My Dog Ate Tape: What to Do and How to Prevent It

Issue Dog ate tape
What to Do Eating tape or other foreign objects can be dangerous for dogs, as it can cause gastrointestinal blockages or perforations. It’s important to monitor the dog for any signs of distress or discomfort
Quick Info Contact a veterinarian immediately if you suspect that your dog has ingested tape or any other foreign object, monitor the dog for any signs of distress or discomfort, such as vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, or loss of appetite, follow the veterinarian’s recommendations for treatment and care

Signs Your Dog Ate Tape and How it Affects Them


When a dog has ingested tape, it is crucial to recognize any concerning symptoms. Prompt recognition and action can help ensure your dog’s well-being. Let’s explore the different behavioral and physical symptoms that may indicate a problem.

Changes in Behaviour

Keep an eye out for changes in your dog’s behavior following tape ingestion:

  • Lethargy: Lack of energy and enthusiasm is a common sign that something is not right.
  • Loss of appetite: A dog may refuse to eat if it experiences abdominal pain or discomfort.
  • Discomfort when touched: A dog with gastrointestinal issues might be physically sensitive around the abdominal area.

Physical Symptoms

In addition to behavioral changes, there are physical symptoms that can indicate digestive complications:

  • Vomiting: If the tape is irritating the stomach, a dog might vomit in an attempt to expel the foreign object.
  • Diarrhea: Tape ingestion can lead to gastrointestinal issues, producing abnormal bowel movements.
  • Constipation: Any obstruction in the intestines caused by the tape may result in difficulty passing stool.

By closely monitoring your dog’s behavior and physical symptoms, you can better determine when to seek veterinary assistance. Early intervention is key in resolving complications caused by tape ingestion and ensuring your dog’s health.

Immediate Actions

How to deal with a dog that ate tape

When your dog has eaten tape, it is essential to take some immediate actions to ensure your dog’s safety. Here are some steps to follow:

  1. Evaluate the situation: Determine how much tape your dog has consumed and if there were any objects attached to it, such as a tape dispenser. This information will be helpful when you consult your vet.
  2. Monitor your dog: Keep a close eye on your dog’s behavior and physical condition. Look for signs of discomfort, such as vomiting, diarrhea, or difficulty passing stools. These may indicate a potential blockage in the digestive tract.
  3. Encourage exercise: Engaging in physical activity with your dog can promote digestion and encourage the passing of the tape. Walker, play fetch, or utilize other interactive games to stimulate your dog’s digestive system.
  4. Check their stools: Over the next 24 to 48 hours, monitor your dog’s bowel habits and look for any visible pieces of tape in their feces. Larger pieces of tape may be more noticeable.
  5. Contact your veterinarian: Always consult with your veterinarian about your dog’s situation, especially if they show signs of distress or discomfort. Share the details of the incident, and they will guide you on the next steps, such as scheduling a check-up.

Remember, it’s crucial to stay calm and collected when handling this situation. Taking appropriate immediate actions can increase the chances of your dog safely passing the tape, thereby avoiding potential health risks.

Contacting a Veterinarian

Understanding their Advise

If your dog has ingested tape, contacting a veterinarian is an important step to ensure your dog’s safety. The vet may ask about the type and amount of tape your dog has eaten to determine the risk of complications. For instance, eating a small amount of tape might not cause any issues. However, consuming large quantities or a tape dispenser could lead to obstructions, tears, or punctures in the gastrointestinal tract. Based on the information you provide, the vet can recommend an appropriate course of action, which could range from monitoring your dog at home to visiting the clinic for an examination or treatment.

Questions to Ask

When speaking with the veterinarian, be prepared to ask questions that will help you understand the situation and what to do next. Some important questions to ask include:

  • What are the potential risks and complications of my dog eating tape?
  • What signs of distress or symptoms should I look out for?
  • How long should I monitor my dog for any changes in behavior or symptoms?
  • Are there any specific foods or substances I should give my dog to help pass the tape, such as canned pumpkin?
  • At what point should I seek additional medical care for my dog?

By understanding the veterinarian’s advice and being informed about the potential risks, you can confidently monitor your dog’s health and well-being after ingesting tape. Remember to keep a close eye on your pet’s bowel movements, as well, to ensure the tape has passed through their system safely.

Home Care After Vet Visit

Dog Ate a Roll of Tape, what To do

After returning home from the vet, it’s essential to help your dog recover from consuming tape. This section will go over some necessary home care steps.

