For some bizarre reason, your dog has decided to eat some Play-Doh. It’s entirely normal to be concerned when our dogs eat things that they aren’t supposed to but before you panic, read below to find out exactly what you should do next.
So, what should you do if your dog has eaten Play-Doh? What you should do if your dog has eaten Play-Doh depends on the amount they ate and the size of your dog. If your dog is small, young, or a large amount has been eaten – call a vet. Otherwise, close monitoring of your dog over the next 48 hours is a recommended course of action.
Ultimately, it is going to come down to context.
So, if you are in doubt, call your vet right away. This is especially true if you don’t know how much they have consumed.
They’ll likely be fine, but there is always the chance they won’t – so don’t take risks here.
And that said, knowing what signs of illness to watch for is essential.
So keep reading.
I have documented all you need to know right here in this article.
What Will Happen To A Dog That Eats Play-Doh?
What happens when a dog eats play-doh depends mostly on its size and the amount of play-doh consumed. Both store-bought and homemade play-dohs are high in salt, which can pose a risk to dogs. Dogs who eat play-doh may have increased thirst or an upset stomach. Dogs who become excessively thirsty, begin vomiting, have diarrhea, or are shaking and lethargic need immediate veterinary attention.
Dogs are more sensitive to salt than humans.
Too much salt can cause a dog to experience salt poisoning if the salt level in their blood becomes too high.
Salt poisoning draws water from a dog’s muscles and tissue into the bloodstream to try and control the blood’s suddenly high salt levels.
This can make a dog weak, experience muscle tremors, and bring on seizures. While this condition is serious, the good news is that it is also rare.
Most dogs who eat small amounts of play-doh will not experience any noticeable side effects from their weird snacking habits.
Monitoring your dog after eating play-doh is a safe way to make sure they get medical help if it is needed.
If your dog is very small or has eaten what you consider to be a large amount of play-doh, a trip to the veterinarian is a smart idea to get a head start on any negative effects the play-doh may have.
Can Dogs Digest Play-Doh?
Most ingredients in both store-bought and homemade play-dohs are digestible by dogs. The digestion of these ingredients may cause a dog to experience an upset stomach or other side effects.
Many people prefer to make their own play-doh at home using simple ingredients such as flour, water, and vegetable oil.
These ingredients can all be broken down by your dog’s digestive system.
Store-bought play-dohs can have a variety of ingredients but are designed to be non-toxic for people and therefore have mostly digestible ingredients.
Dogs may struggle to digest play-doh if they eat large quantities or swallow play-doh formations whole without much chewing.
Any item consumed in large amounts or that is large in size and shape poses a choking risk and a digestive blockage risk.
A dog that is choking will struggle to breathe, may drool excessively, and be visibly attempting to swallow or vomit.
The dog may also lose consciousness. If any of these occur after eating play-doh, call a vet immediately.
A dog with a digestive blockage will often lose its appetite, struggle to use the restroom, and act irritated or uncomfortable.
The dog may show signs of pain and may be sick to its stomach.
Regardless of what your dog has eaten, call a veterinarian if these symptoms occur.
Can Play-Doh Kill A Dog?
Play-doh killing a dog is a rare but not an impossible occurrence. The largest concern for a dog who has eaten play-doh is salt poisoning. Salt poisoning left untreated is often deadly to dogs.
The risk your dog faces after eating play-doh is close related to your dog’s size and the amount of play-doh they ate.
Small dogs cannot handle digesting as much salt as larger dogs. The smaller the dog, the more concerning it is when they eat play-doh.
If you have a very small dog (under 5 pounds) or a young dog, any amount of play-doh eating should lead to a call to check in with your veterinarian.
If you have a larger dog who has only eaten a small amount, the play-doh is unlikely to lead to death. If your dog ate multiple packages of play-doh or another large amount, the chance of life-threatening salt poisoning increases.
What To Do Now That Your Dog Has Eaten Play-Doh
If your dog has eaten play-doh, take a few deep breaths and work your way through the steps below.
Consider Your Dog’s Weight And Amount Of Play-Doh Eaten
The two biggest factors in the level of concern for a dog who has eaten play-doh are the dog’s weight and the amount of play-dough consumed. The smaller the dog, the less play-doh they can safely eat.
For very small dogs such as Teacup Chihuahuas, Pomeranians, or Yorkshire Terriers, even eating small amounts of play-doh could be a problem. This is also true for very young puppies whose digestive systems may not be fully mature.
For larger dogs such as Golden Retrievers, Boxers, or Great Danes, the risk of eating small amounts of play-doh significantly decreases. Still, if these dogs have eaten a considerable amount (full containers of play-doh, entire play-doh creations), they will need monitoring for salt poisoning and a possible check-in with the veterinarian.
Monitor Your Dog For Signs of Salt Poisoning
Salt poisoning can be a life-threatening event for a dog.
If after eating play-doh your dog becomes excessively thirsty, loses its appetite, has new or unexplained shaking or leg weakness, vomiting or diarrhea that happens more than once, or seems extremely lethargic, call your veterinarian immediately.
Salt poisoning may not be noticeable until a few hours after your dog has eaten play-doh.
Salt poisoning has been known to show up anywhere from 3-12 hours after the salt or salty item was eaten.
For this reason, watching your dog closely for 24 hours is a good idea.
You May Need To Call Your Vet If…
If your dog is very young, small, or has eaten more than a few tablespoons of play-doh, it is smart to give your veterinarian a call.
Your vet can look at your dog’s exact weight, and the type of play-doh eaten and determine if further action is needed.
If your dog shows any signs of salt poisoning, call your veterinarian right away and let them know about the situation.
Salt poisoning needs the support of a veterinarian’s medical intervention.
If your dog seems to have a lingering upset stomach or diarrhea in the days after eating play-doh, call your veterinarian even if you do not think they have salt poisoning.
Your dog may have a digestive blockage from eating an oddly shaped mass of play-doh and need help passing the play-doh through its system.
Avoid Future Play-doh Eating Incidents
Dogs don’t always learn their lesson about what they shouldn’t eat the first time.
To avoid play-doh eating in the future, make sure to only use play-doh on elevated surfaces such as tables or counters.
Store play-doh in containers with tight lids and behind cabinet doors that your dog cannot open.
Always monitor children who are using play-doh around dogs and keep any drying play-doh projects far above a dog’s level of reach.
Play-doh eating happens from time to time when you have dogs and crafts in the same place.
The key to handling the situation is to not panic, assess your dog’s size and amount eaten, and monitor your dog carefully for illness.
Calling your veterinarian if you have concerns is always a safe option and preventing future play-doh eating will help put your mind at ease once your dog is deemed healthy and safe.
Concerned or wondering what other things your dog can/cannot eat. Check out my related guides below:
- Dog Ate Toy Stuffing
- Dog Ate A Balloon
- Dog Ate Babybel Wax
- My Dog Ate A Scrunchie
- My Dog Ate A Napkin
- My Dog Ate A Baby Wipe
- My Dog Ate A Bandaid
I am a practiced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site I created to share everything I’ve learned about pet ownership over the years and my extensive research along the way.