Dogs can chew and gulp down anything. But they seem to primarily love fabrics—for example, underwear, socks, and, of course, dryer sheets. So, if your pooch has just eaten a dryer sheet, know that you are not alone.
Lately, the rate of doggies ingesting them is on the rise. Most likely, you are seriously worried about the consequences. Keep reading to learn how you should behave. Here is the short version to let you know what to do now.
My dog ate a dryer sheet. What do I do? If the dog is breathing fine, it could try to throw up the dryer sheet. Call your vet as soon as possible. At the same time, get the dryer sheet package and watch your dog. If the dog shows signs of a stomach ache or breathing issues, promptly take it to the vet.
Are Dryer Sheets Toxic To Dogs?
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals says yes. In their article on poisonous household products, they specify the risks of ingesting dryer sheets. And indeed, you should not make it easier for your dog to find and chew them.
Many pet owners will give you a different answer. In fact, most of them think that fresh dryer sheets are the only dangerous ones. Instead, according to them, if you let a dog gulp a softener sheet once in a while, you should not worry.
The fact is that these products can contain toxic substances, such as:
- cationic detergents
- benzyl alcohol
If your dog eats a Bounce dryer sheet you just threw away, the reaction may vary. Different brands use different chemicals. Every time you buy sheets, you should read the label or the package to be sure.
For instance, Bounce clearly states to keep the product away from children and pets. Because their products contain cationic softeners, they can still be harmful.
Of course, when you use a dryer sheet, it loses most of its chemicals. But your dog could still sniff the fragrance and go for it. Then, the traces of the chemicals left can still harm your pooch. Specifically, your four-legged friend’s mouth, stomach, and intestines.
Your dog’s reaction depends on many factors, such as:
- the quantity and quality of the chemicals
- time elapsed since ingestion
- kidney problems
- sizes of the pieces the dog ate
Can a Dog Die from Eating a Dryer Sheet?
Sadly, yes. More precisely, severe cases of intake of toxic substances can lead to deadly complications. An older, asthmatic dog should not wait for any symptom to show up before seeing the vet.
In general, most dogs do ok after eating a single dryer sheet. Even the vet could try to cheer you up on the phone if the dog does not show any symptoms. But for dogs with health problems, things can get complicated pretty quickly.
Death can occur due to a blockage in the intestine. Basically, your softener sheet can block your dog’s digestive system. The American Kennel Club reminds us of the deadly risks that come with gastrointestinal obstruction.
If your dog shows signs of stomachache or troubles passing stools, you should worry. That is, the sheet could be making a previous problem worse. But more importantly, you should keep calm.
It is of the utmost importance that you think through the issue. In fact, most dog owners freak out. And that’s not the way to handle this serious situation.
You should contact the vet immediately to let him or her know that you are coming. This way, you let the professional prepare for the necessary critical care procedures.
When the problem gets way worse, the animal could start shaking. If this is the case, move your dog to a safe location. In short, you must prevent any accidental cuts or bruises. And by all means, do not improvise. Always call and listen to the vet first.
What Are the Most Significant and Dangerous Symptoms?
When your dog ingests different chemicals, the clinical signs vary. For example, you might see that your dog has little energy and feels unwilling to do anything. Maybe, the dog tries to snuggle but is obviously not at ease.
Also, gastrointestinal problems such as drooling, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea can arise.
Most likely, your dog will try to throw up the dryer sheet within a couple of hours. If your dog has been vomiting, collect a vomit sample in a container.
You need to keep it for the vet.
A vet can use the barf for diagnosis and analysis. But whatever you do, do not induce vomiting without discussing it with your vet first. Especially if your bow-wow is unconscious, as a matter of fact, some types of chemicals can make the situation worse when vomiting is induced.
Call the vet if you see one or more of these severe signs:
- oral ulcers
- wheezing or increased respiratory rate
Often, oral ulcers take hours to appear. Just because you don’t see any lesions, it doesn’t mean there isn’t one coming! Furthermore, burns can also occur in the esophagus or stomach, where it is not possible to see them.
As symptoms vary, it is recommended you promptly call your vet, animal poison control center, or a veterinary hospital.
Of course, you might arrive home after the dog ate the dryer sheets. In this case, look for other clues as well. They might indicate what really happened.
Onset and progression of symptoms may combine:
- Involvement of other animals
- Simultaneous ingestion of varying toxic substances
- Accessibility to medicines and home cleaning product cabinets
Are Bounce Dryer Sheets Toxic to Dogs?
Bounce dryer sheets are toxic for dogs, just like every other household product that contains detergents. Clearly, I do not want to pick on this brand. But since I previously mentioned Bounce, I think I better clarify some points.
- Bounce dryer sheets are among the most popular fabric softener sheets. Most pet owners wonder if they are toxic to their dogs. Well, they are.
- Most dogs can easily smell this product because of its perfume. Then again, some bloggers suggest ways to use dryer sheets around the house. And more disturbingly, ways to use them on your pet. So, your doggy likely knows where to find one.
- Due to its chemicals, a new Bounce dryer sheet can cause oral ulcers. But if you happen to see your dog chewing one, here is what you can do. For 15 to 20 minutes, it is advisable to rinse the dog’s mouth with warm water. To do that, you can use a showerhead or a hose from the kitchen sink. Yet, try not to point the jet towards the back of the mouth because water can enter the lungs. If that happens, water can complicate the situation. So, it’s better to carefully clean the mouth from different angles.
Why do dogs like Dryer Sheets? What do I do?
Almost all dog breeds love to chew these products at the risk of turning your house into a landfill.
Dogs might chew the fabric to learn something new. For example, chewing helps a puppy to learn and literally savor the world around him or her. By tasting something new and different from food or breast milk, your pooch gains new experiences.
It could prove to be a fun game played to capture the owner’s attention. Or a game shared between other house dogs. At the same time, it can be a way to break the daily routine. That is, to vent the accumulated boredom.
Dogs could bite the fabric or tear it apart completely. Especially if the smell somehow resembles the presence of feathers or fur. In fact, a fragrance can awaken in your dog the primordial instinct of hunting.
You can stop this behavior with a series of solutions. For example, you can provide the dog with a large number of games. The main goal is to distract your doggy.
Reach for the leash to take him or her out for a walk. Or invite the dog to play with you. Alternatively, you can cuddle and repeatedly caress the dog to calm your pet down.
Conclusion. My Dog Ate A Dryer Sheet! What do I do?
The chemicals contained in dryer sheets can lead your dog to severe illness and even death. For one thing, you should consult with your vet. Calling a vet is the safest solution because you will get both help and support. In case of need of critical care procedures, your vet will guide you step by step.
If your pet is unconscious, seek veterinary care immediately. Unconsciousness is among the most significant signs that something is wrong. If you can’t reach your vet or emergency clinic, call an animal poison helpline. Most likely, they will ask you to read the ingredients of the products. So, grab the package and read the label while you wait to talk with a specialist.
At this very moment, you might not be thinking about preventing other forms of poisoning. But if you have many dogs, remember to safely close any household product cabinet before taking the ill dog to the vet.