How many times have you caught your fur baby chewing the weirdest things? A slipper, your bag, a piece of cloth, a bottle cap, or even their bed? It’s not uncommon for dogs to nibble on our personal belongings, especially during the teething stage.
But note that your pet can eat their bed at any point in their life, often due to curiosity and boredom, so you will want to pay close attention to the materials you leave lying around. And it is a no-brainer that some are worse and should not come in contact with the internal organs through ingestion. So, what can you do if you come home to realize that your dog ate memory foam?
What is memory foam made of, and is it toxic to dogs? What can you expect from your pet, and how can you help them? These are essential areas we’ll explore in this article, so keep reading!
What Happens if A Dog Ate Memory Foam?
If a dog ate memory foam, its internal organs, starting with the esophagus, are at risk. This is due to choking because polyurethane foam can expand in the airway or cause mild to severe chemical poisoning when it gets into the internal organs. The longer the memory foam stays in your pet’s belly, the more dangerous the situation gets. Depending on the size, the foam may become so large that it creates a significant intestinal blockage, or the toxic substances may seep into their bloodstream.
Dogs are curious beings who love to nibble. Luckily, they throw up most of the absurd things they eat. But regrettably, memory foam is not a material that should even be nibbled on, not to talk of swallowed. And neither should chewed-up pieces come in contact with the skin because they can cause inflammation and irritation.
If a dog does not choke on memory foam, what a relief, although you should monitor them for the next two to 24 hours. Vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain or discomfort, a swollen abdomen, weakness, lack of appetite, and lack of energy are some signs of chemical poisoning in dogs. This means they require the attention of the vet immediately, but you must not wait until then to seek veterinary assistance. Moreover, in some cases, dogs will throw up pieces of undigestable items they consume, so you may find pieces of memory foam in their vomit.
Is Memory Foam Toxic to Dogs?
Memory foam is made from some chemical compounds, including formaldehyde, naphthalene, and benzene. Together, these make polyurethane, the toxic liquid that solidifies into memory foam. Some manufacturers treat their products with insecticides and pesticides to prevent insect infestation, not to mention spraying the finished product with flame-retardant chemicals because the memory foam mattresses are a fire hazard.
All these chemicals are not good for man and pets. Contact with fur may cause irritation and inflammation, so you should only buy memory foam from trusted dog bed manufacturers. But even that may not save you if the foam somehow gets into your pet’s internal system. Memory foam is toxic to dogs because of the diverse compounds thrown together to create the soft bedding.
It may be more comfortable for your pet’s joints, but you should also consider the health hazards it represents. You don’t want your dog to consume memory foam or any other unseemly material, so you should train them to heed your commands. When you catch your canine friend nibbling on a shoe, slipper, or furniture, help them snap out of it immediately. Reward them when they’re good; you do this because it’s the best way to avert any risk of your dog eating memory foam or other dangerous materials.
What Should I Do if My Dog Ate Memory Foam?
First, don’t panic; remove access to food and water for three and six hours, respectively. The immediate concern with the ingestion of memory foam is the choking hazard it may cause. There are chances that the foam will expand in the airway or internal organs, so you need to involve the vet immediately. If you are in the clear, you’ll know in two hours when the bits of memory foam will have found their way into the stomach.
If memory foam contacts the skin or fur of your pet, you’ll know through swelling or redness of the area, hair loss, and soreness; cleaning the affected area with a liquid dishwashing detergent can mitigate the effects of inflammation or irritation. But if the concern is with ingested memory foam, the vet may need to remove the pieces surgically. The more time it spends in your dog’s internal organs, the more dangerous the situation gets. However, even if the aim is to induce vomiting, you must avoid feeding your pet anything without the vet’s consent when you suspect there has been ingestion of toxic or dangerous substances.
The amount of memory foam you suspect your dog has eaten is the most important piece of information you need. A small quantity may pass through the internal organs without wreaking havoc, but a large piece or larger pieces can be life-threatening because they can expand and block the gut. Determine the amount consumed and the size and relay the information to your vet. Healthcare may involve the administration of a gastroprotectant, but in extreme cases, surgery may be required to remove the obstruction; it depends on how much memory foam has been consumed by your dog.
Some pet owners are lucky enough that their dogs throw up the ingested pieces of memory foam or pass it through their poop. But generally, chewed-up chunks of memory foam may not mean your dog ate memory foam. They may have been playing around with it, but you’ll know if they were lucky enough not to swallow any piece within 24 hours. Pay attention to clinical signs like diarrhea and vomit that may contain traces of blood, an increased and irregular breath rate, or physical signs of choking; ultimately, your pet may require a radiograph to determine where the foreign objects will be surgically extracted from.