Your little furry friend nibbles and chews on the weirdest things around the house, especially out of curiosity. As much as you try to keep cosmetic products and harmful things away from your dog, it is not impossible for you to find them nibbling and eating these things around the house. What happens if your dog ate Irish spring soap? What do you do, and how do you keep your dog safe?
Not all soaps are harmful to dogs; however, some soaps contain ingredients that are on their own considered hazardous to dogs when ingested. A common ingredient in soaps is glycerin which is known to cause vomiting, diarrhea, and nausea in dogs when consumed in large quantities. Also, essential oils like pine oil and lavender oil are very harmful to your pet.
Irish spring soap is scented and comes in green packaging, which is quite an attractive color. Dogs, especially puppies, might find it fun to play with or taste. Ingesting Irish spring soap in small amounts or a few licks is not deadly to your dog but may cause your paw buddy to act slightly differently for a while.
Is Irish Spring Soap Toxic to Dogs when Eaten?
Depending on how much soap your dog ate, the response to it will vary. Ingesting small amounts can lead to nausea and vomiting, after which your dog will feel relieved. However, eating large amounts might lead to more severe symptoms such as diarrhea, gastrointestinal issues, and poisoning.
Aside from the effects of Irish spring soap on your dog’s internal organs, swallowing a big chunk of soap could lead to choking, which is life-threatening. Signs of choking in dogs include coughing, gagging, pawing at their mouth, excess salivation, and showing general signs of distress. Another risk involved in your dog eating soap is blockage of the gut pathway.
Most bar soaps are pretty safe for your dog, especially plant-based soap that is free from animal fat and synthetic ingredients. However, Irish spring soap contains compounds like titanium dioxide, which is considered to be potentially carcinogenic. Irish spring soap also contains stearic acid, a kind of fatty acid considered harmful when ingested by dogs. The stearic acid content in Irish spring soap is not a major amount, so it does not pose an extreme danger if your dog swallows some.
Why Do Dogs Like to Eat Irish Spring Soap?
Dogs and pets, in general, are very snoopy about their surroundings. They want to touch, sniff, gnaw at and inquire about almost anything lying around them. If something smells or looks good to them, edible or not, they will likely see it as a treat.
The bright color of the packaging and appealing fragrance of the soap might attract your dog to it. It can also remind them of snacks, and they will attempt to help themselves to some. Older dogs will likely stop after one or two licks, but teething puppies may continue to gnaw at the bar of soap for some relief.
A condition called pica, which is an abnormal craving for inedible substances, is common among dogs. Although, with not much evidence to prove complete certainty, pica is assumed to stem from an unbalanced diet, frustration, anxiety, or a mere bad habit. Keeping scented and colorful soap like Irish spring soap away from your dog and stopping them when they attempt to eat it is a good way to control the habit.
What Should I Do if My Dog Ate Irish Spring Soap?
As opposed to how you may feel, it is important to stay calm first. Put away any leftover chunks and get the soap off their paws by rinsing with clean water only. Next, you want to get the remaining soap and soapy taste out of your dog’s mouth by rinsing thoroughly with water. Also, check between its teeth for stuck chunks of soap and get it out carefully.
Observe your dog’s behavior after and call your veterinarian for help. The usual advice from your vet will be to watch and report any unusual changes before bringing your dog to the clinic. Asides from cases of intestinal blockage and choking, your dog should be perfectly fine within 24 hours after purging or vomiting.
Look out for signs of choking, excessive drooling, diarrhea, and general discomfort- take your dog to the vet if these symptoms manifest. Make sure to take with you a sample of the soap or its packaging to give the vet better insight into the substances ingested. Your vet will conduct an x-ray or endoscopy to diagnose your dog’s state of health for proper treatment.
The fact your dog ate Irish spring soap is not much cause for alarm, as the contents are not deadly or extremely dangerous. Minor discomforts your dog would experience include tummy trouble and fatigue, but this should only last for a short time. Albeit, your vet is your best bet at controlling the situation. Prevention is better than cure; hence if eating soap is yet to happen with your dog, take your dog-proofing up a notch around the home and observe your dog’s behavior for changes as you might be unaware that it has eaten something potentially harmful while you were not looking.