If your dog recently took out their energy on a stuffed toy, it may have eaten some of the soft stuffing. Naturally, you are likely concerned. Do you need to call the vet; will your dog be able to pass the toy stuffing at home? Well, here is how you should respond.
So, what should you do if your dog has eaten toy stuffing? First, ensure your dog is not choking, and remove any stuffing you can safely and easily remove from their mouths. From there, monitor your dog closely over the next 24-48 hours and call your vet if you notice anything unusual in your dog’s behavior or eating habits.
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If your dog has eaten toy stuffing, it is essential that you do not panic.
But don’t be naïve either.
First, be sure that your dog has actually eaten the stuffing. It may be that they have ripped a toy apart and left the stuffing to one side.
Even if you find some in their mouths, they may not have actually swallowed any.
But if you know for sure they have, then do all you can to stop any more from being consumed.
Clear up and take the time to look at the toy/stuffing to get an idea of the texture and stuffing type, as well as get a rough idea as to how much may have been eaten.
This may be important information to relay to your vet later.
Nevertheless, let us continue to explore how dangerous this really is before turning to the recommended response.
Can Dogs Eat Fluff From Toys?
Dogs should not eat the fluff found inside many dog toys or fluff from other items such as pillows, children’s toys, or furniture. These fillings are not designed to be safe or edible for dogs. You should not allow your dog to chew on and swallow fluff from toys.
Fluff from toys poses several risks to dogs, with the main concerns being choking or a digestive system blockage.
Dogs may also get pieces of stringy stuffing stuck in their mouths between their teeth.
Depending on the material and process used to make the stuffing, the dog could feel ill after eating toy fluff.
Some dogs love to shred and pull at the fluff from toys.
These dogs may need to be offered only toys that do not have any type of fluffy filling.
They will also need to be monitored around pillows and furniture or go through training to learn to leave these objects alone.
Is Stuffing Poisonous To Dogs?
Many types of toy fluff are non-toxic to dogs, but some types of fluff could pose a poisoning risk depending on what it is made from or how it is made. The good news is that the fluff used in most dog toys is designed to be non-toxic to dogs and has a very limited (if any) poison risk for pets and people.
It is the fluff found in household furniture such as couches and upholstered stools that may not be designed with completely non-toxic materials.
Sometimes a fluff will be made from a harmless material but be exposed to toxic chemicals in the manufacturing process.
This is the case for some polyester-based fluff objects.
The poisoning risk for dogs that eat small amounts of fluff is extremely low.
Even for dogs that eat a noticeable amount of fluff, the poison risk – while possible- should not be the main concern for most owners.
Instead, the digestion and safe passing of the fluff material should be the owner’s focus.
What Will Happen To A Dog That Eats Toy Stuffing?
Many dogs will eat small amounts of toy stuffing from time to time and be completely fine. They simply pass the toy stuffing through their system and out in their stool. For other dogs, eating toy stuffing can result in an upset stomach, choking, or a digestive block.
Monitoring for signs of these conditions is important as they can be life-threatening for a dog.
Can A Dog Die From Toy Stuffing?
It is possible for a dog to die from complications related to eating toy stuffing. Toy stuffing as a material alone isn’t likely to kill a dog unless it is made of or coated with a toxic substance. Instead, the stuffing is dangerous because it is hard for a dog’s stomach to digest and can quickly form clumps of undigested material in a dog’s stomach or intestines, with complications leading to death.
Toy stuffing is not made of any regular food materials.
It is designed to be springy and clumps together to add size and softness to whatever it is filling.
This is great news for stuffed animals and potentially dangerous news for your snacking dog.
Toy stuffing gets chewed by curious dogs, but when it doesn’t break down, the dog instinctively tries to swallow the pieces whole.
Swallowing large chunks of toy fluff whole can make dogs choke.
A dog that is choking and does not receive medical help can die.
A dog’s stomach may struggle to break down the toy filling, and instead, the filling gets lodged in the stomach or other digestive organs and blocks the path for important foods and waste as they try to pass by.
This problem is known as a blockage and can be fatal to dogs who are left untreated.
Careful monitoring of your dog after it eats toy fluff is important so that you can seek veterinary help if your dog shows signs of illness.
Will Toy Stuffing Pass-Through A Dog?
Most of the time, small amounts of stuffing will pass through the dog that eats it. Any stuffing that doesn’t break down as it moves through a dog’s stomach and intestines will be passed into the dog’s stool within a couple of days of being eaten.
If a dog eats a large amount of stuffing, or if the dog itself is very small, there is a chance that the stuffing will struggle to pass through.
Some stuffings absorb digestive liquids and expand in the process, making them hard for the dog’s system to pass.
Other times, a dog eats a large clump of stuffing that rolls and twists into a size so big it is hard for a dog to get through their digestive system.
Also, because stuffing is soft, a dog may have trouble moving it through its system because it cannot build up any pressure that would help move the item along towards the exit.
