My dog ​​eats soap: what to do?

Dogs eat inanimate objects. Dogs eat slimy well, almost anything! When considering household items that could be a problem for your pet, you may miss one of the most common: soap. Since we humans love to add pleasant scents to our soap, your dog might find it a delicious treat. If your dog eats soap, you may be worried. Are you sick? Is soap poisonous?

If your dog eats soap or licks a little liquid soap, you’re right to be a little worried – but don’t panic. Read on for the facts, including what soap actually is made of, how eating soap affects your dog’s health, and how to know when to take your pup to the vet.

What’s in the soap?

Although every soap is slightly different, most liquid soaps contain water, oil (usually DEA cocamide, monoethanolamine, and/or glycerin), fragrances, and dyes, including ingredients such as sodium lauryl sulfate, parabens, triclosan, and Cocamidopropyl betaine.

Bars and soaps labeled “natural” contain similar ingredients. Some soaps also contain essential oils or dried herbs

Your Dog Eats Soap: Should You Worry?

Some of the ingredients commonly used in the soap are harmful to humans if swallowed. However, it can be difficult to understand with certainty how dangerous it is if a dog swallows soap.

Soaps made with essential oils can be very harmful to dogs. The Home Poison Helpline explains that pine oil, a common additive in disinfectants and cleaning products, can cause serious side effects in dogs who ingest it. Consumption of soap with pine oil can cause vomiting, skin irritation, fusion, weakness, loss of muscle control, and possible damage to the kidneys and liver.

Soap can also cause burns in your dog’s mouth, esophagus, and stomach. Also, ingesting large amounts of bar soap can cause your pet to become constipated.

Signs to Watch For

If you think your dog ate soap, immediately take the soap away from them, flush their mouth out with water and contact your veterinarian. They may suggest monitoring them for the next few hours, or they may recommend bringing them to the clinic right away if they exhibit any abnormal behavior.

Here are the signs to look out for:

  • Drooling
  • Licking more than normal
  • Frequent swallowing
  • Pawing at the face
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

What to Expect at the Vet

If you bring your dog to the vet, they’ll conduct a physical exam. Bring the packaging or ingredient list for the soap that your dog ate, if you have it — this will help the vet understand what they’re dealing with and can help guide treatment. They may need to perform an endoscopy or take an X-ray to get a full picture of your dog’s condition. They may also recommend hospitalizing your dog to monitor them. Depending on how long ago you saw your dog eat the soap may also influence their course of treatment.

If your dog ate a bar of soap, don’t panic. Take any remaining soap away from them and get them to the vet if your vet recommends bringing them in. Most importantly, remember to keep all soap products in areas that are out of reach for your curious pet. That way, you can limit the chances of a repeat event and help keep your pooch safe and healthy.

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