Dog Ate a Foam Ball – Should You Worry?

Dog toys are designed so that your favorite pup has little to no risk of ingesting dangerous materials. Unfortunately, dogs can get ahold of many products they are not intended to play with, such as foam balls or nerf balls. When this happens, dogs can eat the foam ball, whether it be on purpose or on accident. Do not panic right away if that’s the situation for you and your dog.

can dogs sense when something is wr...
can dogs sense when something is wrong with their owner

Still, foam is toxic to dogs since they can’t digest it. The good news is that most foam bits will be shredded from the dog’s teeth before it goes into their stomach. As a result, most dogs can pass the foam without much problem and poop it out. This is especially true for big dog breeds, though small dogs may have problems passing large foam from an eaten ball.

Even so, it’s imperative to know all of the information upfront about what to do if your dog ate a foam ball. As the dog’s owner, it’s your job to act fast so that the dog can get back to health and comfort. This article explains the dangers associated with dogs eating foam balls, what to do if your dog ate a foam ball and more.

Are Foam Balls Safe for Dogs?

Foam balls are not safe for dogs. Foam is not a substance meant to be ingested, which means your dog can experience serious side effects from the toxins, chemicals, and obstructions of eating a foam ball or parts of it. Select dog-safe balls instead, which often lack dangerous foam. If your dog eats a foam ball, act quickly and watch your dog’s behavior for 3 days after the incident. 

If your dog gets ahold of foam balls, expect bits to get into its mouth, even if your dog isn’t intentionally chewing it. Your dog’s teeth will naturally puncture the ball, which can cause the foam to go into your dog’s mouth every time it picks up the ball. Foam ingestion can cause serious stomach upsets, vomiting, anorexia, and intestinal blockage. Some symptoms to watch out for include:

  • Increased agitation
  • Unsteady on feet 
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Unable to urinate 
  • Abdominal pain
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Signs of nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Excessive drooling
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite or anorexia
  • Intestinal blockages
  • Seizures 
  • Heart problems 
  • Pale gums 
  • Unexplained moans and cries 
  • Unexplained attachment and need for your attention or protection 
  • Any unexplained, weird behavior that is not normal for your fur baby 

If your dog has consumed foam while you were away, provide it with a recommended digestive support supplement as soon as possible. Additionally, watch for any signs of further irritation. If problems persist, take your dog to the vet for a check-up. Further problems are most likely to occur in small dogs since their bodies are smaller and cannot handle as much foam.

Can a Dog Poop Out Foam?

Dogs can poop out foam because the foam bits were likely shredded before the consumption, meaning the foam can pass through its body. Small dogs may have trouble passing foam, especially if they ate a lot. It is best to keep an eye on your dog’s bowel movements for up to 72 hours after ingesting foam to make sure it passes correctly. Most cases do not require a vet.

Foam is made from chemicals that are unable to be digested inside the dog’s stomach. What this means is that if a dog ingests foam, it must be pooped out whole. If the bits of foam are small and the dog is large, your dog should pass the foam since it will move throughout the dog’s body. In this case, you don’t have much to worry about for your pet.

In contrast, large pieces can be difficult for dogs, especially smaller breeds, to pass. The reason for this is that foam can get stuck inside the dog’s intestines. If your dog can’t go to the bathroom, take it to the vet since there is likely blockage. This is not common since dogs first must chew the foam, which means the bits are proportionate to the dog’s size.

Also check out our related article: Dog ate an Absorbent meat pad.

What to Do If My Dog Ate a Foam Ball

If your dog ate a foam ball, provide your dog with a dietary supplement to help pass the foam and watch the dog’s behaviors and symptoms. Your dog will likely be fine with minimal side effects, especially if it is a large dog or only consumes a little bit of foam. If you start noticing your dog acting strangely or having worrisome symptoms, contact your family vet immediately.

Once you notice your dog has eaten a foam ball, remove any remaining bits and provide your dog with a dietary supplement. Cleaning the remaining bits prevents your dog from eating any more foam, while the supplement helps your dog to pass the foam. This supplement will not guarantee that your dog can pass the foam, but it will make the process more likely, at least, which is a plus.

For the next 72 hours, watch your dog’s behaviors and mannerisms. Look for signs of nausea, problems digesting food, vomiting, anorexia, and any other of the symptoms mentioned above. You can check your dog’s bowel movements if and when they happen to see if your dog passed the foam. If your dog exhibits any serious symptoms within the upcoming days, contact your vet or any poison specialists at:

  • Website: ASPCA Animal Poison Control
  • ASPCA Animal Poison Control Phone Number: 888-426-4435
  • Website: Poison Control Capital Poison Center
  • Poison Control Phone Number: 1-800-222-1222

Conclusion

If your dog ate a foam ball, don’t panic since your dog will most likely pass the foam with minor problems. However, pay close attention to its behaviors and symptoms. The foam can cause serious side effects if consumed in large sizes, especially for smaller pups. If you notice your dog is behaving alarmingly or has any of the symptoms above, contact a veterinarian or poison control specialist for a consultation. 

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