My Dog Ate Insulation: What To Do?

Although not essential, insulation can be found in any home. In the summer, it can keep the home cool. During winter, it is helpful to keep the cold out. 

Now, you might wonder why a dog would eat insulation. While most dogs cannot reach insulation, if your dog is curious or mischievous, he or she may consume it. In case your dog consumes insulation, the first thing you should do is take him to the veterinarian. Read on to know more about what to do. 

What Should I Do If My Dog ate a Small Piece of Insulation?

Be it a big piece or a tiny one, it doesn’t matter what size of insulation your dog consumed, it is always harmful. You need to immediately consult a veterinary doctor. Always take a piece of the insulation your dog has consumed. It can assist the doctor in prescribing appropriate treatments. 

If going to the vet immediately is not possible, I would recommend feeding your dog something heavy or some soft food like moist bread. This may act as a cushion in your dog’s digestive tract, making the movement of food less uncomfortable.

Whatever it is, the first thing to do would be to try to seek help from a professional and act accordingly!

Common Types of Insulation

The walls, roof, attic, and ceilings all have insulation. Insulation materials include things like fiberglass, mica, cotton, foam, and cellulose. 

Many insulations are treated with harmful chemicals to extend their lifespan and deter pests such as rodents from eating them. If swallowed, these toxins can make your dog unwell.

When it comes to insulating your home, you have a variety of options. Whatever you choose, they are harmful to your dog if ingested. So be careful when you are insulating your home. Also, keep in mind to never insulate your doghouse!

The common types of insulation are as below.

1. Fiberglass

Fiberglass is the major form of insulation. It’s typically found in rolls, batts, and loose-fill insulation and is constructed of fine glass fibers. It is created by wrapping small fragments of glass into fibers.

As it is actually made from glass, it is quite dangerous and can harm your dog severely.

2. Cotton

Cotton, sheep’s wool, straw, and hemp are examples of natural materials used for insulation. These materials, usually made from recycled materials are fire and bug-resistant.

3. Rock Wool

Rock wool or slag wool are both examples of mineral wool. Rock wool is a man-made substance comprised of a variety of natural minerals. It is fire resistant and used in bats, rolls, and loose-fill.

In eco-friendly homes, this is a common choice. However, your dog is consuming several rocks and minerals in this situation. It’s usually green or grey, but it has the same appearance as fiberglass.

4. Foam

This is a type of insulation that is applied wet. However, it then dries up and hardens into hard clouds. This is a man-made plastic and chemical mixture. 

Polystyrene, polyisocyanurate, and polyurethane are all plastics that can be used to make foam insulation. You can also use cementitious foam insulation, made up of cement.

5. Cellulose

Another prominent insulating material is cellulose. Recycled paper materials are used to make cellulose insulation. Cellulose is delivered in a loose state, but when installed, it is compacted. 

It has almost no oxygen once compressed, which makes it fire-resistant. Manufacturers also add borate to it to make it fire and insect resistant.

6. Polystyrene

Some individuals use this strong board of insulation to insulate outhouses, sheds, and doghouses. Made of man-made plastic materials, it comes in a variety of colors, ranging from pink to brown, and is frequently white.

It is not recommended to use this in your doghouse.

In most situations, this is a hard, lightweight polystyrene piece that is backed with some form of reflective foil.

7. Denim

Denim insulation is created from recycled denim garments. It is non-toxic and non-irritating, making it simple to install. It is more expensive than other types of insulation due to increased soundproofing and enhanced interior air quality.

Dangers of Dogs Eating Insulation

Any kind of insulation is harmful to dogs as they are made up of toxic elements. The most serious hazard it poses is your dog’s death. A digestive blockage is the very least you can expect.

Fiberglass is made up of small glass pieces, it can damage the intestines when consumed. When broken, these fibers are sharp and can harm your dog’s intestines and stomach.

