Dog Ate Packing Peanuts: Will They Get Sick + What to Do

If your dog has eaten packing peanuts, you may be worried about their health. Packing peanuts are commonly used in shipping and can be tempting for dogs to eat.

While they are generally considered non-toxic, there are still some health risks associated with dogs eating packing peanuts.

We will explore what packing peanuts are made of, the potential health risks for dogs, and what to do if your dog eats packing peanuts.

Key Takeaways

  • Packing peanuts are commonly used in shipping and can be tempting for dogs to eat.
  • While packing peanuts are generally considered non-toxic, they can pose a choking hazard and cause gastrointestinal issues in dogs.
  • If your dog eats packing peanuts, monitor them closely for signs of distress and contact your veterinarian if they show any symptoms.

What’s a Packing Peanut Made Of

dog ate packing peanuts

If your dog has eaten a packing peanut, it’s important to understand what it’s made of to determine the potential risks and appropriate actions to take.

Packing peanuts are small foam pieces used to fill packages to prevent damage during shipping. There are two types of packing peanuts: traditional and biodegradable.

Traditional

Traditional packing peanuts are made from polystyrene, a type of plastic that is not biodegradable and can take hundreds of years to decompose. Biodegradable packing peanuts, on the other hand, are made from natural materials such as starch and vegetable oil and dissolve in water.

While traditional packing peanuts are not toxic to dogs, they can cause serious health problems if ingested in large quantities. Since dogs cannot digest plastics, the packing peanuts can cause an intestinal blockage, leading to vomiting, diarrhea, and potentially life-threatening complications.

Biodegradable

Biodegradable packing peanuts are generally considered safe for dogs since they are made from natural materials that can be digested. However, it’s still important to monitor your dog for any signs of discomfort or illness after ingesting them.

In summary, packing peanuts can be made from either polystyrene or natural materials such as starch and vegetable oil. Traditional packing peanuts are not toxic to dogs but can cause an intestinal blockage if ingested in large quantities. Biodegradable packing peanuts are generally safe for dogs, but it’s important to monitor your dog for any signs of illness.

Health Risks of Dogs Eating Packing Peanuts

health risks of dogs eating packing peanuts

If your dog has eaten packing peanuts, it is important to know the potential health risks. Here are some of the most common health risks associated with dogs eating packing peanuts:

Choking Hazard

Packing peanuts can pose a choking hazard to dogs, especially if they are not properly chewed. If your dog has eaten packing peanuts and is having difficulty breathing, you should seek veterinary care immediately.

Digestive Issues

Dogs that eat packing peanuts may experience digestive issues such as diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. These symptoms may indicate that the packing peanuts are causing a blockage in the digestive tract.

If your dog is experiencing these symptoms, it is important to seek veterinary care as soon as possible.

Toxicity

Some types of packing peanuts are made from polystyrene, which is a toxic substance. If your dog has eaten polystyrene packing peanuts, they may experience symptoms such as lethargy, difficulty breathing, and seizures.

Recognizing Signs of Distress

what to do if dogs eat packing peanuts

If you suspect your dog has eaten packing peanuts, it’s important to watch for signs of distress. The symptoms of distress can vary depending on the size of the dog and the amount of packing peanuts ingested. Here are some common physical symptoms and behavioral changes to look out for:

Physical Symptoms

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Lack of appetite
  • Abdominal pain and swelling
  • Difficulty defecating
  • Lethargy
  • Dehydration

If your dog is experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important to contact your veterinarian immediately.

Behavioral Changes

In addition to physical symptoms, your dog may also exhibit behavioral changes if they’ve eaten packing peanuts. Here are some common behavioral changes to look out for:

  • Restlessness
  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of interest in activities they usually enjoy

If your dog is exhibiting any of these behavioral changes, it’s important to contact your veterinarian immediately.

In the next section, we’ll discuss what to do if your dog has eaten packing peanuts.

Immediate Actions You Can Take

If your dog has eaten packing peanuts, it’s important to take immediate action to prevent any potential health issues. Here are two actions you can take right away:

Contacting a Vet

The first thing you should do is contact your veterinarian. They will be able to provide you with the best advice on what to do next, depending on the type of packing peanuts your dog has eaten. If your vet is closed, you can contact an emergency animal hospital or poison control center.

When you call, be sure to provide as much information as possible, such as the type of packing peanuts your dog ate and how much they consumed. This will help the vet determine the best course of action.

Inducing Vomiting (Check With a Vet First)

In some cases, inducing vomiting can help remove the packing peanuts from your dog’s system. However, this should only be done under the guidance of a veterinarian.

If your vet recommends inducing vomiting, they may instruct you on how to do it at home or have you bring your dog into the clinic. It’s important to follow their instructions carefully to avoid causing harm to your dog.

Conclusion

Taking immediate action when your dog eats packing peanuts can help prevent potential health issues. Contacting your vet and following their advice is crucial in this situation.