What If My Dog Eats My Shoelaces [Panic or Not]

If Dog Eats Shoelaces [Panic or Not]

(For informational purposes only. Not medical advice) Keeping a dog can be tricky at times. You need to be aware of anything that could be hazardous for them. Sometimes alarming situations come up, such as when your dog eats your shoelaces.

Do not panic if your dog eats shoelaces; instead, try to prevent your dog from swallowing the shoelaces if possible. If they are in the mouth you can pull them out. If swallowed you may want to induce vomiting. Here are a few things you can do when your dog eats shoelaces.

  1. Try to pull the shoelace out: if the shoelaces are not swallowed 
  2. Try to induce vomiting in your dog with hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, or salt method: if the shoelace is swallowed.
  3. Monitor feces for the shoelace
  4. Look for symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, abdominal pain, weakness, or stomach issues.
  5. Call a vet 

There is no reason to panic since it can freak out your dog and worsen the situation. Nevertheless, you shouldn’t ignore the problem since swallowing shoelaces can lead to choking, stomach issues, digestion problems, and bacterial infections in dogs.

What To Do If Dog Eats Shoelaces?

First of all, you don’t need to panic if your dog eats shoelaces. However, you shouldn’t ignore the problem either since it can make your dog habitually eat weird things, which can be harmful.

Shoelaces can be made of leather or fabric which could pass through your dog without issue, but shoelaces also have aglets (the end part) made of metal or plastic.

A dog that eats a shoelace has most probably eaten the metal or plastic parts as well, which can harm its health. A shoelace can transfer germs to your dog’s stomach, and the aglets can damage their digestive tracts, so taking action is important.

Here are a few things you can immediately do when your dog eats shoelaces.

Analyze The Seriousness

If your dog swallows a shoelace, don’t panic unless you see severe symptoms such as vomiting, lethargy, diarrhea, or abdominal swelling. Whether to panic or not depends on the seriousness of the situation. first evaluate the situation based on several factors, including:

  • Size of your dog
  • Breed of your dog
  • Shoelace material
  • How was the shoelace eaten (chewed or swallowed)? Chewed metal or plastic can hurt the digestive tract.

Size Of Your Dog

When your dog eats a shoelace, the first thing to consider is the size of your dog. In general, larger dogs digest things more easily than smaller dogs. According to cleverpetowners.com, you can expect the shoelace to pass in your dog’s feces in three days if your dog weighs around 100 pounds. 

On the other hand, puppies have smaller stomachs and intestines, so they have difficulty digesting objects. It is, therefore, essential to induce vomiting in small dogs or puppies that have eaten shoelaces.

Shoelace Material

To determine the severity of the situation, check the material of the shoelaces. If the shoelace is made of soft material like linen or other fabric, it may be less harmful to your dog. However, shoelaces made from hard materials like denim or leather can cause more serious issues. 

Furthermore, you should determine whether the shoelaces were clean or dirty. Dirty shoelaces can easily transfer bacteria to your dog’s stomach, increasing the risk of infection.

When your dog eats a shoelace, the shoelace itself plays a major role in the severity of the consequences. Dogs can suffer stomach issues from shoelaces, whether they are made of fabric or leather.

Since shoelace aglets are made of plastic, metal, or iron, they can be dangerous for dogs. They can damage your dog’s digestive tracts causing serious issues. If not treated timely, shoelaces cause choking and can get stuck in dogs’ intestines.

How Is The Shoelace Eaten?

Another important thing to consider before treating your dog is to check how the shoelace is eaten. If your dog has chewed up the shoelace, it will likely end up in its feces. However, if the shoelace was swallowed in one piece, the shoelace is more likely to wrap around your dog’s intestine, making it extremely fatal.

What To Do If Your Dog Eats Shoelaces?

Notice if your dog is eager to play with or chew your shoes early on. This behavior could lead to them chewing off a shoelace in the future.

Make Sure Your Dog Is Fine

Before panicking or doing anything, make sure your dog is okay. If you see something hanging from its mouth, see if you can open its mouth. Getting your dog to open their mouth can be difficult.

Notice their breathing. Something stuck in their mouth and throat could cause choking. Determine if you are able to calmly have them open their mouth (See video below). Sometimes shoelaces can get tangled over their tongue and throat area.

Determine if the shoelace will easily come out or not.

Try To Pull the Shoelace Out

If your dog hasn’t swallowed any portion of the shoelace yet, pulling it out is a good option. Pulling the shoelace out, if it’s down your dog’s throat can make a dog panic. This could make the situation worse.