If it’s an ancient house, the insulation may contain asbestos, making it poisonous. It can also be a vehicle for the spread of cancer and other diseases. 

To make it endure longer and repel rodents, some types of insulation are treated with toxic substances. These when consumed leads to poisoning in your dog.

Consuming insulation could lead to plenty of consequences. Suffocation, indigestion, internal bleeding, choking, or even death are all possibilities.

Symptoms of Your Dog Eating Insulation

The symptoms can be subtle at times or highly obvious in certain situations. The common and obvious symptoms can be vomiting, fever, pain, or even lethargic behavior.

If your dog is losing consciousness, it may be due to internal bleeding or poisoning. Most of these signs imply that the situation is critical.

Another symptom that you can observe is thirst. Your dog may constantly keep drinking water and panting profusely. This is a sign of poisoning that the dog is trying to excrete by drinking loads of water. 

Get your dog to the vet immediately if you suspect any form of insulation intake or see fragments of it in his stool.

Other signs and symptoms, such as a swollen tongue or mouth or even passing blood should be taken seriously. Swelling in the mouth can indicate the cuts and injuries made by the pieces of insulation.

How to Treat a Dog That Ate Insulation?

Always the first solution would be to take your pet to the vet! Although you can postpone taking him to the vet for a while, you will eventually need to consult a veterinarian.

Do not try to treat your dog all by yourself without assistance from your vet. This may cause more damage if you are not aware of what has happened internally. 

The severity of your dog’s condition will determine the treatment options. But it may, for sure, include an X-ray. This guides the doctor in locating any object in the dog’s body causing injury. 

As you would have a piece of insulation that your dog would have eaten, an X-ray will aid the doctor in detecting and treating it appropriately. 

Your veterinarian can perform a blood test to see if your dog has been poisoned and treat him accordingly.

In severe cases, surgery may be done to get the insulation out of your dog. Following surgery, the doctor may be on the watch for signs of poisoning and prescribe appropriate medicines.

The doctor may also use an endoscope to examine thoroughly and remove any foreign object without the need for surgery.

How to Prevent Your Dog From Eating Insulation Again?

As the saying goes, “prevention is better than cure”, it is your duty to be safe than sorry.

Consuming insulation may cause long-term harm to your dog as it may lead to organ dysfunction and, in the worst-case scenario, death.

Most dogs will not eat insulation, but some may eat out of curiosity or hunger. Here are a few things you can do to avoid your dog from eating insulation.

1. Prepare your pup

Dogs are quick learners, and training them is your duty. Teach your dog to eat only what is given to him, and that anything else is poisonous. 

You can use your dog’s ability to follow commands like catch, drop, or run to your advantage. So the next time you find insulation in their mouth, you can use your command to drop it! 

2. No insulation in your doghouse

We know you care for your dog and want the best for it. But using insulation in our doghouse is not care. There are high chances of consuming it. Like you use eco-friendly materials in your house, use dog-friendly materials in the doghouse!

3. Dogs away from renovation sites

Insulations are easy to reach in renovation sites. Hence, your dogs should stay far away from such places. It is not only to avoid the consumption of insulation but can also avoid any injury.

For humans and pets alike, the construction site is the most unsafe area. 

4. Insulation materials away from sight

Like there is a sign “keep out of reach of children”, “keep insulation materials away from dogs” should also be implemented. When they are out of reach to your pets, there can be no chance of insulation consumption. 

Final Thoughts

Even when compared to a bee, alcohol, sugar, or toothpaste, insulation is the scariest thing your dog can consume. Keeping insulation out of reach of dogs is the best thing to do!

However, one cannot always keep an eye on them. Hence, if you find out that your dog has eaten insulation, you have to rush to the vet. That’s the one and only right solution for this problem. 

Even if you are slightly suspicious about your dog consuming insulation, please take him to the vet. This can reduce the risk of damage further and can also be a kind of health check-up for your dog. 

If ignored, you will have to bear severe consequences, which also include death!

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.