns out, dogs and dryer sheets don’t make the most compatible duo. While the risks associated with dogs eating dryer sheets can vary, it’s essential to keep a close eye on your furry friend, watching for any signs of discomfort or distress.

Why do dogs find dryer sheets so alluring? The scented sheets carry a fragrance that dogs may find appealing, leading them to have a little taste test. However, these sheets often contain chemicals that can provoke adverse reactions in your dog’s gastrointestinal tract. In some cases, this can escalate to burning, poisoning, or—even worse—damage to their internal organs.

After your dog has had its fill of the dryer sheet, monitor their symptoms closely. Common signs to be wary of include lethargy, loud breathing, cough, wheezing, drooling excessively, vomiting, a swollen tongue, abdominal pain, or swelling. If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s time to take action.

The moment your pooch displays any adverse reactions, contact your local veterinarian immediately. The sooner you act, the higher the chances of mitigating any potential harm to your beloved pet.

Now, don’t be too hard on your dog (or yourself) for this incident. Dogs are naturally inquisitive creatures, and sometimes, that curiosity gets the better of them. The key is to monitor their condition and, if necessary, seek professional help. And, in the spirit of prevention, you might want to store those dryer sheets in a safer place next time.

Potential Dangers and Symptoms

When your dog consumes a dryer sheet, there are two main risks that can become life-threatening. In this section, we’ll examine the potential dangers and symptoms resulting from your dog eating a dryer sheet, focusing on the chemicals contained within and the potential for physical obstruction.

Chemicals in Dryer Sheets

Unfortunately, the synthetic materials used in dryer sheets are not digestible by our canine friends. Furthermore, hazards may arise as different dryer sheets contain varying chemicals which can include volatile organic compounds, surfactants, and fragrance. Depending on the dog’s sensitivity and the amount ingested, your dog may display symptoms ranging from mild to severe.

Some symptoms to watch for include:

  • Skin and mouth irritations
  • Drooling
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy
  • Seizures (in extreme cases)

Remember, every dog may react differently, and it’s crucial to keep an eye on them while monitoring their behavior and physical condition.

Physical Obstruction

Besides the risks associated with the chemicals present in dryer sheets, a more immediate danger arises from the potential of gastrointestinal obstruction. Dryer sheets, in some cases, can bunch together or become lodged within the digestive tract, leading to partial or complete blockages.

Gastrointestinal blockages can lead to serious illness, and even death, in some instances. Look for the following signs:

  • Vomiting or retching
  • Loss of appetite
  • Abdominal pain
  • Constipation or difficulty passing stool
  • Lethargy
  • Dehydration

It’s essential to keep tabs on your dog and seek immediate veterinary care if you suspect your dog may be experiencing a blockage caused by a dryer sheet.

By understanding the potential dangers and symptoms of dogs consuming dryer sheets, you can take swift action and ensure the safety of your canine companion.

Immediate Actions to Take

what to do if your dog ate a dryer sheet

If your dog just ate a dryer sheet, don’t panic. But do act quickly, as there can be potential harmful effects. Here are the immediate actions you should take to ensure your furry friend remains safe and healthy:

1. Assess the situation: Observe your dog closely for any signs of distress or unusual behavior. This may include drooling, vomiting, difficulty breathing, or pacing. However, keep in mind that symptoms may not appear until several hours after ingestion.

2. Contact your veterinarian: Even if your dog appears to be okay, it’s essential to seek professional advice. Give your vet a call, inform them of the situation, and follow their instructions closely. They may suggest monitoring your dog, bringing them in for an exam, or even contacting an emergency animal clinic.

3. Keep dryer sheets and other toxic items out of reach: Prevention is key when it comes to pet safety. Make sure you store dryer sheets and other potentially harmful household items securely, where your curious canine cannot get to them.

While a sense of humor can be helpful in stressful situations, it’s crucial to remember that the health and well-being of your dog is the priority. By taking immediate action and consulting with your veterinarian, you’re giving your dog the best chance of avoiding any complications or discomfort. And makes for one less thing for you to worry about, which we all know is a “pawsitive” outcome!

Preventative Measures

Taking preventative measures is essential to ensure your dog’s safety and avoid the risks associated with ingestion of dryer sheets. This section will discuss two essential sub-sections – proper storage of dryer sheets and training your dog – as preventive steps to keep your furry friend safe from dryer sheet hazards.

Proper Storage of Dryer Sheets

Storing dryer sheets properly plays a crucial role in preventing your dog from getting access to these tempting, yet potentially harmful, items. Consider the following storage tips to keep your dog safe:

  • Choose a high location: Store dryer sheets in a place that is out of reach for your dog, such as high shelves and cabinets.
  • Use containers with secure lids: Place the dryer sheets in containers with secure, dog-proof lids to make it more challenging for your furry friend to get ahold of them.
  • Keep dryer sheets in original packaging: Retain the original packaging of the dryer sheets, as it often has a sealable opening that can help keep the scent inside.
  • Avoid leaving dryer sheets unattended: Make it a habit to promptly dispose of used dryer sheets and put clean ones away immediately to minimize the risk of your dog getting hold of them.

