Will a Dog Pass a Dryer Sheet?

QuestionWill a Dog Pass a Dryer Sheet?
AnswerIt’s Uncertain and Potentially Risky
More Info1. Obstruction Risk: Dryer sheets can cause gastrointestinal blockage, which might not pass easily and can be life-threatening. 2. Chemical Toxins: Dryer sheets contain chemicals that can be toxic to dogs if ingested. 3. Immediate Action: If you know your dog has eaten a dryer sheet, contact your veterinarian right away. They might advise specific care based on the size of your dog and the amount ingested. 4. Monitor for Symptoms: Watch for signs of distress like vomiting, inability to defecate, abdominal pain, or lethargy. 5. Prompt Veterinary Care: If any concerning symptoms arise, seek veterinary care immediately.

Decision Tree: Dog Ingested a Dryer Sheet

  1. Identify the Ingestion
    • Dryer Sheet Eaten: Proceed to Step 2.
  2. Assess the Situation
    • Whole or Large Piece Swallowed: Proceed to Step 3.
    • Small Piece or Licked: Proceed to Step 4.
  3. Whole or Large Piece Swallowed
    • Immediate Risk: Dryer sheets can cause blockages in the digestive tract and contain harmful chemicals.
    • Contact Your Veterinarian Immediately: Describe the situation, including the type of dryer sheet and the amount swallowed.
  4. Small Piece or Licked
    • Monitor for Symptoms: Watch for signs of gastrointestinal upset, drooling, or signs of distress.
    • Symptoms Develop: If any symptoms are observed, proceed to Step 5.
    • No Symptoms: Continue to monitor your dog closely for the next 24-48 hours.
  5. Veterinary Intervention for Symptoms
    • Consult Your Veterinarian: If any symptoms occur, contact your vet immediately for advice and potential treatment.
    • Follow Vet’s Instructions: This may include inducing vomiting, administering activated charcoal, or other treatments.
  6. Prevent Future Incidents
    • Safe Storage: Keep all laundry products, especially dryer sheets, out of your dog’s reach.
    • Dog-Proofing: Regularly check areas where your dog has access to ensure no hazardous items are within reach.

Helping a dog that has ingested a dryer sheet requires prompt and careful action. Dryer sheets can be toxic and cause blockages in a dog’s digestive system. Here’s a step-by-step guide on what to do:

Further Info

  1. Do Not Induce Vomiting: Unless specifically instructed by a veterinarian, do not try to make your dog vomit. This can cause additional complications.
  2. Identify the Ingested Material: Determine if it was a used or a new dryer sheet. Used ones might be less toxic but still pose a risk of blockage.
  3. Check for Symptoms: Symptoms of ingestion may include vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, abdominal pain, lethargy, or choking. If any of these are present, immediate veterinary attention is needed.

Consult a Veterinarian

  1. Call Your Vet Immediately: Explain the situation, including what your dog ingested, when, and any symptoms. Your vet can provide specific advice and may need to see your dog.
  2. Follow Veterinary Advice: The vet may instruct you to bring your dog in for an examination. In some cases, they might recommend monitoring at home if the dog isn’t showing distressing symptoms.

Monitoring and Care at Home

  1. Observe Your Dog Closely: Watch for any changes in behavior or signs of distress. This includes changes in eating, drinking, or bathroom habits.
  2. Ensure Hydration: Keep your dog hydrated, but don’t force water. A sudden large intake of water might worsen the situation.
  3. Do Not Give Home Remedies: Avoid giving any home remedies or medications without veterinary approval. This includes laxatives or any other substances to try to pass the object.

If Vet Visit is Required

  1. Be Prepared for Treatment: Treatment may include inducing vomiting, endoscopy to retrieve the object, or surgery in severe cases.
  2. Provide Information: Tell your vet about any relevant health history and the details of the incident.
  3. Follow Post-Treatment Instructions: This may include dietary changes, medications, or rest.

Prevention of Future Incidents

  1. Safe Storage of Household Items: Keep dryer sheets and other potentially harmful items out of your dog’s reach.
  2. Regular Supervision: Monitor your dog’s environment, especially if they have a habit of chewing on inappropriate items.
  3. Training: Teach your dog commands like “leave it” to prevent them from picking up harmful objects.


Ingestion of a dryer sheet by a dog is a serious matter that often requires veterinary intervention.

Prompt action and close monitoring are key, along with following your veterinarian’s guidance.

To prevent such incidents, always keep potentially harmful items like dryer sheets securely stored away from pets.