My Dog Ate a Foam Ear Plug: What to Do?

Animals can be very mischievous at times, especially dogs. They often put things in their mouths and refuse to puke them out. Things like earplugs are very soft. 

Dogs often swallow things that seem to be soft to them. In case your dog has swallowed a foam ear plug then you shouldn’t fret about it. The dog is likely to excrete it in a few days. Now, we will be talking about foam earplugs and the number of consequences they can have on your little furry friend. Stay hooked to the article till the end! 

What Should I Do If My Dog Ate a Foam Ear Plug? 

Firstly, it would be better to know that foam earplugs do not harm dogs in any way. These are non-toxic materials. Dogs often excrete them in a couple of days. Dogs find the foam ear plugs to be soft and they think that it is eatable. Hence, they swallow them without any worries.

Regardless of the type of earplug that your dog has swallowed, be it a foam ear plug or a silicone ear plug, or a rubber earplug, it won’t cause any damage to your dog. 

If your dog has swallowed a pair of earplugs just recently, then check your dog’s mouth. If you find them, remove them gently

Choking is an issue if your dog consumed a foam ear plug. If your dog is behaving abnormally, coughing, or having difficulty breathing then your dog is probably choking. 

If you find your dog choking or showing the above-mentioned behaviors then you should try to get the earplugs out as soon as possible. 

Note that if your dog has consumed the ear plugs in the last thirty minutes and isn’t choking them out, then try to contact your vet and ask for a solution. 

A feasible solution that the vet might suggest would be to induce vomiting through hydrogen peroxide. However, don’t ever force your dog to vomit.

You should try to induce your dog to vomit only on the recommendation of your dog’s veterinarian. You should also look out for any intestinal blockage

In some rare cases, there is a slight possibility of the ear plug getting stuck in the dog’s digestive tract which can turn out to be very problematic. 

Usually, all dog owners would be required to look over their dog’s poop for the next three days. Dogs will naturally eliminate the ear plugs. 

What Happens if My Dog Swallows Earplugs?

Ear plugs are non-toxic things and they are not digestible. But if your dog swallows them by mistake then it is likely to come out in the dog’s poop within 72 hours. 

Dogs usually excrete the earplugs in just some time but the duration can vary depending upon your dog’s bowel movements. 

The earplugs usually expand when they are squeezed in our ears. However, for a dog, it won’t expand in its digestive tract. Instead, they’ll travel through the track as it is. 

But, if your dog behaves and walks normally, without showing any signs of an internal obstruction then it would mean that they are absolutely fine. 

If your pup has accidentally swallowed the ear plugs then it might be a reason to fret as puppies have small digestive tracts and they are likely to have a blockage. 

Moreover, if your dog has ingested the earplugs with the string then it could be more harmful. It is because the string may create a ball, leading to a blockage in the intestine.

What Should I Do If My Dog Ate Earplugs? 

If your dog eats your earplugs by mistake then you should check its mouth. If you see them in the mouth, simply take them out gently. Your dog might protest, but don’t give in. 

You should not worry about it too much if your dog has swallowed the ear plugs because it will come out in the dog’s droppings through its digestive tract. 

You should consult a veterinarian before doing anything. The vet might recommend you to make your dog vomit out the foreign material which you should follow. 

Earplugs can be of many types like rubber, silicone, and foam. None of these materials are toxic and they can not cause harm to your furry friend. 

If it has been a few hours and your dog hasn’t excreted the earplugs then do not worry, as the dog can take up to 72 hours to get rid of the foam material. 

Hence, you should always consult a veterinarian before you decide on any solution for the same. 

Are Foam Ear Plugs Toxic?

People use foam earplugs commonly. For a person who pets a dog, this can be quite challenging as dogs often meddle with material things like earplugs. 

Foam earplugs aren’t toxic and they cause no harm to dogs whatsoever. However, it is recommended that they should be kept away from infants and puppies. 

