Dog Ate Yarn | What Should I Do?

Are you wondering what could happen if a dog ate yarn? Dogs learn about the world around them by exploring with their mouths, tasting, and chewing, and as a result, they may swallow harmful substances. When a toy or other object falls to the ground without the owner’s knowledge, dogs may accidentally eat it. Probably nothing brings a smile to a dog owner’s face more than seeing their dog chase something around the house. Regrettably, some objects are quite hazardous to dogs. 

They simply see a ball and believe it is a toy to be played with. Dogs with foreign body obstructions may require immediate medical attention, which could cost you money and your pet’s life if it obstructs your dog’s airway. If your dog swallows string, it will pose an issue if a piece of it becomes trapped somewhere between their mouth and gastrointestinal tract while the other part is following farther ahead into the intestines.

What Do I Do if My Dog Ate Yarn or String?

If you see a string hanging from your dog’s anus, refrain from pulling it. If your dog does not appear to be in distress, you can cut the string near the rectum and observe whether they pass it out the next time they defecate. If your dog exhibits any signs of distress, such as loss of food, straining to discharge themselves, or the look of pain, take them to the veterinarian.

The primary concern is that the string does not pass through in one piece. The owner then sees string attached to the anus of their dog. When pulled, the string might sever delicate digestive tissue or cause portions of the gut to bind and become obstructed. This is potentially lethal. As a precaution, if you notice that your dog has passed some string, keep an eye on their excrement for a few days to see if there is any blood in it.

Dogs’ intestines are frequently constricted or blocked by strands from a string, necessitating surgery for dog digestion support. Unfortunately, many dog owners are unaware of the situation until it is too late to save the pet. Dogs who get surgery must endure the agony of an hours-long operation to remove the impediment. It can also be difficult to feed your dog as his digestive system repairs during recuperation. 

What Happens if My Dog Eats Yarn?

Dogs can get into trouble if they ingest something like yarn. An intestinal blockage, which is both unpleasant and potentially fatal, can result if the dog’s digestive tract becomes clogged with the string. Yarn can also be a choking threat for dogs, preventing them from getting the air they need to breathe. An object lodged in the stomach or intestines results in vomiting, lethargy, and dehydration, requiring urgent treatment from your vet. 

It may occur intermittently for days or weeks if the blockage is incomplete and food can pass around it, but if any worrying indicators are observed, our recommended quick solution is a visit to the vet. A total obstruction is a medical emergency that manifests as a bloated, aching stomach, frequently accompanied by vomiting. Eating a string can also result in a severe condition known as intussusception. Intussusception occurs when a specific bowel segment contracts vigorously in an attempt to move along an object that is not passing through. 

Intestines force food through the gut via muscle contractions called peristalsis, which moves along the entire length of the intestine (similar to an earthworm) to assist in pushing the contents through. However, when a foreign object, like a string, is trapped at one end, the intestine actually “gathers” like cloth on a thread, forming a sort of accordion. The dog will not eat and will immediately vomit anything he or she drinks, and these are frequently fatal unless medical help is sought immediately.

How Long Does It Take for A Dog to Pass Yarn/string?

Any non-edible item or object eaten by the dog is considered a foreign body. Foreign objects, such as strings can jeopardize the pet’s life. Large items can cause an obstruction in the intestine, preventing food and liquid from moving through the digestive tract. If the obstruction is not removed soon, the damage may become irreversible.

Within 10 to 24 hours of the dog ingesting the string, it should be expelled from the digestive tract. An obstruction of such magnitude would not be possible with a string that was ingested when formed into a ball. Because of this, lengthier sections of the bowel are at greater risk because of the string’s length and girth. One end of the string could get stuck in the intestines if it’s bundled up, but it would pass through the stomach normally.

The continuous intestinal movement forms an accordion-like string of motion. The stretched string will cut into the intestines multiple times in most cases. The intestines will spill into the belly through the wounds. A sepsis-inducing acidic and bacterially contaminated intestinal contents infect the bloodstream, resulting in an infection of the abdominal walls and their thin mucous membranes.


In conclusion, dogs are at a heightened risk of eating string due to their seemingly limitless energy and curiosity. If you realize your dog ate yearn, resist the urge to pull it out even if it was only partially ingested. While ingesting string is perilous, the risk is not imminent – you have time to seek veterinarian assistance. Even though a string is much smaller than a plastic toy, when it is bound together, it can cause an obstruction in the intestines, preventing liquids and food from going through. A blockage, whether partial or complete, will have a negative impact on the dog’s health. So again, seek immediate veterinary assistance if you think your dog might be exhibiting worrying symptoms such as vomiting and any physical distress. 


  • Brad

    Hi I'm Brad, the founder of Having been a vet of 6 years I work alongside our team to provide valuable insight into your dog's health. I have a frenchie myself named Senzu who is my pride and joy!