Dietary Changes

To assist your dog’s digestive system:

  • Feed them smaller and more frequent meals
  • Add 1-2 tablespoons of canned pumpkin (not pie mix) to their meal for extra fiber
  • Gradually transition back to their regular diet

Signs of Improvement or Decline

Monitor your dog for the following signs, which will help you determine their recovery progress:

Signs of Improvement:

  • Normal appetite and thirst
  • Regular bowel movements
  • Increased energy levels
  • Absence of vomiting

Signs of Decline:

  • Persistent vomiting
  • Lethargy or weakness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Constipation or diarrhea

If you notice any signs of decline, contact your veterinarian immediately, as these can indicate possible complications. Remember, it’s crucial to follow your vet’s advice and monitor your dog’s condition closely to support their recovery.

Preventive Measures

Taking preventive measures is essential to avoid situations where your dog consumes tape. By implementing the following strategies, you can help ensure your dog’s safety and health:

  • Keep Tape Out of Reach: Make sure to store all types of tape (duct tape, masking tape, etc.) in secured cabinets or drawers, away from your dog’s access.
  • Supervise Your Pet: When using tape for any purpose, keep a close eye on your dog. Do not leave them unattended around tape or any tape-containing objects.
  • Provide Appropriate Chew Toys: Offer your dog safe and appropriate chew toys to satisfy their natural chewing instincts. This will minimize the chances of them gnawing on harmful objects such as tape.
  • Teach the ‘Leave It’ Command: Train your dog to understand the ‘leave it’ command, which can be helpful in preventing them from picking up and potentially swallowing items they should avoid.
  • Regularly Clean Your Living Space: Maintain a clean and clutter-free environment to reduce the likelihood of your dog coming across items they should not have access to, including tape.

By consistently practicing these preventive measures, you can significantly decrease the risk of your dog consuming tape and potentially experiencing gastrointestinal issues or intestinal obstruction. Keep in mind that your dog’s safety is your responsibility, and taking these precautionary steps can make a big difference in their well-being.

Potential Long Term Effects

When a dog consumes tape, it can experience some long-term effects, particularly if it causes gastrointestinal obstructions. Here’s a summary of the potential complications that your pet might face after eating tape:

  • Gastrointestinal issues: The dog may suffer from vomiting and diarrhea as a result of the tape consumption. In some cases, these issues can become chronic without the proper treatment.
  • Intestinal blockage: Tape can get stuck in the intestines and cause an obstruction, leading to more severe problems, such as loss of appetite, weight loss, and severe abdominal pain.
  • Damage to internal organs: If a large amount of tape is ingested, it might cause damage to your dog’s internal organs, particularly within the gastrointestinal tract. This may lead to complications such as perforation or tearing of the intestine, which can be life-threatening if left untreated.
  • Risk of infection: An untreated intestinal blockage or perforation can lead to bacterial infection, potentially resulting in sepsis – a severe and life-threatening condition that requires immediate medical attention.

To minimize the long-term effects of tape ingestion in your dog, it’s important to keep a close eye on them after the incident. Monitor their behavior, appetite, and bowel movements closely.

Should you notice any signs of discomfort, distress, or changes in their habits, contact your veterinarian for guidance. Early intervention can make a significant difference in preventing long-term complications and in ensuring the best possible outcome for your pet.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to make a dog vomit?

If you suspect your dog has ingested something harmful like tape, it’s important to consult a veterinarian immediately, as inducing vomiting can be dangerous in some cases. If you must encourage your dog to vomit, your vet may advise you to give your dog 1-2 tablespoons of 3% hydrogen peroxide with the appropriate syringe, but only under their guidance.

Is tape harmful to dogs?

Tape can be harmful to dogs if ingested, depending on the amount they eat. While it might not be toxic, it can still cause discomfort and pose a choking hazard. In more severe cases, a large quantity of tape or ingesting hard plastic from the dispenser can cause an obstruction in the intestines, which requires immediate veterinary care.

Can dogs pass plastic?

Dogs may sometimes pass small pieces of plastic through their digestive system safely, but it depends on the size and type of plastic. However, there’s always a risk of complications such as intestinal blockages or injury to the dog’s digestive tract. If you know your dog has consumed plastic, it’s best to consult a veterinarian for advice on the next steps.

Can dogs digest hair ties?

Dogs cannot digest hair ties, as their stomachs can’t break down the materials used in them. Although it’s possible for a dog to pass a hair tie without complications, there’s still a risk of obstruction, choking, or other internal injuries. Monitor your pet closely for signs of discomfort and reach out to your vet if you suspect they have ingested a hair tie.

Signs of dog ingesting harmful objects

Watch for signs that may indicate your dog has ingested a harmful object, such as lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, or difficulty defecating. If you notice any of these symptoms or if your dog is acting out of the ordinary, contact your veterinarian right away.

Seeking veterinary help for ingested foreign objects

If you suspect your dog has ingested a foreign object like tape, plastic, or a hair tie, it’s important to seek veterinary help as soon as possible. Your vet can provide guidance on the next steps, whether that involves monitoring, inducing vomiting, or more advanced treatments such as surgery. Acting quickly can help prevent more severe complications and ensure the safety and well-being of your pet.