Before reading any further, please first know that we Recommend a call to your vet. In most cases, it’s free and your vet or vet can often give you rest without a personal visit. You can also Call the ASPCA hotline At no cost. The good news is that a dog who has eaten a little hand soap, dish soap, or body soap will be fine most of the time. While we go through the steps you would like to go through in detail, we encourage you to contact your own veterinarian or your local animal poison control hotline immediately.
If your dog is eating soap you may be alarmed. There are a few steps, depending on the type of soap You can take it right away. The guide below will tell you exactly what to do if your favorite furry friend decides to eat a bar that has a little more foam in it than their favorite dog food.
Kinds of soap material
Many types of soap are used in our households. This includes those that are used to wash our bodies (e.g. hands and face), as well as detergents for washing our clothes and dishes. They come in a variety of shapes ranging from solid rods, powders, and liquids. They can be unwrapped or contained in dispensers, capsules or “tablets”.
Most of the time a dog will eat hand soap or dish soap, there is nothing to worry about. The most common types of soap a dog consumes are a simple bar of hand soap or they opt for dish soap. Both are fairly common and the treatment steps are straightforward. Once your puppy has decided on a soap that is suitable for acne treatment, a laundry detergent bowl, or a large amount of soap, the treatment will depend on the ingredients.
Sometimes you can do absolutely anything to keep your dog safe. Somehow they still manage to lick some liquid soap or even eat a whole bar! It can go so quickly and the only evidence you can have is a missing bar of soap or a chewed soap dispenser! In that case, try not to worry. Read on as we discuss everything you need to know. We’ll explain why dogs are attracted to soap, whether soap is toxic to dogs, and what to do if your dog eats soap.
Why dogs eat soap
Certain dogs are more curious than others. It largely depends on their age and personality. Puppies that are teething, chewing, or eating inedible items are more likely to be. Chewing something will help alleviate their discomfort. When your pup is going through the chewing phase, make sure that any likely chews are out of reach. Providing your pup with an appropriate puppy chew toy (or several) will often fix this problem.
We like to smell good, which is why soaps are often added to perfumes. These pleasant aromas can also be attractive to your dog. This encourages them to lick, chew, or even ingest large amounts of soap. This can happen simply because your dog thinks it is a toy. Or soap may have spilled on the floor and your dog will come over to “clean up” the spilled material. You can be seduced by these beautiful soap bubbles while you are taking a bath. They may even only lick you when you get out of the shower or bath.
Some dogs are just plain greedy and will always be on the lookout for their next snack. This can be done independently. Determined dogs can be quite a challenge. Sometimes there may be a medical or behavioral reason for your dog to chew or eat inedible items. If this happens frequently, we encourage you to have your veterinarian examine you to discuss this possibility.
Dogs who are repeatedly attracted to soap or other inedible objects may need further evaluation. Pica is a condition where pets feel the need to eat unusual objects such as wood, grass, plastic, paper or metal. It can be a specific item that they crave or they can search for different items. Pica is caused by an underlying behavior or illness. Your vet may want to do blood tests or suggest a behavioral assessment.
Is soap poisonous to dogs?
Every soap is different and can contain different ingredients and strengths of toxic ingredients. As a result, there is no defined safe amount that your pet can ingest. Solid bars of soaps are made from sodium hydroxide (also known as caustic soda and often referred to as “lye”).
Liquid soaps are made from potassium hydroxide. Both hydroxides are strong alkalis and if swallowed can cause burns to the mouth, gullet (gullet), and stomach. Symptoms can include drooling, vomiting, stomach pain, and diarrhea.
Dishwasher or detergent is in a capsule considered more dangerous when they “burst” while chewing, shooting the chemicals to the back of the mouth and throat and even into the lungs. In any case, swallowed washing or soap capsules require an immediate call and/or a visit to your veterinarian.
Perfumes & oils in various soaps
Essential oils like pine oil are often added to soaps and can also cause problems for your pet if consumed. Ingesting pine oil can cause weakness, collapse, and liver and/or kidney damage. Burns or sores in the mouth can cause discomfort, which your pet can cause from paws on the mouth or excessive licking. It is important to know what is in the soap your dog has eaten before going on an emergency trip to see the ambulance.
Other hazards when eating soap
Since ingesting soap often causes upset stomachs, your pet is at risk of choking on frothy vomit. This can lead to a serious lung infection if some of this material is inhaled. Soaps can also cause blockages in the esophagus, stomach, or intestines if large amounts of solid soap are ingested. Your pet may need surgery to remove the obstruction.
If these ingredients come in contact with your pet’s skin or eyes, it could cause severe irritation or allergic reactions. In severe cases, allergic reactions can lead to swelling of the face or difficulty breathing.
My dog just ate soap, what should I do?
When you get home and find that your dog has eaten soap, there are many steps you can take to limit the effects of soap intake.
Prevent further access
Just like if your dog eats chocolate, chicken bones, or dangerous nuts, your first step is to stop your dog from eating more soap. In general, the more you eat, the worse the effects. Shut up your dog and clean up any spilled material. You should also keep any other soap in a safe place around the house.
Clean up your dog
If possible (and you probably won’t get bitten!), Rinse your dog’s mouth with water. This will dilute the soap and limit the harsh effects on your pet’s mouth. Be careful though, you don’t want your dog to inhale water while you are splashing it around your mouth. So if they are having problems it is best to stop. If your pet gets soap in their eyes or on their skin, rinse them in the shower to dilute the soap.
Contact your veterinarian immediately
Even if your dog appears okay, it is important to seek veterinary advice. Make sure you provide the vet with the ingredients list on the soap wrapper as this will help them decide the most appropriate course of action. Your pet’s symptoms may only need to be monitored at home. However, in some cases, a visit to the vet will be required for further assessment and treatment
Do not treat it at home
Don’t try to make your dog sick. This may not be necessary and can be harmful to your pet under certain circumstances. When a dog vomits irritating material, the esophagus can become more damaged. In addition, vomiting a foamy substance can make your dog more likely to inhale some of the blisters, causing difficulty breathing and inhalation pneumonia. Instead, follow your veterinarian’s instructions.
Will my dog be okay?
Ingesting soap products can do no harm at all, especially if they are consumed in small quantities. However, more serious consequences can arise if large amounts of soap are consumed or soaps with high levels of toxic substances are consumed. Data from the Pet Poison Helpline suggest that around three-quarters of dogs who eat capsule liquid soap will show symptoms, while the number for hand soap is believed to be much lower.
In all cases of using soap, it is advisable to contact your veterinarian. Only monitoring your dog’s symptoms may be required. However, it’s a good idea to keep your vet’s heads up high. In some cases of soap toxicity, your veterinarian may need to treat your pet more aggressively. If ingesting the soap caused ulcers or burns in the mouth, esophagus, or stomach, your pet may need to be hospitalized for treatment of vomiting and diarrhea. They must be provided with supportive care such as intravenous fluids or medication to protect the stomach lining.
If your pet has eaten a large piece of solid soap and has it lodged in the esophagus, stomach, or intestines, they may need surgery to clear the blockage. This is usually rare. In some severe cases of soap toxicity, your pet may develop liver or kidney damage. As a result, your veterinarian may recommend additional tests and treatments.
In most cases, instances of soap ingestion cause little to no effect. However, in some cases, depending on the ingredients in the soap and the effect it has on the pet, severe symptoms can occur and even prove fatal. Prevention is always better than cure. The takeaway message is designed to ensure that harmful products do not get within your dog’s reach. Should your puppy be given soap, contact your veterinarian for advice on what to do next.