Veterinarian Column: Accidental ingestion/ingestion by pets

by Alice's Dog & Cat獣医師

Alice's Dog&Cat Veterinarian Column

Accidental ingestion or ingestion by pets can be life-threatening depending on what is ingested. This time, we will explain the dangers of accidental ingestion and ingestion by pets, how to deal with it, and what you can do to prevent it.

Risk of accidental ingestion or ingestion

・Risk of suffocation due to airway obstruction

・Risk of obstruction of the esophagus, stomach, and intestines

・Risk of gastrointestinal damage

・Danger of acute poisoning

If a foreign object or large piece of food is swallowed whole, there is a risk of choking, gastrointestinal obstruction, or damage to the gastrointestinal tract. If your pet ingests foods, plants, or medicines that are harmful to your pet, there is a risk of acute poisoning.

Items that pets can easily ingest or swallow by mistake

Alice's Dog&Cat Veterinarian Column

・Toothpaste gum

・Pet toys

·children's toy

・Clothing buttons

・Tissues, pet sheets, masks

・String, cloth


・Bamboo skewers

・Stones, sand

・Fish hook

·Coin battery



・Owner's medicine


・Chocolate, onion

・Harmful plants

The above is what I have experienced in my medical practice.

Other ethylene glycol, ice packs, insecticides, detergents, xylitol, etc.

Symptoms of accidental ingestion/ingestion





・Difficulty breathing

Pets may be asymptomatic even after accidental ingestion or ingestion. If your dog eats when the owner is not looking and symptoms do not appear, detection may be delayed.

If you notice that you have accidentally ingested something

If the airway is blocked or breathing becomes difficult

Treatment : If the foreign object is visible when you open your mouth, remove it by hand. If part of the string is sticking out of the mouth, it is dangerous to pull it forcibly. Take your dog to the animal hospital immediately.

For medium-sized and large-sized dogs : When your pet is about to vomit, tap the area between the shoulder blades with your palm spread out several times to see if any foreign matter comes out.

Cats/Small Dogs When your pet is about to vomit, spread your palms out from both sides and apply pressure to the chest in the direction the pet is trying to vomit.

If it is not possible to remove the foreign object, take the animal to a veterinary hospital immediately. Also, if a foreign object is removed, be sure to have your pet examined at a veterinary hospital.

If swallowed

If you notice that your pet has ingested it by mistake, immediately contact the veterinary hospital and tell them what, when, and how much was eaten. At the veterinary hospital, we will perform the necessary tests (X-ray examination, ultrasound examination, blood test) and the necessary treatment (emetic treatment, intravenous drip, administration of adsorbents, etc.).

Alice's Dog&Cat Veterinarian Column

* It is dangerous to induce vomiting at home . On the internet, there are instructions on how to give your dog salt, saline solution, and oxidol. It is difficult to feed these to pets, and there are risks such as aspiration, problems due to excessive salt intake, and ulcers in the gastrointestinal tract due to oxidol.


- If you have pets in your home, do not leave food, medicine, etc. on the table. Be careful when leaving your seat or going out.

・Do not give toys that are large enough to be swallowed whole.

- Don't leave your child's toys out

- Consider your pet's personality and give them food that is easy to swallow whole in a hurry. (Choose gum and food that are appropriate for your weight.)

Alice's Dog&Cat Veterinarian Column

・Watch carefully when giving toys, gum, etc. for the first time.

Alice's Dog&Cat Veterinarian Column

・Some types of houseplants are poisonous. Avoid placing plants that may cause poisoning if your pet accidentally ingests them.

・Prevent pets from entering the kitchen by installing a gate.

Many cases of accidental ingestion or ingestion by pets occur due to carelessness on the part of the owners . Pets tend to eat things you least expect, or steal food when you take your eyes off them for a split second. A child who accidentally eats a food once may eat it a second or third time. Check to see if there is any risk of your pet accidentally ingesting the food, consider your pet's personality when choosing toys and food, and be careful to prevent your pet from causing accidents.