Can we talk about every moment you nibbled on your pencil? Most likely, you were bored or anxious. You cannot expect anything different from dogs, as they will often find it entertaining and relaxing to nibble at pencils. However, the biggest worry is whether eating pencils is safe or healthy. The following insights will help.
Can Dogs Eat Pencils?
Pencils are a product of graphite or lead. Graphite is made from carbon, meaning it is not toxic to dogs. It is also less likely for your dog to suffer poisoning after eating a lead pencil. This lead is not actually lead but a type of carbon (graphite) that is not toxic to dogs.
Besides graphite, pencils are made from other natural materials, including wood and aluminum.
The wooden shaft enclosing graphite material is often made from softwood, including cedar. Softwood poses no harm to dogs. While this wood might not poison your dog, it could expose it to gastrointestinal obstruction.
On the other hand, the pencil features aluminum in its ferrule. The amount of aluminum on the pencil is so negligible that you’ll not need to worry about poisoning. Yet, it is wise not to ignore the pencil’s small amounts of aluminum present.
Why Dogs Eat Pencils
Various reasons explain why dogs eat pencils, from boredom and frustration to psychological conditions. Most dogs will ingest pencils out of curiosity, meaning that they will want to know what happens if they eat or consume the pencil.
Emotional imbalance is yet another significant contributor to eating pencils. Dogs suffering from stress, frustration, boredom, and anxiety will often want to nibble at inedible objects, including pencils. The best solution would be to invest in pretty and chewable pet toys.
Pica is the most common psychological issue affecting dogs and their dietary behaviors. A dog suffering from this condition will irresistibly nibble or eat inedible products. If your dog is suffering from this psychological issue, it will likely keep eating pencils for a long time.
Why Pencils Could Be Dangerous For Dogs
Pencils might not have toxic materials in them. Yet, this does not mean they are safe for your dog.
Eating pencils exposes your pet to various issues. The biggest threat is having injuries in the mouth because the wood splinters every time the dog chews pencils. Unfortunately, infections from these injuries are often inevitable and, in severe cases, might require surgery.
Pencils could also cause injuries to the gastrointestinal tract. The perforations will expose the dog’s digestive system to infections, including septic peritonitis. Ingesting large pieces will likely cause gastrointestinal obstruction. Thanks to this blockage, your dog will not eat or drink water comfortably, exposing it to nutritional issues.
What You Should Do After Your Dog Eats Pencils
An immediate response is vital in this case. Instead of panicking, consider the following steps.
- Check the extent of the effect. This step requires you to monitor whether the dog is lethargic or in lots of pain. If that is the case, you’ll need to take it to the vet immediately. However, you might consider additional monitoring even if the dog seems bright and playful.
- Ensure that your dog does not access any more pencils. The idea is to avoid compounding the issue any further.
- Get the correct details. You need to piece together what happened because detailed information will help the vet make informed decisions. For instance, how many pencils did the dog eat? Did the pencils have aluminum parts?
- Reach out to a vet and explain what happened. This professional will provide the necessary advice, allowing you to save your dog.
- Keep monitoring your dog for any unusual symptoms.
Signs That Your Dog Chewed A Pencil
Your dog will likely not show any significant signs if it eats a small piece of pencil. However, you will notice specific symptoms if the dog has eaten many pencils. They include:
- Significant discomfort and stomach upset
- Difficulty chewing
- Excessive blood in the mouth
- Appetite loss
What Happens At the Vet?
You’ll take your dog to the vet if the symptoms become imminent. This professional will recommend enhanced monitoring and feeding the dog with soft, dense food to bind the pencils. However, if the professional is concerned about gastrointestinal blockage, a surgery will suffice. This will happen after extensive tests, including x-rays, blood tests, and ultrasound scans.
How to Prevent Your Dog From Eating Pencils
The best way to prevent your dog from eating pencils is to dog-proof your property. This move aims at restricting access to materials that could harm the dog.
Ensure that you place pencils in lockable cabinets, ensuring that your pet does not reach them. You will also need to avoid placing pencils on the edges of tables and couches.
Your dog can munch pencils as they are not toxic. However, they pose a safety issue. The insights above indicate how to handle your dog if it eats one.