My Dog Ate a Screw (Can He get Sick?)

You might think that your dog looks adorable when it mistakes random objects for toys and food. But, this habit can sometimes end up with your dog nibbling on inedible things and swallowing them. 

Now, screws are shiny and small in size. So, it is very likely that your dog will be attracted to one and try to eat it. However, this can be extremely fatal. This article consists of step-by-step guides on what to do when your dog eats a screw and how to make sure they never repeat it. Keep reading on!

What Should You Do if Your Dog Swallowed a Screw?

Here is a step-by-step explanation for what you should do if you find that your dog has swallowed a screw:

1. Assess The Situation

The very first thing that you should do is to take your dog away from where they ate the screw. Your dog might return to this area to eat more screws, which is why you need to take them out of its reach.

Next, try to determine how many screws your dog ate. You will also need to inspect the size of the screw and how sharp it is. This will give you an idea of how severe the situation is.

Moreover, if you can find another identical screw, take it to your veterinarian. This will help them understand the situation better.

2. Do Not Induce Vomiting

You might think that the easiest way to get the screw out of your dog’s system is by vomiting. However, trying to induce vomiting might end up causing more trouble.

Since the screw is sharp, it might end up puncturing your dog’s esophagus on its way back up. You shouldn’t try anything without contacting your veterinarian first.

3. Contact Your Veterinarian

After you have ensured that your dog is safe, the next thing to do is contact your veterinarian. Do not assume that you can handle the situation on your own.

Based on the size and number of screws that your dog ate, your veterinarian will tell you what to do. In most cases, objects like screws are safely passed out by dogs.

Your veterinarian may be able to remove the screw immediately by safely inducing vomiting. On the other hand, your dog might have to get certain tests done so that the veterinarian can determine how to deal with the situation.

4. Go To The ER If Necessary

Your veterinarian may recommend taking your dog to the emergency room.

One reason is that your dog might need an endoscopy to remove the screw before it gets too far. Or, your dog might need to be monitored for symptoms such as vomiting, reduced or no appetite for over 24 hours, and abdominal discomfort.

Additionally, to determine the location of the screw in your dog’s body, your veterinarian may also recommend getting radiography.

5. Feed Bread To Your Dog

If your veterinarian advises that your dog will be able to pass out the screw safely, there are a few things that you need to do to facilitate it.

The easiest way to do so is by increasing your dog’s fiber intake by feeding them bread. Additionally, you can give your dog a spoon of coconut or olive oil. Pumpkin and apple cider vinegar is also good when it comes to facilitating your dog’s poop.

6. Look Out For Symptoms

Lastly, you need to look out for any symptoms that your dog could experience after eating a screw. If these symptoms last for more than 2 to 3 days or are extremely severe, do not hesitate to inform your veterinarian.

Here are some symptoms that you might notice:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Vomiting
  • Change in appetite
  • Change in activity levels
  • Digestive problems

How Long Does It Take For a Dog To Pass a Screw?

It takes between 2 to 3 days for a dog to pass out a screw.

Your dog will be able to do so with ease if you make a few changes in its diet. Foods rich in fiber and oil will help clear out its stomach and your dog passes the screw more easily.

However, you will need to ensure that the screw has been passed out. For the next two to three days after your dog ingests it, you will need to check his poop for the screw.

You can either visually check for the screw in your dog’s poop or use a strainer. The latter is a better way to make sure that the screw has been passed out. If your dog is unable to pass the screw even after a few days, you should take them to the veterinarian.

Can My Dog Get Sick After Eating a Screw?

Yes, your dog can get sick after eating a screw, but there is no need to worry.

After all, your dog has just eaten something that is not meant to be ingested. In such a situation, it is completely normal for them to experience mild symptoms of discomfort.

However, this does not mean that you wait for these symptoms to pass. It is essential that you seek your veterinarian’s guidance. They will be able to properly examine how serious the situation is and what actions you need to take.

As long as you follow your veterinarian’s advice, your dog will get better in the next few days. But at the same time, you need to be monitoring these symptoms.

If the symptoms do not ease in the next few days or appear to have gotten worse, you should contact your veterinarian to take further action right away.

Can It Cause Blockage in the Dog’s Gastrointestinal Tract?

It is unlikely that a screw will cause blockage in your dog’s gastrointestinal tract.

Screws are usually too small to obstruct any parts like the esophagus, stomach, or gastrointestinal tract. However, it depends on how big your dog is and the size of the screw that was ingested.

It is a good idea to assess the severity of the situation so that you can deal with it accordingly. If you are worried that the screw might puncture any part of your dog’s organs, you can opt for getting a radioscopy.

How To Prevent Your Dog From Eating Screw Again?

After all the trouble it may have caused, you obviously do not want your dog to eat a screw or any random objects ever again.

All you need to do is teach your dog the “Leave it” command so that they immediately drop any foreign object when you say so. This way, your dog will learn to throw out inedible objects before they get the opportunity to chew or swallow them.

Here are steps for teaching your dog the “Leave it” command:

Stage 1:

  1. Begin with keeping a treat under the toe of your shoe. You will need to ensure that your dog can’t snatch the treat from under.
  2. Allow your dog to try to obtain the treat. After some time, they will get bored or distracted and give up.
  3. Just when your dog starts to walk away, give them a treat from your hand. Do not give them the treat from under your shoe.
  4. Repeat this process a few times until your dog is familiar with it.

Stage 2:

  1. Now, when your dog tries to grab the treat from under your shoe, use the command “Leave it”. This will familiarize them with the command.
  2. When your dog begins to walk away from the treat under your shoe, give them some treats from your hand.
  3. Repeat this process a few times until your dog is familiar with it.

Stage 3:

  1. Making changes gradually will ensure that your dog learns the command well and responds to it in different situations.
  2. For the next stage, the only difference you need to make is hovering your foot above the treat instead of securing it underneath.
  3. Now, if your dog attempts to grab the treat, use the “Leave it” command.
  4. If your dog does not stop, crush the treat with your shoe. The motive is to prevent your dog from getting the treatment that is on the ground.
  5. If your dog has begun complying with the command, give them a treat from your hand. Repeat this process a few times until your dog is familiarized.

Stage 4:

  1. For the next stage, drop the treat on the ground. It should be a few inches away from your dog’s reach.
  2. As your dog begins to walk towards the treat, use the “Leave it” command.
  3. If your dog leaves the treat alone, reward them with some treats from your hand.
  4. It is important that you reward them with your hand not let them eat the treat off the ground.
  5. If your dog fails to obey the command, repeat the process two more times. If they still do not get the hang of it, return to stage three again.

After your dog passes stage four, you can sit back in ease. you no longer have to worry about your dog rushing to eat any random object they find. You can simply ask them to “Leave It” and avoid many potentially dangerous situations.

Apart from teaching them these commands, ensure that you keep screws away from your dog’s reach. For instance, try to keep them in closed areas, like cupboards or kitchen shelves. 

Conclusion: Can a Dog Eat Screw?

No, it is not safe for a dog to eat a screw. However, it is very unlikely that there will be major consequences when your dog swallows a screw mistakenly.

In most cases, dogs pass out such objects in a few days without facing any harm. But this does not mean that you should not take adequate measures if such an event occurs.

Hopefully, after reading this article, you are prepared for what to do if your dog ingests a screw. The best part is that you can also teach them to never eat any random, potentially dangerous object ever again!

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.