My Dog Ate A Towel! What Should I Do?

“Eat like a dog”- Ever heard that funny term? Dogs are inquisitive in nature. Because of this, they tend to stick their noses and, consequently, their mouths in things they really should not. 

It has happened to the best of us. You see your dog playing with a foreign object and decide that he will be fine. A moment later, you are screaming no as he rapidly gobbles up the item and stares at you, seemingly asking why you wouldn’t want him to eat his tasty treat. Yup, canine companions can be cute weirdos.

Did your dog eat a towel? Trust me; I’m not surprised. In this article, we will discuss what to do if your canine friend swallows a towel (or any similar item). So, let’s get right into it!

Why Did My Dog Eat a Towel?

There are many reasons why your dog would think of a towel as a suitable meal. Maybe your little one thought the towel looked fascinating and decided to see if it would taste fascinating as well. It could also be that the towel smelled like yummy chicken, or it fell on the floor, and your baby decided to play a game of prey and predator with his new friend. Don’t rule out a health issue, though, because, despite their curious nature, it is not normal for an adult dog who has learned how to recognize edible items to continually eat foreign objects. 

Boredom is a likely cause of weird feeding habits. A dog’s nosey nature has him sniffing at everything he comes across. However, dogs will often grow past this stage. This is why it is so important to keep a close eye on your companion, especially if he is known to eat everything outside.

Ingesting non-food materials like a towel can sometimes mean that your dog is dealing with a health condition. Several health conditions such as a nutritional imbalance, presence of gastrointestinal parasites, maldigestion or malabsorption, anemia, and liver disease can be responsible for this. Furthermore, if a dog begins to consume towels deliberately, he might be stress-eating in response to certain conditions. If your dog is notorious for compulsively consuming non-food items, he might be suffering from a condition known as pica.

What Happens if My Dog Ate a Towel?

Towel eating can result in grievous consequences for your dog, and in some cases, there might be no serious effects. This largely depends on two factors – the amount of the towel consumed and the dog’s size. Most large dogs have a habit of shredding towels and not necessarily ingesting them, but where a large amount of towel is consumed, it can cause serious problems, especially for the digestive tract.

Shredded towels in small quantities will likely go through the gastrointestinal tract and be passed out in feces without any problems. You may only get to find out that they ingested something they ought not to when you inspect their stool. However, large towel pieces can block the GI tract and lead to complications for the dog resulting in the need for surgery.

The large towel chunks can get stuck somewhere in the digestive tract resulting in a blockage. This is often characterized by vomiting or lethargy. Such a dog might become too weak or dehydrated, and these conditions are also serious. You will need to call your vet’s attention when you suspect your dog has consumed a large piece of towel to help detect any potential health problems.

Should I Be Concerned if My Dog Ate a Towel?

Of course, you should be bothered as a pet parent when your fur baby ingests a towel. However, you need to know that being concerned is not the same as panicking. Nobody wants their four-legged friend to be in danger, and it is almost impossible not to feel slightly liable when an avoidable situation like this happens. 

Sometimes dogs may vomit the towel piece that they consumed, or it may pass out through their poop to be released. If things do not go this way, you do not have to induce vomiting because it might just cause more problems like choking. Calling your vet at this point is highly recommended.

When the towel piece gets stuck in the stomach or intestines, you should be a little concerned. If not treated quickly, this might lead to other gastrointestinal issues or even death. The more reason you should involve your vet as soon as you detect towel ingestion in your doggie or contact the 24hr emergency vet services in your area.

What About if My Dog Ate a Towel and Is Throwing Up?

If your canine companion’s stomach receives an unexpected gift such as a towel or any other odd item, throwing up should be expected. Your doggie might need to throw up for several reasons, including irritation of the digestive tract by what was ingested, obstruction, or even the presence of toxins in what was eaten. All of these can induce vomiting and can only be accurately confirmed by your vet.

In the case of intestinal obstruction, you’ve got to reach out to your vet to help determine the extent of the blockage and the exact location where the obstruction is. If the blockage is confirmed, your dog will likely need surgery to get rid of it. Whether or not a blockage was confirmed, your vet will have to treat the vomiting first to prevent your fur baby from losing too much fluid.

The vomiting can be a result of the presence of toxins. If this is confirmed to be the cause of the vomiting, then your vet will need to flush out the toxins. Rehydration by passing a drip will help restore lost body fluids quickly, and while you are waiting for your vet, you can consider giving your dog clean water to drink each time he throws up. 

What Should I Do if My Dog Ate a Towel?

As much as you need to contact your vet when you find out that your pet has consumed a towel, remember that you are the first source of intervention, and you’ve just got to know what to do in times like this. Ingesting a foreign object can be quite dangerous, and knowing what to do can help manage the effects before you arrive at the vet clinic. You can also make your vet’s work easier by confirming how much of the towel was ingested, when it was eaten, and noting the symptoms that your dog shows afterward.

While you are awaiting your vet, pay close attention to your dog. If he ingested a large amount of towel, he may continue to vomit or can be lethargic and may refuse food or drink during this time. Do not try to feed your dog at this time, as they likely might have a blocked digestive tract. Instead, try to rehydrate your pooch.

If you notice that your dog’s state is worsening in any way while you are waiting for your vet, place a call again and ask them what you should do. Once your vet gives you instructions on what to do, get on with it quickly. You should also be ready to answer your vet’s questions to help them come up with the right diagnosis as soon as you arrive at the clinic.


It is never a fun thing when you have to deal with a potentially threatening issue with your furry friend. This is why you must pay close attention to your pet to make sure that he is not playing with anything dangerous. If your dog eats a towel, in most cases, you will get it (or shreds of it) back in poop or vomit. Stay calm, reach out to your veterinarian, and hope for the best.