If the shoelace is not too far down into your dog’s throat and stomach, gently pull it out of his mouth. In most cases, if the shoelace is halfway down the throat, you can easily pull it out without problems and you may not even have to touch your dog’s mouth.

However, if the shoelace is almost swallowed, you may want to consider inducing vomiting.

If you’re unsure what to do it may be best to contact your vet as soon as possible. A vet will help you with the next steps whether your dog has or hasn’t fully swallowed some shoelaces.

How To Induce Vomiting in Your Dog?

If your dog has already swallowed the shoelace or it is non-retrievable, you need to induce vomiting in him. Here are a few methods to help you. You can use any of them that is convenient for you and will work within a few minutes.

Hydrogen Peroxide 

Inducing vomiting in your dog using hydrogen peroxide is a common and vet-approved method. First, you need to give your dog 3 percent hydrogen peroxide by calculating one teaspoon for every 10 pounds of your dog. Then jiggle your dog’s stomach, and he will vomit within 10-15 minutes.

If your dog throws up the shoelace, you can relax. But if you can’t see the traces of shoelaces, you may need to repeat it a few times.

Baking Soda 

If you don’t have hydrogen peroxide, you can also use baking soda to induce vomiting in your dog. You’ll need “one teaspoon of soda in one cup of water” (healthyhomemadedogtreats.com). Then use a syringe for administering medicine orally to dogs or turkey baster.

Give them doses of the liquid little by little until they vomit.

Salt Method

Another easy way to induce vomiting in your dog is using the salt method. Give your dog one teaspoon of salt on the back of their tongue. (cuteness.com)

Then you should wait 3 minutes and repeat this step again if your dog has not vomited yet. Too much salt isn’t good for anyone but if you don’t have anything else and it is an emergency, then this might be the best method to help.

Make sure your dog has plenty of water to drink after vomiting.

Give Your Dog Some Milk Or A Treat

Try giving him some milk or water to soothe your dog’s stomach and make him feel better. It will help calm the situation. In addition, you can distract your dog with treats to make him more comfortable. Also, you can ask your friends or relatives nearby with dogs for help.

Other Options

Monitor Feces for The Shoelace

Sometimes, the dog does not vomit out the shoelace. If that happens to you, it means your dog has already chewed up the shoelace and is preparing to pass it through in feces. It is most common in large dogs.

Even if your dog has vomited the shoelace, I would recommend you monitor their feces to ensure that the entire shoelace has been removed. It will take almost 2-4 days to pass it in their feces.

Look For Symptoms

If your dog does not vomit the entire shoelace, monitor his health and other symptoms such as diarrhea, abdominal pain, weakness, and lethargy.

Look for changes in his appetite since shoelaces can cause digestion problems in dogs. If you find any of these symptoms, you should take your dog to the vet immediately.

What to do if your dog acts completely normal? First, it is most likely he will pass it in his feces. While waiting for his feces, make sure you’re constantly observing your dog’s behavior. Look for symptoms like fatigue, abdominal pain and swelling, appetite changes, and aggression.

Keep an eye on your dog for vomiting and diarrhea. These are some clear signs that the shoelace has gone inside the body. Diarrhea removes any pieces remaining in the body, while vomiting may relieve extra pressure.

During recovery, give your dog some time, walk him, and pamper him. It might take a few days before he completely recovers and gets comfortable with eating. 

Call A Vet

It’s a good idea to call a vet as soon as you see any of the signs mentioned above, such as vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, abdominal pain, weakness, or stomach issues. Don’t panic when you see these symptoms; stay calm and let your veterinarian handle it.

It could be due to the shoelace, or it could be due to some other stomach issue. In any case, I would recommend taking your dog to a veterinarian to ensure his health. Inform your veterinarian that your dog has eaten the shoelace so that he can examine your dog accordingly. 

If your vet isn’t available, you can call him on the phone and ask for help. Getting in touch with your veterinarian is mandatory. In the meantime, keep trying the methods listed above.

If your vet isn’t available today, schedule an appointment for when they are available, as you need to show your dog to the vet at least once. Also, knowing that someone is taking care of your dog will help you control your nerves.

Your vet will handle your dog depending on the severity of the situation. A veterinarian will examine your dog and induce vomiting using different medications and methods.

In case of a serious problem, your vet may suggest a hospital stay for your dog for further observation and wait to pass the shoelace in its feces. If your dog’s condition is extremely severe, they may recommend surgery.

After returning from the vet, ensure your dog gets the rest he needs to feel comfortable.

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