When you drop something at home, your dog comes running to sniff the object. You know the next thing that is about to happen! It is probably already inside the mouth or swallowed. Dogs act swiftly when they want to eat unusual things. So, you probably never get time to shout your instructions against it.
Are these regular occurrences in your household? Did your dog gulp down a wooden skewer right before your eyes? If so, taking the next steps determine if the object will create any health issues for your dog.
What Should You Do If Your Dog Ate a Wooden Skewer?
Home kitchens are full of equipment that deliver delicious meals. Also, with dogs around the house, they also become an object of worry. Canines love eating unusual stuff and wooden skewers are no different.
You probably just dump your wooden skewers in the trash after using them. It gives the perfect place for dogs to sniff and fulfill their naughty thirst for eating foreign objects.
Hence, if you find your dog eating or has eaten a wooden skewer, a few tips help them out their misery. Let’s have a look at them in detail:
1. Give Appropriate Food
If you know that dogs ate wooden skewers, the best way to bring it out would be through their bowel movements. Hence, to make the pieces inside the stomach soft and tender to pass through their poop, you can give appropriate food. Bread with canned wet foods helps build the fiber content in the body.
Once the dog gets more fiber, the passing stool becomes easy for dogs. The possibility of the wooden skewer coming out via the feces is also high when you try to give foods that induce bowel movements.
2. Take Them Out For a Walk
A brisk 20-minute walk should do the trick for working their intestinal muscles. However, take your dog out only when they act normal even after eating the wooden skewer. Do not force lethargic or sick dogs to walk as it can further cause pain or discomfort for them.
You can understand better the effects of walking your dog for stronger bowel movements through here.
3. Keep Them Hydrated
Hydration is a way to keep them comfortable when they are sick. Also, plenty of fluids helps their digestive tract to work well. Hence, you can give them water and other fluids to make them pass the wooden skewer through poop.
Moreover, if they show symptoms due to the ingestion like vomiting, dehydration is another consequence that can worsen their activities and health.
4. Look For Symptoms
Sometimes, you might never know if your dog has eaten foreign objects until they show some signs. Also, if you know that your dog ate skewers, wait for symptoms before making a decision.
Have a close eye on the behavior of your dog. If they show problems like vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, inactivity, pain, etc, the chances of them developing a blockage in their stomach is high.
Moreover, wooden skewers can sometimes break into pieces while traveling through their mouth. In that case, it can get stuck in their throat causing choking or gagging. Look out if they have any difficulty in breathing or drinking water. Seek immediate care to take out the wooden skewer stuck in their body.
5. Take Your Dog to the Vet
Some situations need emergency care. Similarly, choking, bleeding in the mouth due to the sharp skewer, etc are a few scenarios that need a vet’s care at once. Do not hesitate to talk to your vet to clear your doubts when your dog eats a wooden skewer.
Moreover, if you take the dog before things get worse, simple procedures and treatments can prevent the situation from getting worse. Else, dangerous and sometimes fatalities due to sharp objects like wooden skewers can happen.
A vet’s consultation is important to rule out any damage to the internal organs that might otherwise not be visible to the naked eye of the owner or through regular symptoms.
Can a Dog Digest a Wooden Skewer?
Dogs cannot swallow wooden skewers as a whole. They usually break down into small pieces for easy gulping.
Dogs have a great digestive tract with powerful stomach acids. These acids in dogs can digest and break down wooden skewers. They are strong enough to tackle many foreign objects that dogs tend to eat.
However, some young or old dogs may not have the perfect digestive system in place. For them, undigested ones are the ones that cause trouble.
Wooden skewers pass through most healthy dogs easily. Although, when they break down, small parts with sharp edges can cause trouble. They can create tears in the stomach or intestinal lining, choking scenarios, or cause internal bleeding.
Sometimes, they are the cause of intestinal blockage that prevents dogs from eating or drinking anything. It can be fatal for dogs and needs emergency care.
Can a Dog’s Stomach Break Down a Wooden Skewer?
Dog’s stomach has 10 times more acidic capacity than a human’s abdomen. Since most dogs are carnivores, their stomachs should be able to break down meat and bones.
Also, during digestion, the acidic levels are through the roof. Hence, they process the food and sometimes nasty foreign objects that they eat.
On that note, if a dog eats a wooden skewer, there are high chances for their digestive tract to break them down before passing through bowel movements the next time. However, if the skewer breaks into pieces while passing through the mouth during swallowing, danger still exists.
It can choke the throat or create lacerations in the lining of the mouth causing bleeding. Additionally, when the small pieces reach the stomach, internal bleeding is possible when there is any damage to the organs.
Another worry for dogs is when these wooden skewers can block any intestinal tracts causing a blockage. In those cases, dogs have difficulty processing the food they ate and end up vomiting immediately after intake.
While the dogs can digest the wooden skewers, it is still not safe at all for them to ingest such sharp foreign objects.
Symptoms to Look for After Your Dog Eats a Wooden Skewer
Most of the symptoms begin showing within 24 – 48 hours at the maximum. Also, in many rare cases, dogs go for weeks with still a piece of wooden skewer lodged in their stomach.
However, in such cases, they begin to deteriorate health-wise suddenly. Hence, it is best to look closely for any symptoms (however minute) to take the next course of action.
The symptoms to see if your dog ingested a wooden skewer are:
- Cuts or wounds on the mouth
- Lack of appetite
- Pain in their abdomen while touching
Also, look for symptoms like a fever when some infections begin due to internal bleeding of organs. Moreover, in the case of intestinal blockage, you will notice dogs biting their flanks regularly with a look of discomfort while doing so.
An intestinal blockage also alters the meals dogs take in a day. Constant vomiting and dehydration are some of the common symptoms noticed with blockage. In these cases, immediate diagnosis for the presence of foreign objects is necessary with some treatment plans to remove them.
Doctors may suggest medications to relieve the pain dogs suffer from. Also, they can perform a small surgery to bring out the damaged piece of wooden skewer from the blockage.
How To Prevent Your Dog From Eating Wooden Skewers Again?
Dog owners can dog-proof their house with pets around. It is essential to stop mishaps from happening. Hence, try these tips when the use of wooden skewers is high in your household:
1. Keep Skewers Away
If you buy wooden skewers for cooking, do not keep them within reach of your pets. Store it high-away in top cabinets. Also, do not keep the cabinets open.
Avoid giving any wooden skewers as toys for them to chew on. While chewing on wood happens during outside walks, it is still dangerous.
2. Discard Properly
After cooking, discard the skewers before keeping the dish on the table. If not, have a vigilant eye on what your dog eats when you are around.
Moreover, getting rid of the skewers is an important part of dog-proofing the house. Do not throw it away openly in the bin where the dogs do most of the scavenging. Discard them safely with closed bags and keep the dustbin out of their reach.
3. Feed Your Dog Properly
Feed the dogs well with nutritious fiber-rich foods to keep their tummy full. Else, chances are that they will eat what they find to keep their hunger down.
Dog owners can keep many mishaps from happening if they pay attention to things lying around the house. Also, cooking utensils like wooden skewers pose some risks when it comes to ingestion.
Conclusion: Can a Dog Eat a Wooden Skewer?
Dogs cannot eat any sharp objects and wooden skewers are one among them. They carry the risk of causing mouth injuries, choking in the esophagus, internal bleeding due to lacerations in the organs, and intestinal blockage.
Watch out for symptoms when either of these problems develops. Vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, fever, pain, etc are the common signs to look out for. Moreover, make the dog eat high-fiber foods to have them pass the wooden skewer objects easily. It is always safe to consult a vet in case of sharp objects ingestion.