Have you just watched your dog eat a bandaid? Are you now concerned about what may happen next? Is there anything you can do to help your dog, specifically? Well, you’ve come to the right place. This is what you now should do.
So, what should you do if your dog ate a bandaid? If your dog ate a bandaid, first check to see if they have swallowed it. Try to safely remove it, if possible. Otherwise, you will need to monitor your dog closely for choking or other digestion trouble over the next 24-48 hours. If your dog ate several bandaids, is in pain/discomfort, or their behavior changes, contact your vet immediately.
Of course, you are going to need to consider the circumstances here.
We will be looking at these shortly.
Nevertheless, if in doubt, do contact your vet. In fact, that’s wise regardless, if you can.
Besides, they’ll be able to take those factors into account and respond accordingly.
With this in mind, let us now look at how your dog is likely to respond before turning to exactly how you should respond in detail.
So don’t stop reading!
What Will Happen To A Dog That Eats a Bandaid?
For a dog that eats just one regular size adhesive bandage, such as the type often found in at-home first-aid kits, it is likely that nothing noticeable will happen to the dog. If a dog eats a very large bandaid, more than one bandaid, or extra medical gauze along with the bandaid, digestive problems could occur. Some complications that may come from eating a bandage include vomiting, diarrhea, choking (more common in small dogs), or a digestive blockage.
The biggest influences on how eating a bandaid affect a dog are bandage size, the amount is eaten if the bandage had any medications or ointments on it, and the size of the dog.
Naturally, the smaller (or younger) the dog, the higher the chances of adverse effects being experienced and observed.
Traditionally people keep small to medium-sized bandaids at home to cover up simple injuries sustained during daily activities.
These band-aids are not hazards for most dogs.
In most cases, dogs are unlikely to experience anything from eating bandaid.
They will simply pass it (through their stool), which we will discuss in a further section shortly.
It is possible that dogs will choke on a bandaid and will not be able to safely swallow it.
This is especially likely in small or young dogs.
Larger bandages that are given by doctors for placing over more serious injuries and bandages that are eaten alongside medical gauze present are naturally an increased choking hazard – for any dog.
One bandaid isn’t likely to be a major concern for most dogs and owners, though.
If a dog gets into a container of bandaids and eats multiple bandages, the dog could experience digestion problems.
Sometimes the bandaids can ball and stick together, creating a block in the dog’s digestion which can lead to more serious problems passing food and waste through the system.
Oftentimes bandaids are paired with medical ointments when they are applied to human injuries.
While these ointments are good for the injury, they can be bad for a dog if eaten.
Most medical ointments aren’t toxic in small amounts but could irritate a dog’s stomach and lead to vomiting or diarrhea.
If you are using prescription ointments that your dog eats off of a bandaid, it is smart to have this information handy and give your veterinarian a call.
Will A Band-Aid Pass-Through A Dog?
Typically, a swallowed bandaid will pass through a dog and come out in their stool. Small dogs and certain ‘toy’ breeds, however, have a higher risk of being unable to do so. Due to the fact that bandaids have adhesive on them, they may ball together in a dog’s stomach and can have trouble passing through the dog’s system.
When bandaids become balled together, they can create a blockage in the stomach or intestines of a dog.
This is why it is helpful to know if your dog has eaten only one or multiple bandaids.
A blockage prevents nutrients and waste from passing through the dog’s system, and a backup of materials can occur.
A dog that is experiencing a blockage may have loose stools, be straining to use the restroom without any results, look bloated, pace and whine, and show little interest in food or water.
A blockage is a serious concern that needs to be addressed by a veterinarian.
You should expect a bandaid to pass through a dog’s digestive system in one to two days.
The band-aid will not break down and should be visible in your dog’s poop.
Your dog may also vomit if a bandaid irritates its stomach; keep an eye on any vomit for the missing bandaid.
Can A Dog Die From Eating A Band-Aid?
It is possible for a dog to die from eating a bandaid, but more so from the complications, it could bring on. Typically, the negative effects of eating a single bandaid are more inconvenient than life-threatening. Eating multiple band-aids, very large bandaids, or band-aids treated with prescription ointment increases the risk of death for a dog.
Most bandaids are not toxic to dogs, but their disruption to a dog’s digestive system can have consequences.