Foam earplugs can cause an internal obstruction in the dog’s digestive system. Due to this, a puppy could also experience problems in breathing. 

Hence, you should make sure that you keep your earplugs hidden from babies and puppies alike. Although foam earplugs are non-toxic you should take precautions. 

What are the Signs of a Problem if My Dog Eats an Earplug?

If a dog has swallowed the foam earplugs then it is likely to behave in a slightly frantic manner. The dog can experience trouble breathing. 

Since the earplugs are stuck in a dog’s digestive tract, hence food digestion might become difficult. Your dog could also start coughing excessively. 

If the dog shows any of the above-mentioned signs then you can easily infer that your little furry friend has swallowed a pair of earplugs. 

The dog can also start choking if there is an internal obstruction caused due to the earplugs. Although they aren’t toxic they can certainly cause a blockage. 

Hence, if your dog starts to cough unnecessarily or it starts to breathe heavily then this implies that your dog might be choking due to the foreign material. 

Why Does My Dog Eat My Earplugs?

Dogs often find the foam earplugs to be soft and it seems to them as if they are easy to swallow. 

The innocent animals do not know that these earplugs aren’t edible and they should avoid swallowing them. 

Dogs often have a habit of chewing on every new or unusual thing they look at. Hence, dogs tend to swallow earplugs of all types- rubber, foam, as well as silicone. 

How Do I Prevent My Dog from Eating Ear Plugs?

There are a number of ways by which you can prevent your dog from swallowing ear plugs. Although earplugs aren’t toxic they can cause an internal blockage. 

1. Keeping the Earplugs Away from Your Dog’s Reach

Place your earplugs at such a height that your dog is unable to reach them or hide them somewhere where your dog can’t sense them. 

It becomes necessary to hide the foam earplugs if you have a mischievous pet dog as they can put themselves into big trouble by eating the earplugs. 

2. Negative Reinforcement

Negative reinforcement is a very popular method used to train all species of animals. Negatively reinforcing this behavior will help you to get rid of the dog’s bad habit of eating earplugs. 

You can train your dog to avoid chewing on earplugs by scolding your furry friend when it tries to swallow the earplugs. You can even get angry and stop talking. 

This way, the dog will understand that its human does not like it when it tries to eat earplugs, and eventually, the dog will stop repeating this behavior. 

However, before you start practicing the method of negative reinforcement you must understand that there is a huge difference between punishment and negative reinforcement. 

Punishment includes inflicting harm on the little animal, hitting it, and more. This should be avoided at all costs. 

3. Keeping the Earplugs in an Opaque Box

If your dog has a habit of jumping upto great heights then it is quite a possibility that keeping the earplugs at a place out of their reach won’t deter them and they would continue. 

To make sure that this does not happen you must find a box of some sort that is opaque, i.e. it does not display its contents from the outside. You can even put the earplugs in a drawer at a height. 

But make sure that the drawer is located at a good height and it doesn’t open easily. You can even get the dog trained for this especially. 

So, these were some of the ways by which you can restrict your dog from eating whatever they want or to be specific, earplugs. 

Final Thoughts

A dog is a mischievous pet animal and it likes to meddle with everything. They like to taste and chew everything they find in their surroundings. 

Earplugs are not toxic or dangerous for a dog but they can cause an internal obstruction restricting the dog from digesting. The swallowing of earplugs can also put the dogs in trouble where they can have difficulty breathing. 

Dogs can also start coughing extremely which could result in them choking. We hope that this article was of help to you, and for more such articles, stay hooked! 

Disclaimer: This blog should not be considered as being professional pet medical advice. The content published on this blog is for informational purposes only. Please always consult with a licensed and local veterinarian for medical advice.

About Shaun Clarke

Shaun is passionate about pets and animals, especially dogs, cats, and rabbits. He owns a dog and a couple of cats too. He loves visiting wildlife sanctuaries and shares a strong bond with animals. When he is not writing, he loves to do a barbecue in the backyard with his family and friends.