If a dog is unable to pass stuffing, it will need help from a veterinarian to get its digestive system working properly again and to avoid further complications.
What To Do Now That Your Dog Has Eaten Toy Stuffing
Watching your dog eat toy stuffing can be alarming, but you don’t need to panic. Follow the steps below to help make sure your dog stays healthy.
Find Out What Your Dog Ate
Examine any chewed-up toys your dog has pulled stuffing from.
Looking over the toy can help determine how much stuffing you think your dog may have eaten and the texture and type of stuffing.
Knowing the amount and general type of stuffing your dog has eaten can help you determine the seriousness of the situation.
This information is also useful if you call or visit your veterinarian.
If you walk in on your dog actively eating stuffing, it is worth it to remove stuffing pieces from their mouth.
If your dog has stuffing in or near its throat (far back in its mouth), do not try to remove it, as you may accidentally end up pushing it further down.
If In Doubt, Call Your Vet
While eating toy stuffing isn’t usually a major emergency, calling your vet is a good idea if you have any worries about your dog’s safety.
When you call your vet, they will likely ask for the information you gathered in step one.
Your vet can advise you if they think you should come in for a detailed exam or take other active steps to keep your pet healthy.
By letting your vet know about the situation, you also save yourself some time if you end up needing to take your dog in later due to a problem from eating the toy stuffing.
Keep A Close Eye On Your Dog’s Behavior For 24-48 Hours
A dog that eats toy stuffing may not show any immediate signs of distress.
If the dog is able to swallow the stuffing without choking, it is likely they will appear to be just fine. If the stuffing causes a digestive blockage, you may not know until several hours later.
To monitor for a blockage, keep an eye on your dog’s appetite, bathroom habits, and overall behavior.
A dog experiencing a blockage may lose their appetite, gag or vomit, struggle to use the restroom, and be unable to settle and relax.
They may also look bloated or show signs of pain when touched and petted.
If your dog acts unwell in a day or two after eating toy stuffing, seek a veterinarian immediately.
Replace Stuffed Toys With Alternative Options
Many dogs simply can’t resist the temptation to chew and shred stuffed toys which result in them eating toy stuffing more than once.
If your dog makes eating stuffing a habit, consider purchasing dog toys without stuffing, or fabric.
Many toys exist for dogs to chew without the risk of stuffing.
Rubber toys that can be filled with treats or flavoring are popular for many active chewers.
Kong toys are ideal for all dog breeds of various sizes:
- Instinctual Needs: The KONG Classic red rubber toy helps satisfy dogs' instinctual needs while providing mental stimulation. Healthy play is important for dogs' physical and mental development, emotions and behavior. By encouraging healthy play and satisfying instinctual needs, this treat dispensing puzzle toy helps solve chewing, separation anxiety, teething, boredom, weight management, crate training, digging and barking
- Fetch Toy: The KONG Classic's unpredictable bounce makes for exciting games of fetch and other interactive play with your pet. This is a fun way for average chewers to get the exercise they need
- Great For Stuffing: The stuffable KONG Classic is even more enticing when treat filled with bits of kibble, peanut butter, KONG Easy Treat, Snacks or Ziggies. Dishwasher safe for easy clean up. Bonus: For an added challenge, freeze stuffed KONG for 4-6 hours before giving to your dog
- Vet Recommended: Veterinarians and trainers worldwide recommend the KONG Classic as one of the best durable dog toys available
- Made in the USA. Globally Sourced Materials
Some bones are also safe for long-term chewing.
One of my own dogs loves their favorite stuffed toy and will not chew it up if I am around, but I know if I leave the dog and toy alone together, we will have stuffing everywhere in no time.
For this reason, my dog gets to have their stuffed toy when I’m home to monitor them and has alternate stuffing-free toys for when I am gone.
A dog eating toy stuffing isn’t an urgent life and death emergency in most cases.
However, there are some precautions to take if your dog has eaten stuffing.
By cleaning up the stuffing, determining how much your dog may have eaten, monitoring your dog for signs of illness, and not hesitating to call your veterinarian, you can usually keep your dog healthy and safe after eating any of this spongey substance!
It will typically take between 10-24 hours for a dog to pass stuffing (if they are capable of doing so). Although the amount eaten, type of stuffing and age, diet, and health status of your dog can all influence these times.
The main symptoms of a blockage in a dog are loss of appetite, weakness, and straining (unable to poop). General lethargy and disinterest are common too.
Feeding a dense yet highly desirable meal will help your dog pass stuffing. Eating will turn on the digestive system and provide bulk for the stool to pass the stuffing out.
Concerned or wondering what other things your dog can/cannot eat. Check out my related guides below:
- My Dog Ate A Scrunchie
- My Dog Ate A Napkin
- My Dog Ate A Baby Wipe
- My Dog Ate A Bandaid
- Dog Ate A Balloon
- Dog Ate Babybel Wax
- Dog Ate Play-Doh
- Dog Ate Cling Film
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.