Because a dog can choke on a band-aid or experience a gastrointestinal blockage from eating bandaids, it is important to monitor them closely after a bandaid eating incident.
If your dog vomits multiple times (and the bandaid does not come up in the vomit), is struggling to use the bathroom, shows signs of difficulty breathing, or has obvious pain after eating a bandaid, it is time to call your veterinarian.
What To Do Now That Your Dog Has Eaten A Band-Aid
To keep your dog safe and healthy after eating a bandaid, there are a few steps you should take.
Look In Your Dog’s Mouth or Throat For The Band-Aid
The first thing to do if you think your dog has swallowed a bandaid is to gently open its mouth and take a look inside. Be sure to look at the roof of your dog’s mouth, under their tongue, and in the space between your dog’s gums and cheeks.
If you are present when your dog eats a bandaid, quick action could prevent them from swallowing it.
Bandaids are sticky, and your dog may chew on them or get them stuck to the roof of their mouth for a short time before swallowing them.
Suppose you can see the band-aid – remove it quickly but carefully using one or two fingers. A band-aid that is on the back of a dog’s throat may be swept out with a hooked finger.
Assess The Situation Carefully
For owners who are not present when their dog eats a band-aid, it is important to take time to consider how many band-aids the dog may have eaten, what type of band-aids the dog ate and the band-aid size, and if there were any topical medicines on the band-aid.
As I mentioned earlier, each of these details has an influence on the level of concern you should have for your dog’s safety.
One small unmedicated bandage poses a different risk than a large band-aid covered in ointment or eating half a box of band-aids from a first aid kit.
Getting a general idea of the details is also helpful if you need to call your veterinarian. It is likely a veterinarian will want to know these things so they can help you make a care plan for your dog’s situation.
Watch Your Dog’s Behavior For The Next 24 – 48 Hours
If your dog has fully swallowed a band-aid, the smart thing to do is watch your dog’s behavior and stools closely over the next few days.
If your dog has sudden changes in their behavior, bathroom habits, or appetite, you should call your veterinarian immediately.
Sometimes a dog will have trouble swallowing a band-aid, or the band-aid will upset its stomach.
This may lead to the dog throwing up the band-aid. If you notice that your dog vomits up the band-aid, you can clear it away and out of reach, so it isn’t eaten again.
If your dog begins to repeatedly vomit without throwing up a bandaid, seek help.
Usually, within 48-72 hours, a dog will pass an undigested band-aid through its system and into its fecal matter.
It isn’t glamorous to be examining each backyard pile, but a surprising peace of mind can come with finding the offending band-aid safely out of your dog.
Don’t Be Afraid To Call Your Vet
A call to your veterinarian isn’t necessary every time your dog eats a band-aid or other non-food item.
Just the same, giving them a call if you feel worried or notice any odd behaviors from your dog isn’t a bad idea.
If you don’t know how many band-aids your dog ate or if you worry, the type of band-aid your dog ate may be toxic. You can call your vet for guidance on what to do next.
A veterinarian may suggest that you induce vomiting in your dog. If so, they will be able to tell you what substance and how much to use to encourage your dog to vomit safely.
Lower Chances For Future Band-Aid Eating
For many dogs, band-aid eating will be a one-time occurrence, but others may be more persistent in their attempts at eating a band-aid snack.
Lower the chances of your dog eating another band-aid by storing unused band-aids in latched boxes, disposing of used band-aids in a trash can with a dog-proof lid, and avoiding removing band-aids in places where dogs can reach them.
For some dogs, eating a bandaid holds an unexplainable appeal.
Not sure quite why, mind you!
Nevertheless, it could always be an accident, too, the result of investigating the material and chewing on it.
Nevertheless, it’s obviously not a good thing for dogs to eat.
But if you have observed your dog has done this, the key is to remain calm, check for ways to remove the band-aid from their mouth, observe for signs of change in behavior or appetite, and respond accordingly.
It could be to do nothing or may require the support of your vet.
And from there, well, you are going to need to take steps to prevent future band-aid eating opportunities!
Concerned or wondering what other things your dog can/cannot eat. Check out my related guides below:
- My Dog Ate Aspirin
- Dog Ate Cough Drops
- My Dog Ate Toothpaste
- Dog Ate Toy Stuffing
- 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.