Dog Ate Collar? Here’s What to Do!

When it comes to dogs eating weird things, the sky is the limit – from other pets’ poop to drywall to wood. But what happens if a dog decides to eat its own collar? What to expect and what to do? 

Help, my dog ate its collar! If your dog ate its collar, it is best to call the vet and ask for instructions. Depending on the situation, you may have to wait and monitor your dog or go directly to the clinic. In both cases, it is important to seek help and follow the vet’s recommendations. 

In this article, we will talk about the dangers of dogs eating their collars. We will go through the potential outcomes and give some helpful tips on what to do. Finally, we will talk about the importance of preventing such incidents. 

DOG ATE COLLAR

What Happens if A Dog Eats a Collar?

What happens after a dog eats a collar depends on many factors. Some of them are related to the collar (size, material) and others to the dog (size, overall health, eating type – chewer or gulper). Generally speaking, there are two possible scenarios. 

Scenario number 1: Digestive upset before the dog poops the collar 

If you and your dog are lucky, the collar will cause a digestive upset, and after spending several days in the dog’s stomach, it will be pooped out. The digestive upset will manifest with the classic signs of vomiting, diarrhea/constipation, lack of appetite, lethargy, and abdominal pain. Some upset digestive cases can be managed at home, while others may require proper veterinary attention. 

Scenario number 2: Digestive obstruction followed by surgical removal

If the collar gets to the colon, it will be removed. However, if it gets stuck in the upper sections of the gastrointestinal system, it will have to be removed surgically. The surgical procedure for foreign body removal is not routine – it requires a skilled vet and proper postoperative care. However, it is necessary and, in some cases, life-saving. 

What to Do if A Dog Eats a Collar?

If your dog ate a collar, you need to call your trusted veterinarian and explain what happened as calmly as possible (which can be easier said than done). The more info you provide, the more accurate instructions the vet will give. 

The vet’s instructions will depend on several factors, including:

  • When the accident happened
  • Whether your dog swallowed the entire collar 
  • Whether the collar had metal or plastic parts. 

If the accident occurred within the last two hours, the veterinarian would instruct you to induce vomiting. This is best achieved using hydrogen peroxide (the solution is efficient, and it can be found in most households). 

However, if it has been more than two hours or you do not know when the dog ate the collar, there is no point in vomiting inductions. In such a case, the vet may suggest monitoring the dog at home or having it brought to the clinic for closer and more delicate supervision. 

If you are prone to panic, it is better to go for the second option. Get your dog to the clinic and leave it there – the veterinary staff will keep a close eye and keep you up-to-date, and you will have peace of mind. 

How Can I Help My Dog Pass a Collar?

If the vet recommended the wait and see approach, you can focus on helping your dog pass the collar sooner and smoother. This may sound like a tricky job but is, in fact, quite easy. 

All you need to do is feed your dog a bland diet and a bulky diet. It is important not to withdraw food because of several reasons, including:

  • The right ingredients (from the bland diet) will keep the dog’s stomach calm and prevent upsets caused by the foreign body.
  • Adding bulkiness will help remove the foreign objects without causing damage to the lining of the digestive tract. 
  • Eating stimulates the secretion of gastric juices, which can help partially dissolve parts of the foreign object (in this case, the collar). 

Keep in mind that collars and similar foreign objects may need a couple of days before coming out the dog’s rear end. Observe your dog closely, and if there are no signs of the collar or your dog starts showing additional worrisome signs and symptoms, go to the vet’s office immediately. 

How Can I Prevent My Dog from Eating Its Collar?

Accidents can happen, and no matter how much you are trying to protect your dog, it can still do something crazy and put its life at risk. However, you can minimize the risk of your dog eating its collar with the following tips. 

Tip number 1: Take the collar off when at home

Some dogs dislike collars, while others tolerate them well. While it is true that keeping the collar on at all times will make your dog get used to it sooner, it also leaves space for incidents. To be on the safe side, you should take the collar off of your dog while at home and only put it on when going out. 

Tip number 2: Keep the collar out of reach 

Once the collar is taken off, it needs to be placed in a secure location – out of the dog’s reach. Be mindful when finding such a location, and do not forget that dogs are resourceful and, if motivated enough, will find a way to get in unusual places. Ideally, you can keep the collar (and leash) in a room your dog does not have access to. 

Summing Up: Dog Ate Collar 

A dog eating its collar is an unusual yet plausible situation – when you are a dog parent, you really need to be prepared for anything. If your dog ate its collar, it is critical that you assess the situation and seek veterinary help. 

Best-case scenario, your dog will pass the collar chunks within the next few days, and worst-case scenario, the vet will need to surgically remove the collar, which is a tricky operation with a hefty price tag. 

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