Your dog has eaten a candy wrapper, foil or otherwise. Maybe they’ve eaten several.
You’re now naturally concerned. What do you now need to do? How dangerous is this?
Well, here is exactly how you should respond, with some thoughts and considerations along the way…
So, what should you do if your dog has eaten a candy wrapper? If your dog has eaten a candy wrapper, it is best to contact your vet right away. While your dog may be able to naturally pass it within 2-5 days, the ‘sit and wait’ approach is not advised since it could cause an cause a life-threatening bowel obstruction.
What Will Happen To A Dog That Eats A Candy Wrapper?
They May Manage To Pass It
Candy wrappers can be passed, though whether your dog is able to do this will ultimately depend on their size, digestive health and the type of wrapper they consumed.
Foil and cellophane wrappers are particularly difficult to digest/pass.
And of course the more/larger the wrappers, the more unlikely too.
Thankfully, when a dog eats foreign material, the body’s natural instinct is to try and expel it out through the stool.
Most candy wrappers are lightweight and pliable, so they can potentially travel through the digestive tract without causing significant issues.
However, just because it’s possible does not mean you should wait. As we shall soon see why.
It Could Cause An Obstruction
Blockages are another potential, and unfavorable outcome.
Essentially, this is where it gets caught and stuck in your dogs digestive tract.
Signs of an obstruction can include loss of appetite, vomiting, lethargy, not defecating and abdominal pain.
But as previously mentioned, it’s better not to wait for these symptoms to develop.
Can a Dog Pass a Candy Wrapper?
A dog may be able to pass a candy wrapper, but not always. The ability to pass the wrapper largely depends on the size of the wrapper, the size and health of the dog, and how the wrapper was consumed (was it crumpled, shredded, or swallowed whole?).
Generally, dogs with a robust digestive system and larger breeds have a higher chance of passing the wrapper without any complications.
Assuming a dog is able to do so, the wrapper will be deposited via the stool.
What To Do If Your Dog Has Eaten A Candy Wrapper
Try To Remain Calm
It’s natural to feel a surge of panic.
However, it’s crucial to remain calm.
Panicking won’t solve the issue at hand, but maintaining a level head allows you to think clearly, assess the situation effectively, and take appropriate and swift action.
Your calm demeanor can also prevent your dog from picking up on your anxiety, ensuring they remain as relaxed as possible throughout the ordeal.
Remove Any Leftover Wrappers
Remove any remaining wrappers or candies that may be within their reach to prevent further consumption.
Equally, if you can, try to inspect their mouth to see if any remaining wrapper remains.
If you can, try to remove them without harming your dog, causing distress or risking injury to yourself.
Then, monitor your pet closely for any signs of distress or changes in behavior.
Take note of all changes, along with a record of the events – exactly what they ate, when etc.
This is going to be valuable information to relay to the vet.
Contact A Vet
It’s always best to contact a vet while in the early stages.
That way, any potential complications can be avoided, or their impact dramatically reduced.
This is especially critical if you see symptoms suggesting a blockage, or if your dog is a small breed or has a history of gastrointestinal issues.
What Your Vet May Do If Your Dog Has Eaten A Candy Wrapper
One of the first things your vet may do is take an x-ray.
This helps them locate its exact location, along with determine whether it is/could cause an obstruction in the gastrointestinal tract.
Depending on when your dog ate the candy wrapper, your vet might decide to induce vomiting.
This procedure can help expel the wrapper from the stomach before it travels further into the intestines and potentially cause complications.
However, this approach is typically only used within a few hours of ingestion and is not always recommended.
In severe cases where the wrapper has caused an obstruction that cannot be resolved naturally or through induced vomiting, your vet may need to perform surgery.
This procedure would involve removing the wrapper directly from the digestive tract.
While this may sound alarming, be assured that vets are highly skilled professionals trained to deal with these situations and will always aim to ensure the best possible outcome for your pet.
Follow-Up Care After a Candy Wrapper Incident
Post-recovery, it’s essential to monitor your dog for any changes in their behavior or bowel movements.
Your vet might recommend a diet that will help facilitate the passing of the wrapper or soothe your dog’s digestive tract post-recovery.
Regularly hydrate your dog and provide them with gentle exercise.
This could be in the form of a gentle walk or light playtime.
Both these measures can help their digestive system get back to normal more quickly.
However, it’s equally important not to stress your dog by constantly checking on them, as they can sense your anxiety, which might increase their stress levels.
Treat them with love, patience, and compassion, as they may be feeling discomfort or anxiety themselves.
Preventing Future Incidents
To prevent future incidents of your dog eating a candy wrapper or other indigestible items, take note of the following:
- Keep candies and other food items out of your dog’s reach.
- Train your dog to understand the “leave it” command.
- Regularly clean up after eating candies or similar foods to ensure no wrappers are left lying around.
- Monitor your dog during walks and prevent them from picking up and eating unknown items off the ground.
At this point, it truly is over to you.
While you may feel like you want to go with the ‘sit it out and wait’ approach, and even while your dog may be able to successfully pass the candy wrapper, it’s not the recommended approach.
Regardless of the size of the wrapper, regardless of how large your dog is; consult a vet.
You would never forgive yourself should your dog take a turn for the worse, or have to go through intense surgery.
It really is not worth the risk.
Get professional advice, and take it from there.
Rest assured by doing so, and by doing so promptly, the outcomes will naturally be far more favorable.
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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.