As it turns out, dogs have a really strong taste for soap. Not the kind you use to clean up after your dog, but the kind you use to wash off the dog’s food and water bowls.
Can dogs eat soap? Can a dog’s taste buds change? Can a dog eat cat food? Is it possible for a dog to chew through a rope? Many dog owners are curious about these things and more. The simple answer is yes, you can give your dog any food that you would eat. The question then becomes, how do you ensure that your dog doesn’t get sick and that he doesn’t even begin to think that he has become part of a human meal?
Soap is made by breaking down fats and oils into smaller compounds. When you apply soap to your dog, you’re actually applying a chemical that resembles these fatty acids.
What’s in Soap?
Water, oils (typically cocamide DEA or monoethanolamine), perfumes and colors (along with other additives, such as sodium lauryl sulfate, parabens and cocamidopropyl betaine) are the most common constituents in liquid soaps.
Ingredients in bar soap and soaps marketed as “natural” are often the same. Essential oils and dried herbs may also be found in some soaps.
Your Dog Ate Soap: Should You Be Worried?
Humans should avoid ingesting some of the common soap ingredients because of the dangers they pose. Soap, on the other hand, can be tricky to determine how toxic it is for dogs to eat.
When it comes to essential oils in soaps, dogs are particularly vulnerable. Pine oil, a frequent component in disinfectants and cleaning products, can produce serious side effects in dogs, according to the Pet Poison Helpline. Vomiting, skin irritation, drooling, weakness, loss of muscle control, and kidney and liver damage can all result from using pine oil soap.
The mouth, esophagus, and stomach of your dog might be damaged by soaps. If your pet eats a huge lump of soap, it could cause a blockage.
Troubling Symptoms in Dogs Who Have Eaten Soap
Bar soap is unlikely to harm your dog, although unexpected reactions are always possible. The following are signs and symptoms that you should look for in your dog and seek veterinarian help for:
Persistent Vomiting or Diarrhea
If your dog eats a bar of soap, he or she will almost certainly have digestive problems, as previously described. This is normally not a significant worry if the problem disappears after a few hours, but if it persists for more than 24 hours, you should take your dog to the veterinarian.
Bloating, Unusual Postures, Pacing, or Visible Pain
Dogs who consume a bar of soap may experience symptoms indicative of an obstruction of the intestines, as noted above.
In order to rule out any obstructions in your dog’s digestive tract, your veterinarian will likely do an examination and, if necessary, an imaging procedure.
Swelling of the Face or Mouth or Difficulty Breathing
If your dog exhibits any of these signs, it’s possible that an allergic reaction to the soap is to blame (or some of the additives in it, such as perfumes or dyes).
This may be an emergency medical condition, and your dog’s life may be in jeopardy if you don’t go to the clinic right once. Make a phone call to the vet or emergency room and let them know you’ll be there soon.
Don’t Confuse Soaps with Detergents
Detergent and soap are commonly used interchangeably in everyday speech, although they actually relate to two distinct items.
We’re not going to dive into the chemistry here, but in general, soaps aren’t likely to harm your dog too severely. On the other side, detergents have the potential to cause major health issues for your pet.
Detergents can create a wide range of symptoms and difficulties for your dog, as there are hundreds of different types of detergents. Toxic or caustic substances may be present in some, putting your dog at risk for liver or kidney damage, or even chemical burns.
Because of this, contact your veterinarian immediately if your pet ingests any detergent. Shampoo, dish detergent, and laundry detergent all fall under the umbrella of “soap.”
Why Do Dogs Eat Soap?
Soap is a mystery, but it may have something to do with the fact that dogs use their noses and mouths to investigate the world, and many dogs have a “eat first, ask questions later” mentality when it comes to new things.
Bar soaps tend to have a strong aroma, which can pique the interest of your dog.
Dogs that often raid the soap dish are not the same as those that occasionally nibble on a bar of soap and learn from the experience. This activity must resemble a combination of morning sickness and a hangover.
The teething process may be to blame if your dog is still a pup. The amount of soap that your dog is consuming may be minimal in such instances. Keep the soap out of your dog’s reach and supply him with a suitable puppy teething chew toy to assist soothe him during this tough time if he is teething-related soap eating.
Pica, a behavioral disorder, has been linked to soap-eating. Pica dogs appear to be bizarrely driven to consume inedible objects. Almost any inanimate thing can be affected by this condition. Dogs have varying preferences when it comes to chewing materials. Some prefer rocks or mud, while others favor paper.
