My Dog Ate a Bottle Cap! (Here’s What You Should Expect)

Sometimes, we might get astonished by the types of things that our dogs would chew and swallow. They will try to eat all types of objects, even if it doesn’t necessarily have good taste, just for the sake of discovering. Some dogs will try to eat strange objects like foam balls, highlighters, or even bottle caps.  

This attitude is not necessarily abnormal or alarming; it could be just due to the special instinct that dogs have to discover and explore things around them. Sometimes they might do so with visual or olfactory senses, and sometimes they might want to chew the objects in front of them. Thus leaving us in absolute confusion and wonder regarding the origin of this behavior and how to properly deal with it.  

As every dog owner can say, dogs are playful and exciting creatures that always need to move around and play. Meaning that if you don’t satisfy their urge to play, they might exhibit a weird attitude because they are bored. So if your dog ever ate a bottle cap, and you want to know how you should react, keep reading to learn more about this behavior.  

Can a Dog Pass a Plastic Bottle Cap

Generally, dogs do not have the ability to digest material such as metal or plastic. These kinds of objects will either pass through the digestive tract smoothly or cause an obstruction in the alimentary tract. So if your dog has swallowed plastic objects like a highlighter pen, a plastic spoon, or even a bottle cap, keep reading to find out the risks of this behavior. 

In most cases, a plastic bottle cap won’t usually impose a huge risk on your dog’s life, mostly because it has a small size. So it will most probably pass through the digestive tract without causing any serious damage and will be later excreted through the feces. So if you noticed that your dog has swallowed a bottle cap, there is no need to stress about it; just look for probable signs of intestinal abnormalities. 

In other cases, more serious complications can occur due to this behavior. Your dog might not be able to successfully eliminate this foreign object from its system, and thus might need a professional surgical procedure to get rid of it. So if you’re wondering what risk the bottle cap may impose on your dog’s health, you should place the possibility of this object causing a serious gastrointestinal obstruction.

What Happens if A Dog Swallows a Bottle Cap?

Technically, if your dog swallows a bottle cap, you need to think about all the tracts that this foreign object is going to pass through. Firstly, the cap will pass through the mouth, possibly causing damage to the oral mucosa. It might cause scratches, wounds, or even bleeding, thus making your dog prone to infection; these complications might occur throughout the esophagus as well.

Secondly, the passage of the plastic cap through the stomach and intestines might cause disturbance to these organs. This foreign object will probably cause intestinal obstruction, this leading to the accumulation of food and water in that area. This complication depends on the size of the bottle cap and how your dog’s intestinal tract deals with it. 

If an intestinal obstruction does occur, several signs can be seen to detect the presence of this issue. These include vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal bloating, which can be indicators of a serious gastrointestinal problem. Therefore, the consequences of this unfavorable behavior can vary from mild to severe, depending on several factors.

Why Would a Dog Swallow a Plastic Bottle Cap?

There are several reasons that might trigger your dog to swallow weird objects, such as a bottle cap, a highlighter, or even an aluminum can. This includes the dog’s general instinctive behavior of chewing objects in order to discover them, or it might be caused by more profound abnormal origins. These include a problem with their nutrition, stress, or a minor issue like boredom. 

Generally, dogs are curious creatures that like to discover everything by chewing and eating them. You might notice that even though you just fed your dog, they might continue to chew on the weirdest objects found. This does not necessarily mean that there’s a pathological problem risking your dog’s health, rather than a normal common attitude exhibited by dogs.

In some other cases, this behavior might actually be caused by some malnutrition issues. This means that you might not be providing the correct nourishment that supplies your pet with the necessary elements, thus causing this abnormal behavior. Additionally, some stressful factors, such as anxiety, fear, and the presence of other pets in the house, may cause the emergence of this attitude as a compensatory reaction.  

What Should I Do If My Dog Swallowed a Plastic Bottle Cap?

In general, if your dog swallows a small plastic object, you shouldn’t be worried much, mostly because they will be able to eliminate it easily. On the other hand, if you notice any abnormal or alarming signs on your dog, you might want to get him immediate veterinary help. So if you ever encounter such events, make sure to assess the severity of the situation. 

Firstly, if you are not currently in reach of a veterinarian, you can try to perform some procedures on your own. Check if there is any choking or abnormal breathing signs, and figure out if the plastic cap is stuck in your dog’s throat. If this concern is confirmed, try to eliminate this object from the pharynx as fast as possible to allow normal breathing. 

Secondly, check for the signs of intestinal blockage, which can be visible through symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy. It might take almost 2 hours for the bottle cap to be excreted out of the body, so if you don’t see any symptoms until then, you can understand that you are in the safe zone. And if you notice diarrhea, you can use the best dog diarrhea, and upset stomach relief chews

Can a Plastic Bottle Cap Hurt My Dog if Swallowed?

It doesn’t sound pleasant to know that your dog has swallowed a plastic object. If you try to visualize the situation, it seems to be very painful, and mostly it is. Especially if the plastic cap had some sharp edges or even some broken bits and pieces, which can get stuck in your dog’s throat and cause long-term discomfort. This won’t only cause pain, but it will make your dog more prone to infectious agents. 

Moreover, the passage of the plastic bottle cap won’t be very easy to pass throughout the whole alimentary tract. Meaning that even if your dog was able to successfully excrete the plastic cap, it would probably cause him a lot of pain. This is because this bottle cap will rub along your dog’s whole digestive mucosa causing hazardous damage. 

Additionally, this foreign material will probably cause discomfort in your dog’s stomach leading to forced vomiting. This, along with the uncomfortable excretion of the feces which contain the bottle cap, will be very agonizing for your pet. For this reason, you might want to be careful about the objects that are displayed in front of your dog and ensure your pet’s behaviors are always controlled and monitored to prevent such attitudes. 


Above all, such hazardous situations can really freak out some dog owners and leave them in complete confusion regarding how they should act and how to prevent such events. Therefore, it’s better to be safe than sorry and take all the necessary precautions to prevent such incidents. Additionally, you can always supply your dog with certain supplements that ensure your dog’s gastrointestinal health after these kinds of accidents occur.   


  • 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!