Training Your Dog

In addition to proper storage, training your dog can be an effective way to prevent dryer sheet-related accidents. Teaching your dog to stay away from dangerous household items will help protect them from the potential risks associated with ingesting dryer sheets. Here are some training tips to consider:

  • Command training: Teach your dog basic commands such as “leave it”, “off”, and “drop it” to help them learn to resist the temptation of grabbing forbidden items.
  • Positive reinforcement: Reward your dog with praise, treats, or toys for listening to your commands and obeying their training, encouraging good behavior and discouraging undesirable actions.
  • Socialization: Familiarize your dog with various household items, sights, and smells to reduce their curiosity and the urge to explore potentially hazardous objects like dryer sheets.
  • Monitor your dog: Keep a close eye on your dog, especially when new items are introduced or if you notice an increased interest in certain objects. Regularly check their surroundings to ensure they’re safe from hazardous materials.

By taking these preventative measures and being proactive in your dog’s safety and training, you can effectively minimize the risk of your dog consuming dryer sheets and protect their overall health.

When to Consult a Veterinarian

In the case that your dog has eaten a dryer sheet, it’s essential to monitor them for any signs of complications. While some dogs may experience only mild symptoms, others could face severe or even life-threatening consequences. The severity largely depends on the type of dryer sheet consumed and the quantity ingested.

If your furry friend exhibits any of the following symptoms, it’s time to contact your local veterinarian:

  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Skin and mouth irritations
  • Signs of a blockage in the digestive tract
  • Symptoms of poisoning, such as lethargy, difficulty breathing, or seizures
  • Severe dehydration

Keep in mind that some complications, like blockages, may not be immediately obvious. Regularly assessing your dog’s behavior and physical condition will help you recognize potential issues and act quickly to seek professional guidance.

It’s important to resist the urge to induce vomiting at home. This could cause further harm to your dog, especially if the dryer sheet has caused any internal damage. Instead, leave it to the professionals to determine the best course of action.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center. They can provide valuable advice on how to care for your dog after consuming a dryer sheet. Remember, your dog’s safety should always be your top priority. And, of course, try to keep those pesky dryer sheets out of your dog’s reach in the future!


It’s important to remember that dogs can be quite mischievous, and they sometimes end up consuming things they shouldn’t, like dryer sheets. While these incidents can certainly cause panic and concern among pet owners, staying informed and vigilant about potential hazards, like dryer sheets, can help manage the situation effectively.

Upon discovering your dog has eaten a dryer sheet, it’s crucial to monitor them closely. Keep an eye out for signs of complications, such as skin and mouth irritation, blockage, poisoning, and severe dehydration. These symptoms can vary in intensity and could potentially be life-threatening.

Remember that different brands of dryer sheets contain different chemicals. Be sure to check the labels of the products you use and store them safely, away from your beloved pets. Being proactive can greatly reduce the risk of your dog getting their paws on these tempting, yet harmful, items.

If you happen to find your dog in the act of eating a dryer sheet or suspect they have ingested one, it’s always wise to contact your vet promptly for advice. They can provide the necessary guidance and recommend appropriate steps based on the specific needs of your furry friend.

In the end, preventing accidents is the best approach for keeping your dog safe and healthy. So, take a moment to dog-proof your home by securing household chemicals and items that might pose a risk. A little bit of effort and vigilance can go a long way, ensuring many happy and worry-free years with your four-legged companion.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do I do if my dog ingests a dryer sheet?

If your dog ingests a dryer sheet, it’s important to monitor them for signs of complications, which may include vomiting, diarrhea, excessive salivation, or lethargy. If you notice any of these symptoms, contact your veterinarian immediately for guidance.

Are dryer sheets harmful to dogs?

Dryer sheets can be harmful to dogs, as the chemicals used in them, such as cationic softeners and benzalkonium chloride, can cause irritation or toxicity in your dog’s digestive tract. These chemicals may lead to symptoms like excessive salivation or gastrointestinal upset.

Can a dryer sheet cause blockage in a dog?

Yes, a dryer sheet can cause blockage in a dog’s gastrointestinal tract. This can lead to serious illness and may require surgical intervention to remove the blockage, which can be a risky procedure.

How can I prevent my dog from eating dryer sheets?

To prevent your dog from eating dryer sheets, it’s essential to keep them out of your pet’s reach. Store used and unused dryer sheets in a closed container or cupboard and pick up any fallen sheets after each use. It’s also a good idea to ensure your laundry area is not easily accessible to your curious canine.

Do certain dog breeds have a higher risk with dryer sheet ingestion?

While any dog can be at risk of ingesting a dryer sheet, breeds with a higher propensity for chewing or curiosity may have an increased risk. It’s important to know your dog’s habits and make an effort to keep risky items like dryer sheets out of their reach, regardless of breed.

What are alternatives to dryer sheets that are pet-safe?

If you’re concerned about the risks of dryer sheets for your dog, consider using pet-safe alternatives. Products like wool dryer balls and fragrance-free, plant-based fabric softeners can be a safer option for your laundry routine while keeping your furry friend healthy and happy.