Cheese is yummy.
Everyone knows that- even your dog. Especially your dog.
However, cheese is also not the best thing for dogs to eat, to put it mildly. Dogs have a little something called lactose intolerance that makes it hard for them to digest dairy products, such as cream, milk, or Horlicks.
But forget about the cheese for a moment, because your dog has just gone and eaten something worse! It’s completely gobbled up the babybel wax, the artificial-looking red material that comes wrapped around the cheese.
Thankfully for owners whose dog ate babybel wax, their silly pup is going to be ok. Considering that the wax is plain and non-toxic, the most likely thing that will happen now is that it will pass through your dog and come out the other end.
So, yuck as it is, sit tight and keep an eye out for it in your dog’s next poop!
Wax is found in most households, often in the form of candles or crayons.
Most commonly used waxes include paraffin, soy, and beeswax. Luckily, none of these options are poisonous to dogs. Paraffin, for example, is generally harmless as an ingredient that raises the melting point in both candles and chocolate (please don’t give your dog chocolate).
Though these waxes are all non-toxic to dogs, they can be tough for the stomach to break down even in small amounts. Soy is the softest and the least likely to cause any digestive issues.
Wax will soften as it travels through the intestines, and most of it will be passed within two days as long as your dog did not eat too much.
Now if a dog were to eat a large chunk of wax all at once, it can become lodged in the throat or digestive tract and cause choking or a stomach blockage. This can be fatal if untreated so if you ever suspect that this is happening, take your dog to the vet immediately.
Waxes can also be scented or infused with chemicals or essential oils such as mint, tea tree, and citronella. A common preservative that is used in scented candles is benzyl benzoate, which enhances fragrance and helps the candle to burn cleanly.
These pose a bigger problem to dogs because some of these chemicals and perfumes can be toxic or cause allergic reactions to canines.
Babybel cheese maker Bel Brands USA have confirmed that while they don’t recommend for the red wax to be eaten, it won’t cause any harm to those who do accidentally eat it.
“Our wax is composed of fully refined paraffin wax, micro-crystalline wax, and a low percentage of Polyethylene. It is colored with varying pigments, depending on which flavor of our cheese it will coat: if the wax is red, it contains red dye #40.”
“The wax is G.R.A.S. , which means “Generally Recognized As Safe” by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and it meets all of their requirements in regards to wax that covers or contacts food…While we do not recommend eating it, if a person or pet accidentally consumes the wax, there will be no harmful effects.”
As you can see, babybel wax is made of completely non-toxic components. Paraffin is a harmless substance to dogs as is polyethylene, another type of wax. The wax has met FDA standards as a food covering.
When a dog eats a small amount of plain wax like that of a babybel, most of the time it will harmlessly pass through the GI tract and come out the other end.
If you really want to be sure, monitor your dog’s feces over the next few days for any signs of red wax. You can help to speed up the process by giving your dog a few teaspoons of plain pumpkin paste.
The only possible concern is if your dog ate a large amount of babybel wax as this could theoretically cause an obstruction. This is more of a likelihood if the dog is a small breed.
However, this still remains improbable as the dog probably chewed to get through the wax to the cheese. This would mean that the wax is in small pieces and therefore no danger to the dog.
Nevertheless, keep an eye out for the following symptoms:
- Stomach pain or bloating
- Heavy panting, trouble breathing, or choking
- Visible distress, such as pacing or whining
- Refusal to eat or drink
If your dog experiences any of these symptoms 2-3 days after eating babybel wax, it would be a good idea to take it to your vet for a checkup.
Dogs can and love to eat babybel cheese (and all cheese in general) but this doesn’t mean that it is a suitable food for them.
It can be a helpful alternative to dog treats when training a dog, and is also a good way to slip medication into your dog’s mouth without it realizing.
While it does contain a lot of calcium and beneficial vitamins, cheese is also full of milk fats that are hard for dogs to digest. This is due to most dogs being naturally lactose intolerant.
Even though cheese contains a low amount of lactose when compared with whole milk, it can still cause dogs with more severe cases of intolerance to experience reactions such as diarrhea.
When eaten excessively, babybel cheese will also make a dog overweight very quickly. Babybel is an edam cheese, which has moderate fat content at around 27% fat. Weight gain can lead to obesity and pancreatitis- a potentially fatal disease.
If you do choose to use cheese as a treat or training tool for your dog, it would be wise to consider switching from babybel cheese to something lower in fat, such as mozzarella or cottage cheese.
Your dog won’t even know the difference, and you’ll be able to keep it healthy as well as happy!
If your dog ate babybel wax while it was trying to get to the cheese, you most likely don’t have anything to worry about.
The wax wrapper is relatively small and unlikely to cause any blockages or choking, and the wax itself is non-toxic and approved by the FDA.
If your dog ate a lot of babybel wax in one sitting, it may be a good idea to monitor it for any symptoms of bowel obstruction such as vomiting, constipation and bloating. If you do notice any of these signs, take it to the vet immediately.
In truth, the cheese probably poses more of a problem than the wax! If you do choose to feed your dog cheese as a snack or during training, opting for a low-fat cheese such as cottage or mozzarella will be better for your dog’s overall wellbeing.
Heather Abraham is an owner of two dogs, one cat, a leopard gecko, and a parrot (who her dad still cannot teach bad words to), and an avid blogger. From the time she was a young girl, she always felt a connection with pets. She brings her love of every type of pet to you, with information on animal nutrition, medication, toys, beds, and everything else in between. Along with newly-on-board veterinarian DVM editor Elena, she puts pups first while offering other various fun tidbits along the way.