There are many theories on pica, but none of them appear to fit all the time. Others believe that diabetes and other health issues, such as malnourishment, may be a contributing factor. Boredom and frustration are also likely causes of stress.
If your dog has a propensity of chomping down on soap, keep it under lock and key and talk to your veterinarian about the problem.
Consult an animal behaviorist if your veterinarian concludes that your dog is in perfect condition and you are nevertheless experiencing behavioral issues.
Is Soap Poisonous to Dogs?
As a result, a great number of soap bars contain components that are safe for dogs to use. Even yet, if consumed, they may experience nausea and diarrhea. Toxic chemicals do exist in some soaps, however. The essential oils in some soaps, such as tea tree and pine, can be toxic to dogs. Lye, an alkali chemical known as sodium hydroxide, is also found in some soaps. You should avoid using lye soaps on your pet. It’s also important to keep in mind that your dog may become blocked if he or she consumes a substantial portion of a soap bar or a soap bar in its entirety.
Will Eating Soap Hurt a Dog?
How much soap your dog ate will be determined on the type and amount consumed. Natural soap bars without lye or any other hazardous components can cause symptoms ranging from no symptoms to vomiting, diarrhea, and a tummy pain if your dog eats a small amount.
The alkaline characteristics of lye may induce symptoms in your dog if it ate a soap bar with lye in it. The intensity of these symptoms will be determined by:
The soap’s lye concentration
The volume of food consumed by your dog
The size and digestive sensitivities of your furry companion
Drooling, pawing at the face, vomiting, and stomach aches are all possible symptoms. Due to the corrosive nature of alkaline chemicals, this is the case.
When a dog ingests soap containing essential oils, the severity of symptoms will depend on the same circumstances and the presence of the essential oil. One side effect of ingesting large amounts of tea tree oil is the development of a shaky gait that can lead to hypothermia (a drop in core body temperature). Antibacterial qualities of pine oil make it a popular ingredient in soaps. If your dog eats too much, it can irritate their digestive tract, resulting in excessive salivation, vomiting (with or without blood), a shaky stride, weakness, and even damage to their liver and kidneys if consumed in large quantities.
Can a Dog Get Sick From Eating a Bar of Soap?
A soap bar that was swallowed whole by your dog or ingested in huge chunks could cause a blockage in your dog’s stomach or intestines. Vomiting, anorexia, tiredness, and either diarrhea or a lack of stools are all symptoms to watch out for here.
What Will Happen If My Dog Ate Soap?
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask your veterinarian. Attempting to make your dog ill at home is never a good idea. If the offending object contains an irritant, this might lead to further damage to the esophagus (such as lye or essential oils). This could also happen when returning to the top. Aspiration (breathing in vomit) is an extremely serious complication of vomiting. Always follow your veterinarian’s advice when it comes to deciding whether or not to induce vomiting in your dog. If so, your veterinarian will administer an injection and monitor your dog’s progress during the procedure.
Your vet may advise you to keep an eye on your dog at home if the sort of soap bar he ate and the amount he consumed are in question. What you’ll need to watch for:
- Pawing at the face or neck
- Anxiety-induced shakiness
In an effort to alleviate their discomfort, your dog may adopt odd positions or turn and look at their tummy. Often, your dog looks like he’s ‘praying’ with his bottom up and his nose on the ground.
Diarrhea or a lack of stools as an alternative
Does your soap contain any other unique ingredients? (the vet will advise you on these)
If your dog shows any of these symptoms or acts in an unusual manner, you should contact your veterinarian straight once to schedule an appointment.
It is possible that your veterinarian will want you to come to the clinic right away. Even if your dog appears to be healthy, always follow their advice if they think they need to see a veterinarian. Your dog’s stomach may be protected with fluids and medication during treatment. For as long as your veterinarian deems necessary, usually until any symptoms have subsided, they will keep a careful eye on your dog.
For dogs that have eaten big portions of soap bars, your veterinarian may recommend an x-ray or a “endoscopic” camera to see whether or not the soap is causing a blockage in your dog’s digestive tract. If your dog is unfortunate enough to have a blockage, your veterinarian may recommend surgery to remove the soap bar and examine the area for damage.
My Dog Ate Soap – Will They Be OK?
In most cases, if your dog takes a small amount of soap, he or she will be fine. To what extent does soap harm dogs? Yes, but fortunately, the signs and symptoms tend to be modest. However, the type and quantity of soap consumed, as well as your dog, have a role in this. This is why it’s critical to call your veterinary clinic for advice anyway, as certain dogs can be adversely affected by even small doses of a particular substance.
