My Dog Ate a Bandaid! Help!

When it comes to dietary indiscretions, dogs have really low criteria – meaning they are willing to eat just about anything. And this is not an exaggeration – dogs eat sticks, drywalldiapers, etc. But what happens if a dog eats a bandaid? 

My dog ate a bandaid – now what? A dog eating a bandaid can result in a minor digestive upset, and the dog poops the bandaid out after several days. However, in more severe cases, bandaids can cause serious complications, including digestive obstruction. In general, if your dog ate a bandaid, you need to be extra observant and carefully monitor the situation for red flags. 

In this article, we will talk about dogs eating bandaids. We will explain the potential dangers of eating bandaids and give tips on what to do in case of accidental ingestions. Finally, we will emphasize the importance of preventing such scenarios. 

My Dog Ate a Bandaid

What Are Bandaids Made From?

There are many different types of bandaids, and they are made of different materials. However, generally speaking, a bandaid is made of an absorbent pad covered with a layer of plastic, latex rubber, or woven fabric as an adhesive. 

Why Do Dogs Eat Bandaids?

There are several reasons a dog may be inclined to eat bandaids. Some of them make some level of sense, while others are strictly dog-thing. Let’s go over the reasons dogs eat bandaids. 

Reasons number 1: Curiosity 

Dogs are overly curious creatures and tend to experience the world through their mouths. Curiosity is the main reason why dogs end up eating things they were not supposed to eat. 

Reason number 2: Boredom

Boredom is a huge motivator. A bored dog is willing to do just about anything to keep itself entertained. More often than not, that includes eating inedible items like, for example, bandaids.

Reason number 3: Enticing smell

Used bandaids can be extra attractive to dogs, especially if they have bloodstains on them. Dogs are naturally attracted to blood and will feel inclined to eat the bandaid.

Reason number 4: Abnormal appetite 

The medical term for abnormal appetite is allotriophagia or pica. Dogs with this disorder feel the urge to eat inedible items. The causes are unknown, but it is believed nutritional deficiencies are one of the culprits. 

Are Bandages Harmful to Dogs if Swallowed?

Yes, they can be dangerous for dogs. However, the exact extent of the danger varies based on several factors. Here are the factors that can affect the outcome. 

Factor number 1: Bandaid materials

As mentioned, bandaids can be made of different materials, and some are more dangerous than others. For example, plastic can contain toxins that can irritate the dog’s digestive system. Also, it is possible for some dogs to be allergic to bandaid materials. 

Factor number 2: Size of the bandaid 

The amount of consumed bandaids matters too. If a large dog eats one small bandaid, there is no room for concern. However, if a small dog eats a package of bandaids or one really big bandaid, the risk of complications is more significant. In such a case, it is best to seek immediate veterinary help. 

What Should I Do if My Dog Swallowed a Bandaid?

If your dog ate a bandaid within the last two hours, it makes sense to induce vomiting – this will save you the trouble of waiting for the bandaid to be expelled via the feces and poking through the feces in search of the bandaid. 

However, if it is more than two hours, there is no point in vomiting induction as the bandaid is no longer in the stomach. In such cases, it is best to be observant and carefully monitor your dog. If your dog develops signs of digestive upset, it is best to visit your trusted veterinarian. 

You should see the vet immediately if the dog ate several bandaids or suffering from a GI tract condition such as inflammatory bowel disease or chronic gastritis. A swollen bandaid can cause complications, including a GI tract obstruction. Therefore, it is important to collaborate with the vet and ensure the best possible outcome.

How Long Does It Take for A Dog to Pass a Bandaid?

On average, it takes dogs between 10 and 24 hours to get rid of something they ingested. However, this timeframe is typical for the normal food transit in the dog’s digestive system. 

When there is a foreign body inside the stomach or intestine, their function is compromised and can result in delayed transit. In other words, a swallowed bandaid may need a couple of days to be passed. 

Also, because of the sticky nature of the bandaid and as stringy shape, it is possible for the bandaid to get stuck – half inside the rectum and the other half poking outside the dog’s anus. In such a case, you should help your dog and gently pull the bandaid. 

How Can I Prevent My Dog from Eating Bandaids?

Dogs can be very creative, and to prevent them from eating bandaids, you need to be mindful and be more creative. Here are some tips on how to prevent your dog from eating bandaids. 

Tip number 1: Never put a bandaid on your dog

It goes without saying that you should not be playing doctor and putting bandaids or other types of bandages on your dog by yourself. 

Tip number 2: Keep the bandaid package out of reach 

Always keep the bandaid package in a secure location that is out of your dog’s reach. When finding such a spot, keep in mind that dogs jump and open cupboards.

Tip number 3: Dispose of used bandaids in an outside trash 

As mentioned, used bandaids can be particularly attractive to dogs and inspire trash digging. Therefore, always dispose of the bandaids in a dog-proof garbage can.

Summing Up: My Dog Ate a Bandaid 

If your dog ate a bandaid, call the vet and explain what happened. Based on the timeline of the events, you will be instructed to either induce vomiting or take the wait-and-see approach. In more severe cases, the vet will suggest going to the clinic for an in-person examination. Most cases of bandaid ingestion are benign, but complications are possible, and it is best to be prepared. 

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