My Dog Ate Soap! Is Soap Poisonous to Dogs?

Dogs have an inquisitive nature, leading them to eat things they should never put in their mouths. One of these things is soap. Although your dog might want to ingest some soap, you should not let them do so. The ingredients used to make it are harmful to them and can result in unwanted reactions.

For example, the chemicals combined to make soap may cause severe reactions that risk your furry friend’s life. Moreover, bar soap may contain essential oils that are toxic to dogs.

Your dog’s reaction may vary depending on which type of soap they ate. The degree of the harm will also depend on the amount of soap consumed. Contact your vet right away when you notice your pup has eaten soap. They can instruct you on the best practices to follow to reduce the risks of the soap to your dog.

Risks Of Soap To Dogs

Ingestion of Soap will lead to different reactions in your dog. The ingested soap can cause stomach upset, leading to diarrhea and vomiting.

Some soaps are made using alkalis that cause burns to your dog’s mouth and stomach if ingested, forming sores and burn injuries.

Soap can also be a choking hazard, especially for small dogs. The soap can get stuck in your canine friend’s mouth because of its size. It can also get lodged in the esophagus, with no way to remove it. This can suffocate your dog and lead to its death if you are not near to help.

Ingesting large amounts of soap can also lead to gastrointestinal blockage. The soap can tear at their intestines and stomach if there is compaction, putting your pup in a lot of pain. This is a dangerous condition that can quickly turn deadly.

The blocked intestines can also disrupt digestive processes, leading to constipation and lack of appetite.

Why Do Dogs Eat Soap?

Many reasons can make your dog take a bite out of your soap. One of them is because of sheer curiosity. Other reasons include:

  • Disorders

Some disorders, such as Pica, can make dogs eat soap. It is a condition that causes dogs to eat non-food materials.

Among the root causes of Pica is an unbalanced diet. Your dog can eat soap in a bid to find the missing nutrients. Dogs can relate the scent of soap with the food they would enjoy eating and act upon that instinct, seeking to find more nutrition.

You can ensure this doesn’t happen to your furry friend by constantly feeding them a full and balanced diet.

  • Teething

Puppies are likely to chew on soap during teething, which takes several days or weeks. During this period, they will find anything lying around that they can chew on, including soap. Do not put soap where they can easily reach to avoid this risk.

What To Do If Your Dog Eats Soap

The soap contains harmful ingredients that can cause severe reactions when your dog ingests it. Stay calm if you see your dog eating soap. Panicking or overreacting can make your dog panic too, which might cause them to swallow the soap in their mouth.

Here’s how to go about the situation.

  1. Move the soap away from your dog to prevent them from eating it any further. Find any other materials they can eat and store them away as well.
  2. Use plain water to flush their mouth to eliminate the harsh effects of chemicals. Ensure your pup doesn’t swallow the water that contains soap while rinsing it out.
  3. Contact a veterinary doctor for treatment. Let them know the type of soap your dog ate to enable them to take the appropriate action. They can advise you to monitor the dog and wait for the soap to pass naturally. If the situation calls for it, they might decide to do surgery on the dog. This can be necessary if the piece of soap has blocked their stomach or esophagus.
  4. Follow the instructions your vet gives in the letter to improve your dog’s chances of survival.

Signs That Indicate Your Dog Has Eaten Soap

Your pup can eat soap when you are away, making it hard for you to know if it ingested it. Look out for any of the following physical reactions that indicate they have eaten soap or another foreign object.

  1. Lack of Appetite – Your dog may not want to eat or drink anything. The burns and sores in their mouth caused by acidic chemicals from the soap can be too painful, making it uncomfortable to put anything in their mouth.
  2. Drooling – Irritation or injuries in the mouth can cause uncontrolled drooling. Ingestion of toxins into the stomach can also cause drooling.
  3. Diarrhea and Vomiting – Non-food materials cause chemical reactions in the stomach. Diarrhea and vomiting may happen simultaneously as a result of soap poisoning.
  4. Bloating – It is caused by excess building up of gases produced in the stomach. The reaction between the digestive acids in the stomach and soap acids produces gases that, when retained in the gut, cause bloating. This is dangerous for dogs and can be extremely painful.

How To Prevent Your Dog From Eating Soap

Some of these measures you can take to stop your dog from eating soap include:

  • Supplementing your dog’s diet – Your dog can eat soap because of a lack of nutrients or an unbalanced diet. Supplementing your dog’s diet will ensure fundamentals are supplied.
  • Storing soap properly – Ensure you keep soap and other cleaning agents in closed containers to prevent your dog from eating them. Keep the containers away from your dog’s reach to further prevent access.

Treating Soap Toxicity In Dogs

Your vet will recommend the right course of action. They will use a treatment option depending on the amount and type of soap your dog ate. It will also depend on the symptoms you have observed.

The first treatment your vet can recommend is to wash your dog’s mouth with plenty of water to reduce the damage. Do this immediately after ingestion. Depending on the severity of the situation, they may then ask you to monitor your dog at home or take it to the clinic for further treatment.

Do not induce vomiting without your vet’s directions, as this will expose internal tissues to chemical burns.

Final Thoughts

Dogs eating soap is dangerous. It may cause an adverse reaction that risks your pup’s life. Ensure you store soap in places your dog cannot easily reach to prevent this.

Call your veterinarian for help immediately after you discover your furry friend has eaten soap. Listen and follow their advice. Quick action is necessary to save your pup’s life.

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