Seeing your dog buried in heaps of trash and exploring all forms of curiosity is not surprising. But this level of curiosity gets worrisome when it involves ingesting foreign materials.
You just caught your dog snacking on a towel, and the first alarm that rings in your head are all the possible things that could go wrong with your dog’s health, and then you ask, “what should I do?”
The first step is to skip the panic and focus on the issue so you can take proper care of your dog.
This guide takes you through 5 basic steps to help you care for your dog after a towel ingestion. Read on to find out why your dog ate a towel and what to do about it.
Why did my dog eat a towel?
Understanding why your dog turned a towel into a meal would help prevent another occurrence in the future.
There are several reasons why your dog would eat a part of a towel, and some of these include the following;
Dogs are social creatures, and without much bonding time, they may become bored.
Boredom looks different in every dog; for some, it might be an increase in the duration or frequency of their naps, while for some other dogs, boredom shows in their increased curiosity which could lead to biting off a part of a towel.
It is not news that dogs get easily fascinated and never tire of exploring new environments or objects found in their space.
A towel could be as fascinating with its attractive scent or color, which could lead to your dog “tasting it out.”
Just like human babies, anything is food to a hungry dog. Hunger can be the reason why your dog decided to eat a towel.
Puppies or newly adopted dogs are most likely to exhibit this behavior as they are not well adapted to their environment and might be unable to express their wants in less destructive ways.
Unusual behaviors in dogs have been linked to specific health conditions. Eating a part of a towel is unusual and could be a telling sign that something is wrong with your dog.
Such health conditions can be hormonal imbalances, organ diseases, or gastrointestinal infections.
If you have noticed that your dog exhibits various unusual behaviors along with towel ingestion, try to find out what the issue is.
What should I do? (5 steps to finding the best solution)
Your dog swallowed a piece of a towel, and while you may be concerned, you would need to act fast to ensure that your dog does not get hurt, as the longer the material stays in your dog’s system, the more complicated things can get.
Here are five steps to help deal with your dog’s towel accident
Step 1: Take a breather
As mentioned earlier, your instinct may be to show concern about your dog’s health, which could lead to confusion and panic.
However, you must stay calm as it will help you make the right decisions to help your dog feel better. The focus is to ensure that you act fast but also calmly.
Make sure the towel is removed from your dog’s presence before you begin sorting out other issues.
Step 2: Assess the extent of the damage
Once you are calm enough to act, the next thing is to assess the damage’s extent, including figuring out when your dog ate the towel, checking the type of towel (whether for kitchen use or a bathroom towel) and how much he ingested.
You should also check to see if he swallowed the whole piece or has loose leftovers in his mouth.
Do not try to force anything out while checking your dog’s mouth, even when the towel seems stuck in his throat, as it might irritate your dog’s digestive tract, which could lead to more complications like choking.
Step 3: Watch your dog for a few hours
An immediate call to the veterinarian is highly suggested. However, if this option is not feasible, watch for any change in your dog’s breathing, bowel movement, behaviors, or stooling in the following hours. If you notice any abnormality, you should invite your Vet over.
While waiting for the Vet, ensure that you keep your dog calm and in a comfortable position such that he does not cause any more harm.
You should also try to avoid feeding him with extra treats until he has seen the Vet and it is safe to do so.
Step 4: Visit the Vet if the condition worsens
Several problems can develop from consuming a foreign material depending on the type and size of the material (as compared to your dog’s size) and the duration in your dog’s stomach.
If you have taken note of these things and the symptoms presented in your dog, you would help your Vet figure out an effective treatment plan quickly.
Problems that can occur from this ingestion include; vomiting, lethargy, blockage, and damage to internal organs due to toxic substances on the towel.
Vet doctors can recommend various treatments, such as a bit of rest time with sedation, drips to flush out toxins, or a simple surgical procedure.
However, before the Vet decides the best approach, they may need to take some blood tests and x-ray images.
Step 5: Post-clinic care
Post-clinic care caters to your dog’s needs after your dog has been cleared to go home.
It includes ensuring that your dog remains healthy while also taking care of the environment that it would stay in to prevent another case of towel ingestion or anything similar.
Ensure you take all towels or clothing away from your dog’s reach. You should also ensure that you follow the Vet’s instructions concerning the drugs to use and resting time.
The ingested towel materials may not be entirely removed at the clinic and must be passed out naturally or by induced excretion. If this is the case, ensure that you keep track of your dog’s poop or vomiting.
You should also make sure to feed your dog with healthy foods, particularly rich in fiber content, to help pass out poo easily, as fiber helps with bowel movement.
How do I prevent a future occurrence?+
Your dog’s safety in the future lies in your ability to prevent accidents like this from happening again.
While it is true that you cannot always keep watch over your dog due to your daily activities, you can ensure that your dog does not go on chewing on and swallowing towel pieces with these ideas;
Remove all towels from close range
If towels and clothing pieces are not within your dog’s reach, he will be unable to nibble on them, saving your dog from serious health issues that can arise from towel ingestion.
Remove all towels from table tops and low cabinets, and use tall hangers instead.
Get safe toys
If your dog swallowed a towel piece because he was playing with the towel, then it is clear that your dog needs a playmate. Hence, you can get toys for your dogs; make sure the toys are not harmful.
There are various types of toys that your dog will find fascinating. Edible toys would be great if your dog likes to bite and chew.
Establish routine check-ups with your Vet
A routine check-up at the Vet clinic is essential if your dog has a health condition expressed in the unusual behavior of chewing objects.
This health condition can result from hormonal imbalances, anxiety, depression, or gastrointestinal diseases. Whatever the case is, a vert doctor would figure it out and suggest the best possible care.
However, early detection is vital in finding a solution quickly. Hence, it would help if you made the visit to the Vet a habit for you and your dog.
Can my dog digest a towel?
If your dog ingests paper towels and other towel types, it can be a big issue as they cannot be broken down in your dog’s stomach.
Hence, they might have to be removed by induced excretion or surgery at the Vet’s clinic.
Should I induce vomiting with Hydrogen Peroxide to remove the ingested towel?
Truly, hydrogen peroxide can help induce vomiting in your dog. However, it is not advisable to induce vomiting at home for your dog, except on instructions of the veterinary doctor, which you must adhere to strictly.
Inducing vomiting can lead to further complications, especially in an environment with no skills or tools to handle the case.
For example, if the ingested towel contained a harmful substance, bringing it back up could cause damage to your dog’s system.
It is also possible for a blockage to happen while trying to get the towel piece out of your dog’s stomach—especially if it is a large piece.
Being a dog parent is challenging as it requires lots of attention and care, and while each of these is key, it does not guarantee that your dog always knows what is right or wrong.
Swallowing a piece of towel might be a fun and exploratory activity for your dog, but it’s not fun for you as you know that dogs cannot digest certain towel materials.
Ensuring that your dog’s health is preserved would require that you take adequate steps like visiting the Vet for help. However, don’t forget to remain calm while you figure out the best care for your dog.