Anyone who owns a dog knows that, sometimes, there is just no explanation for what your pet will find appetizing.
Pups have been known to eat their toys, your socks, and the occasional houseplant.
But what do you do if your dog, for some obscure reason known only to himself, decides that those dryer sheets look simply delicious?
Are Dryer Sheets Toxic To Dogs?
Dryer sheets are toxic to your pet. They contain a plethora of chemicals that are not meant as food.
Such items are cationic detergents that can be hard on your pup’s gastrointestinal tract.
They can cause irritation and stomach upset, sometimes accompanied by a mild to moderate case of vomiting and/or diarrhea.
They also contain chemical fabric softeners, which can cause virtually similar effects.
Be aware that either of these substances, detergents or liquid fabric softener can cause poisoning and burns in the gastrointestinal tract.
Common sense tells us that used dryer sheets are less damaging than brand new ones, as most of the chemicals have been dissipated, but both can be harmful if ingested.
Such products are soft and absorbent. A single sheet will probably pass through your pup’s systems with very little, or no, ill effects.
However, their very absorbency can create further difficulties as they may absorb any liquid in the animal’s system, causing it to expand.
And as it expands, the more likely it is to cause a damaging blockage.
What To Do?
First, become informed. That is if you can become informed.
These pieces of fabric can contain more harmful ingredients than those found in kitchen cleaning products, but problems may arise because the Consumer Protection Safety Commission, which regulates the labeling of similar products, has very lax guidelines.
Consequently, you may not even be able to tell what toxic substances these little fluffy things do, or do not, contain.
Read the packaging for any information you can garner. If it does not state emphatically that this product is non-toxic, and you still have concerns, call the number provided on the box and ask pertinent questions.
Some of these little pieces of fabric contain known carcinogens, although this will not be a problem unless your pet makes them a major part of his steady diet. But, perhaps it should be of some concern to you, as such chemicals are making their way into your household environment.
Next, try to induce vomiting if the accident occurred within the last hour or two. The less time offending items stay in your dog’s gastrointestinal tract, the less damage they will be able to do.
If you are unable to induce your pet to vomit, call your vet! he may advise you to start your pup on a special diet of potatoes or rice and boiled chicken. Such foods are designed to help push things through the digestive system.
Restrict your pooch’s activity for the next few days. No heavy exercise or long walks. And you must monitor him carefully for the next two or three days.
Look for signs which may indicate an obstruction, which can occur anywhere in the gastrointestinal tract.
As bad as a chemical burn on internal organs sounds, an obstruction can be much worse.
It can cause a partial or complete, blockage of your pup’s digestive system. allowing fluids and solids to build up. Your canine companion will experience extreme discomfort as pressure builds up.
Moreover, it can prove fatal if left untreated.
Signs to look for include continued vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal tenderness, lethargy, loss of appetite, not wanting to eat, refusal of water, or straining to produce a stool.
Diagnosis should be made by a qualified professional and may require endoscopy or abdominal ultrasound.
You must also, unfortunately, pay close attention to the stools your pooch produces, looking for blood which may be indicated by a bright red color or a dark, tarry feces.
This may be a thankless job, but given such dire consequences of an undiagnosed obstruction, will worth any effort.
The most tell-tale signs of obstruction are persistent vomiting and anorexia. If you have been unable to retrieve any consumed sheet within two or three days, take your pooch to your veterinarian immediately .
Actually, if you are at all concerned, a vet visit immediately after discovering your pup’s culinary mistake would not be unwarranted, and is, in all probability, the best course of action.
Just remember to bring the dryer sheet box with you so a professional can assess the damage which may be caused by chemicals involved.
Moreover, careful observation of your pet’s symptoms can lead to an early diagnosis and a complete recovery but it is important to take such threat seriously.
And, an ounce of prevention, is worth a pound of cure. Keep similar items tucked away so your canine companion will not be tempted by their intriguing scent.
You may not have ever considered such helpful little things a danger before, but that doesn’t mean your dog has a good sense to avoid them. Certainly, They don’t belong in your pup’s tummy. Being soft and fluffy on the outside should be enough for him.
If your dog ate part of a dryer sheet , don’t panic. And remember to keep your pet away from the laundry room .