Remember to take action quickly! The sooner you contact your veterinarian’s office, the sooner your pet can begin receiving any necessary therapy. Also, make sure your curious dog can’t get his paws on any personal care or household cleaning supplies.
Types of Soap Matter
In our homes, we use a variety of soaps. In addition to detergents for cleaning our clothes and dishes, they contain soaps for washing our bodies (e.g., hands and face). From solid bars to powders to liquids, they come in all shapes and sizes. It’s possible to get them in a variety of forms, including loose or pre-packaged pills.
When a dog ingests some hand or dish soap, you don’t have to worry too much about it. Some common varieties of dog soap include basic bars of hand soap or dish soap, depending on the dog’s preference. It’s not uncommon for any of these to occur, and both can be easily treated. If your dog accidentally ingested an acne treatment soap, a detergent pod, or a big quantity of any soap, the treatment will differ based on the contents of the soap in question.
You may be able to do all in your power to keep your dog safe at times. Somehow, they manage to slurp some liquid soap or even devour an entire bar of soap! A lost bar of soap or a chewed soap dispenser could be all you have to show for it! Do not be alarmed if this occurs. We’ll go over everything you need to know in the next paragraphs. If your dog consumes soap, we’ll explain why, as well as what to do if your dog does so.
Why Dogs Eat Soap
Certain breeds of dogs will be more eager to please than others. Their age and personality have a big role in this. Teething puppies are more likely to chew on or ingest non-edible objects. They find comfort in chewing on anything to alleviate their pain. If your puppy is in the chewing stage, make sure any potential chewing objects are out of reach of your puppy. An appropriate puppy chew toy (or several) can typically fix this issue.
The addition of perfume to soaps is common since we enjoy the scent. Your dog may be drawn to these enticing scents as well. Soap licking and chewing is encouraged by this, as is soap ingesting. This could be because your dog thinks it’s a toy and pulls on it. Your dog may also come to your aid if soap has leaked into the floor. While you’re taking a bath, those lovely soapy bubbles can tempt them. When you get out of the shower or bath, they may simply be licking you.
Others simply crave more food and are continuously on the hunt for a treat. Regardless of what this is, this can happen. Dogs with a lot of willpower might be difficult to train. If your dog is chewing or eating inedible objects, there may be a medical or behavioral explanation for this. If this is happening on a regular basis, we suggest consulting with your veterinarian about it.
Perfumes & Oils in Different Soaps
Adding essential oils such as pine oil to soaps can pose a risk to your pet’s health if they are consumed. You may have weakness, collapse, or liver and/or kidney damage if you consume pine oil. You may notice your pet pawing at the mouth or licking excessively if your pet has mouth burns or ulcers. A quick trip to the ER vet isn’t necessary unless your dog ate something poisonous in the soap you gave him.
Other dangers of eating soap
Ingestion of soap can cause upset stomachs in pets, increasing the danger of choking from foamy vomit. If even a small amount of this is inhaled, it could result in serious lung damage. A blockage in the esophageal passageway, stomach or intestines can also be caused by high amounts of soap. A surgical procedure to remove the impediment may be necessary for your pet.
These compounds can cause serious skin or eye irritations or allergies in pets if they come into touch with their skin or eyes. In severe situations, allergic responses might include swelling of the face or breathing problems.
My Dog Just Ate Soap, What Should I Do?
Many things may be done to limit the effects of soap ingestion if you notice your dog has eaten soap.
Prevent Further Access
The first thing you should do if your dog consumes soap is to stop him from doing so in the future. The more people eat, the more likely it is that they may suffer negative consequences. Dispose of any mess your dog has made and keep your house clean. Keep all other soaps out of reach from children and pets by storing them in a locked cabinet.
Clean Up Your Dog
Flushing your dog’s mouth with water is an option if you can (and aren’t afraid of being bitten!). As a result, your pet’s mouth will be spared the harsh effects of the soap. Splashing water in your dog’s mouth might lead to water inhalation, so use caution. As a result, if they’re having trouble, it’s advisable to give up. It’s best to use a wet sponge to remove soap from your pet’s eyes or skin.
Immediately Contact Your Vet
Even if your dog appears to be in good health, a trip to the vet is still recommended. Be careful to supply the vet with the soap packaging’s ingredient list, as this will aid them in determining the best course of action. A veterinary visit may or may not be necessary in some circumstances, depending on the severity of your pet’s symptoms.
