Your dog finally secured that hot date with the cute puppy next door. You know the one- perky ears, big eyes, with a snappy personality to boot.
Your pooch is chuffed, understandably. Excited beyond measure.
So enthusiastic in fact, that when it was putting on its little doggie bow tie and sprucing back its fur, it decided to take a chomp out of the deodorant stick as a final, pungent touch.
Now that your dog ate deodorant, you’ve got a canine walking around your home smelling like your local YMCA men’s locker room. But more importantly, is your dog in any danger?
Luckily, and perhaps unexpectedly, your pup should be able to walk out of this one relatively unscathed. Not much harm will be caused, except perhaps for some mild stomach upset, vomiting and diarrhea.
Considering the predominantly chemical makeup of most deodorants, that’s a big win.
Still, that doesn’t mean you should leave them lying around so often that antiperspirant-eating becomes a habit, and if your dog were to show signs of lethargy or bloody stools, take it to the vet immediately for assessment.
Otherwise, fast your dog or feed it a bland diet for the rest of the day, and by the time date day rolls around it will be ready to go- hopefully smelling it’s Sunday best.
Sometimes you really have to wonder what’s going through a dog’s mind. Why would anyone want to eat a semi-solid paste that tastes like sandalwood, Old Spices, or “Anarchy”?
What is ‘Anarchy’ even supposed to smell like, anyway?!
Thankfully, there is (quite pleasantly surprising) no serious risk of systemic toxicity if your dog has a bite of your deodorant stick.
In fact, the plastic casing and container that holds the deodorant can be considered to be more of a risk than the substance itself.
This is because if your dog decides to have a chew of the materials, manages to tear off a few pieces and tries to eat them, they could end up becoming a choking, internal blockage, or organ rupture risk.
All three are obviously urgent, life-threatening situations that would require immediate medical attention.
Deodorant and antiperspirant substances themselves are not generally poisonous to dogs, and there will be minimal adverse effects that result from ingestion.
As is usually the case when a dog eats anything that it’s not supposed to, it may experience temporary stomach discomfort and a few bouts of nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
Mild gastrointestinal distress will usually be the full extent of damage, but if your dog really eats a huge amount of deodorants (like a teenage boy’s room’s worth) then it might experience a few more serious symptoms such as excessive drooling and lethargy.
However this is unlikely to be the case, so all you really have to do is keep an eye on your dog’s movements for a while- and maybe have a few paper towels handy.
In the previous section, we established that the likely result of your dog eating would be gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhea or vomiting over the next day or two.
What can you do to help your dog feel more comfortable?
The primary concern of course is whether your dog ate any pieces of the plastic or glass container. If it did, then the best course of action would be to take it to the vet for X-rays or other diagnostics.
However, if you are sure that it only ate the deodorant substance itself, and is now showing stomach upset symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea, you can follow the steps set out below to take care of your pup:
If your dog is experiencing vomiting or diarrhea after eating deodorant, it would be a good idea to give its digestive system some much-needed rest by withholding all food for around 12 hours.
This will allow the deodorant to pass much more efficiently, as introduction of any new food at this point could potentially hinder digestion. It will also give the intestines an opportunity to recover and heal.
One thing that you can attempt before starting the fast is to give your dog a few small pieces of bread. This can be helpful to soak up the deodorant that is in the stomach and allow it to be passed more effectively.
Since your dog is experiencing (copious amounts of) vomiting and diarrhea, it is vital to keep it as hydrated as possible.
However, it is important to restrict your dog’s water intake while it is still vomiting, as constant vomiting of liquids from the stomach could result in aspiration pneumonia. Wait for vomiting to stop for at least 3 to 4 hours before giving it access to water again.
Instead of allowing your dog to drink a whole bucket of water at once, give the fluids to it in small, frequent amounts. Not only will this keep your dog hydrated, but it will also dilute any remaining concentrations of deodorant in the stomach.
If your dog is a bit reluctant to drink, you can encourage it to rehydrate by giving it ice cubes, low sodium chicken bone broth, or diluted Pedialyte. For more ideas on How To Get Your Dog To Drink Water When It’s Feeling Unwell, read our post here!
This one’s as simple as the title says- make sure your god gets plenty of rest, and preferably keep it confined in a room or crate!
The last thing you want a vomiting, diarrhea-having dog to do is running around the home and garden and potentially eating or drinking other things that it’s not supposed to. While you and your pup lucked out this time with relatively harmless deodorant, the next thing it finds might not be as benign, such as Excedrin or NyQuil pills that might be lying around.
Keeping it quiet, still and preferably sleeping as much as possible will allow its body to get the rest it needs at this point in time. Besides, if your dog is going to be vomiting and having runny stools, wouldn’t you prefer for it to be confined to one space?
After 12 hours have passed, and the vomiting and diarrhea episodes have subsided, you can start to feed your dog what is known as a ‘bland diet’.
A bland diet consists of a 25% portion of lean, boiled chicken or beef, and 75% of cooked white rice. This should be given in small portions (a few tablespoons) spaced into 5 or 6 meals throughout the day to avoid overburdening the stomach while it’s still recovering.
Continue the bland diet for a few days, but as your dog starts to become fully recovered, you can also gradually bring its normal dog food back into the mix.
On around day 2 or 3 after the deodorant event, increase the meal portion size given. On day 4, start mixing in a small amount of regular food into its meals. From there, adjust as you see fit until everything is back to normal again.
While unlikely to happen, if your dog does show signs of stomach pain, lethargy, constipation or excretes bloody stools, you need to take it to the vet ASAP.
If these signs are present, then it is possible that your dog has a partial or complete blockage of the intestines. These situations are very serious and can turn fatal rapidly, so it’s absolutely vital that your dog receives professional medical care immediately.
Due to the generally non-toxic nature of deodorant, it’s usually not worth the potential irritation to the esophagus to bring it back up by making your dog throw up. Instead, it is safe enough to simply let it pass naturally out the other end.
If your dog ate deodorant, you don’t have to be too worried about anything more than mild stomach upset, and your pup smelling like a teenager trying too hard to impress its female classmates.
Despite what is presumed to be a predominantly chemical formulation, deodorant is generally non-toxic to dogs that eat them and will most likely only result in a spot of vomiting and diarrhea.
Plenty of rest, good hydration, and a bland diet is usually all that is needed for your dog to make a full recovery. Inducing vomiting won’t be necessary, but if you do notice more serious signs like bloody stools or stomach pain- take it to your vet for a more thorough examination.
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.