Don’t Treat it At Home
Don’t try to make your dog ill, please. This isn’t always necessary, and it might even be harmful to your pet in some cases. A dog’s gullet can be damaged further if it is forced to vomit irritating stuff. In addition, if your dog vomits a frothy substance, it is far more probable that part of the bubbles may be inhaled, resulting in respiratory difficulties and inhalation pneumonia. Instead, heed the advise of your veterinarian.
Can Eating Soap Kill My Dog?
Rest assured that dogs will not die if they consume bar soap. Fortunately, our furry friends here are far more resilient than they appear.
As the soap moves through the dog’s system, it will cause a lot of discomfort in the dog’s stomach. It may also cause vomiting or purging as the dog’s body tries to rid itself of the poison.
The dog should be alright if this doesn’t go on for more than 24 hours.
You should take your dog to the vet if symptoms like vomiting or diarrhea persist for more than a day without going away.
It’s possible that your dog has swallowed huge bits of soap, which could cause an intestinal obstruction. Try not to worry too much about this, as it is quite rare.
Will Eating Soap Hurt My Dog?
One thing is for sure: Your dog may not be feeling well for a time. You and I, on the other hand, use soap that isn’t safe for dogs to use.
Soap can cause a mild burning sensation in a dog’s throat and stomach when it’s consumed. In addition, soap might cause your dog to become depressed, tired, and even lose interest in food.
You should keep an eye on them, but don’t be alarmed if you notice any of these signs after your dog has eaten soap.
It’s possible that the dog’s symptoms won’t go away for more than one day. If that’s the case, you should take the dog to the vet for a checkup, if you haven’t previously.
Is A Bar Of Soap Toxic?
No, most soap bars aren’t harmful to dogs if eaten in moderation. A soap bar is made up of a number of ingredients. Lye-reacting oils and lipids are the most common ingredients.
Animal fats (like lard or rendered beef fat) or natural fats (like coconut or palm oil) can make up the fats. Some other components may cause problems for your dog, however.
Chemicals like preservatives, scents, and other additives have been added to soaps in recent years. If your dog eats a bar of soap, it will undoubtedly get sick.
The dog’s digestive tract and throat are frequently irritated as a result of this internal discomfort. As a result, your dog will likely experience scorching pains from the back of their throat all the way down to their stomach and beyond.
Because soap makes a lot of bubbles as it passes through your dog, there is another benefit. That’s going to add to your dog’s discomfort as this procedure goes on.
Overall, the soap may make it difficult for your dog to maintain an appetite, so you may discover it hasn’t eaten for some time now.
The ingredients in your soap should be examined more closely. Corrosive components may be included in some specialist soaps, posing a risk to your dog’s digestive tract.
This is what you should mention to your veterinarian if your dog has ingested a bar of soap!
How Do I Stop My Dog From Eating Soap Again?
You hope your dog is smart enough to learn from its mistakes after ingesting soap. Then you’ll have to get a little more inventive if that isn’t the case. Non-food products like soaps must be kept out of your dog’s reach, just as you would with cookies for a child.
Soap holders that hang in your shower, for example, allow you to keep your soap bar within easy reach. Another option is to use liquid soaps instead.
With a bottle of soap, dogs may be less likely to try to get their teeth into it. Even if they do, the odds of their consuming the soap are far fewer than with a soap bar that is left out on the tub’s side or anything.
Keep in mind that caring for a dog is similar to caring for a tiny child in that the majority of the time, they have no idea better. As responsible ‘parents,’ we must therefore go the extra mile to ensure the safety of our dogs in our homes.
Our little furkids should have the same “baby-proofing” as our human children, which means that we should put soaps and other potentially harmful products out of their reach.
In conclusion, there are two ways to go about this. The first way is to find a dog that has eaten soap. The second way is to let it happen and clean the mess with a mild soap and water. The reason why you can’t stop a dog from eating soap is because if you want to, you have to make it worth the dog’s while. If you leave the mess in the house, the dog can’t help but find the soap and eat it. So, the only option left is to remove the soap from the house. In this case, your best option is to make sure that the dog doesn’t find the soap in the first place. If you don’t clean the floor and the area where the dog is eating the soap, you won’t be able to clean the mess with a mild soap and water. You have to make it worth the dog’s while to eat soap. If you want to read about the two ways to deal with this, check out my next blog post on the psychology of dog eating.