You can’t stop your dog from investigating every new thing, even if it’s in the kitchen. These rampant scavengers can eat all sorts of weird, inedible things., from cat poop and batteries to baby diapers and glass.
So if you accidentally break a jar or glass, scoop up all the tiny pieces and shards.
You may have swept up as much glass as you could find. But you still doubt whether your dog ate a shattered piece of glass.
What if your dog ate a glass piece? Should you be worried? What to do now?
The fascinating fact is that eating glasses is a common scenario for dogs. And fortunately, it’s less dangerous than you might expect. A piece of glass can easily pass through dogs. Nevertheless, complications can also arise after a dog eats glass.
In this article, you will discover the essential facts about dogs eating glass, possible complications, and how to deal with it.
Why Does A Dog Eat Glass?
Dogs eat anything they find questionable or resembling food. The most probable reason for canines to get attracted to things like glass and consume them could be their shiny appearance, color, smell, or overall look. It’s hard to decipher the real reason, though.
Interestingly, it’s rare for dogs to ingest glass purposefully. They can sniff out a glass object and try to eat it. But they will probably spit out the glass piece once they feel its sharp edges while eating.
If they don’t or fail to spit the glass shards out entirely, it can cause complications.
What Can Happen After Your Dog Eats Glass?
The possible outcomes after a dog eats glass will depend on several factors. It would help if you stayed well-versed in the potential scenarios to avoid mishaps.
Let’s check it out!
If a dog doesn’t spit out the glass shard, it can enter the wrong pipe, resulting in choking. And this life-threatening condition will seek instant help.
Fortunately, this condition rarely occurs because dogs usually cough up problem-causing things.
Another possible scenario is that the glass shard has embedded itself in the throat, leading to continued gagging and coughing. In this case, only a vet can help you remove it.
2. Tongue and mouth cuts
This condition appears typically scary, as tongue and mouth cuts cause excessive bleeding. But it’s not too serious.
If your canine has ingested tiny glass shards, it’s better to take him to the vet to ensure all shards are removed. The cuts rarely need stitching. They will heal themselves with time.
3. Bowel perforation
It’s the worst scenario your dog can face! If the dog ingests a glass shard and doesn’t spit it out, it can get inserted into the GI tract lining, leading to a perforated bowel.
And bowel perforation will be a medical emergency!
When intestinal integrity is hampered, gut bacteria and juices affect the abdomen. A perforated bowel condition can only be treated surgically.
Your dog can suffer from two scenarios of bowel perforation:
Short bowel syndrome
Due to the short length of the digestive tract, the dog will have difficulty assimilating nutrients. Eventually, they are likely to suffer from nutritional deficiencies and malnourishment. In this case, a large portion of the intestine has to be surgically removed.
Gastrointestinal anastomosis and resection
Only the perforated and damaged part of the intestine is removed in this condition. After that, the remaining sections are reattached.
There is a possibility of leakage from the connection spot, but it’s rare.
Gastroenteritis can result from any foreign body, regardless of material, size, or shape.
The GI tract gets inflamed due to the presence of the foreign body. The common symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, lack of appetite, dehydration, and lethargy.
How to Know if Your Dog Ate Glass?
Dogs do indeed eat anything weird or questionable. But they don’t usually choose to eat things like glass. However, accidents and mistakes can happen at any time.
Your buddy can mistakenly ingest glass, considering it something else they know. For instance, it can be a decorative thing for a Christmas ball. But are you sure your buddy consumed glass shards or a tasty snack on the ground?
Below are some possible symptoms that can indicate your dog swallowed glass pieces. Let’s take a look!
- Blood in the poop. Glass pieces can cause intestinal tears that start bleeding over time.
- Vomiting blood. The tiny glass pieces can get embedded in their digestive tract and lead to bleeding.
- If the glass pieces don’t get passed easily, they can insert into their intestines and cause ulcers over time.
- Lack of appetite. With intestinal inflammation, a dog won’t feel like eating his food.
- Abdominal pain. The swallowed glass will naturally cause inflammation because it’s indigestible.
- Dogs get attracted to kitchen glassware due to the smell of food. But it can have certain compounds that lead to neurological damage.
What To Do After Your Dog Eats Glass?
Your dog can accidentally swallow some glass pieces. They are likely to spit them out when they realize the mistake. But a matter of concern will be when they don’t spit them out.
If the pieces are small, they are likely to move through their GI tract without any hindrance. But the scenario can get worse if the piece is larger. Nevertheless, you should be prepared for every scenario and aware of what you should do.
So what do you do if your dog has eaten glass? Continue scrolling to learn more.
1. Look at your dog thoroughly
Thoroughly examine your dog if you’re sure or suspect it has swallowed glass. Firstly, open its mouth steadily and look for any bleeding wounds. Glass pieces can cut the mouth and tongue, which leads to a lot of bleeding.
Secondly, check his paws. Your buddy can step on the glass, and you can find shards embedded between the toes.
2. Shield the glass
Feed your dog bread if they have eaten glass. The bread is known to create a cocoon around the glass shards so that their sharp edges don’t hurt the digestive tract.
However, plain pumpkin puree or mashed potatoes work best. Bread is more commonly used due to its easy availability.
3. Monitor your dog’s condition
Have you given your dog bread or the ones suggested above? Now, keep an eye on your buddy’s condition.
Assess their poop, no matter how unpleasant it might be. Check whether the poop contains anything shiny or not. It will most likely be the glass piece your dog ingested. If you don’t see anything on the first day, monitor the poop for the next two days.
Even after two days, if you can’t see any trace of the swallowed glass pieces, immediately take your dog to the vet. However, check for other symptoms simultaneously.
A major symptom is a bloody stool. If you notice it, you can rest assured that the glass piece is still in your dog’s body. You must consult your vet immediately.
Other symptoms you must be concerned about are vomiting, lethargy, lack of appetite, and discomfort.
4. Take your dog to the vet
To err on the safe side, take your dog to the veterinarian. Never try to self-treat your canine buddy at home. After visiting your vet, explain whatever happened. Tell your vet everything in as much detail as possible, including any symptoms you notice after your dog eats a glass. Your vet will eventually advise you on what steps to take next.
Things To Avoid If Your Dog Swallows Glass
As a responsible dog owner, you must know what to do in unusual situations. The most significant thing you should never try to do after your dog swallows glass pieces is induce vomiting.
After swallowing, dogs will naturally spit out sharp objects, like glass. So you don’t have to induce vomiting. If your buddy has to spit out the foreign object, they will do it themselves.
The ingested glass piece can pass into the stomach through the esophagus without hassle. The fact is that the pressure within the GI tract is relatively low.
Vomiting creates pressure and force in the digestive tract. And when it’s induced, the pressure and force are likely to increase. You can eventually end up forcing the glass to injure the tract.
How to Prevent Your Dog From Swallowing Glass?
Prevention is better than cure in every case. However, dogs generally don’t eat glass intentionally. You can’t stop your dog from sniffing off anything and swallowing it, considering it as food. But accidents can happen at any time.
So it’s better to do a few things to prevent such accidents. For example,
Clean up the glass shards right away
A glass jar may have been accidentally dropped and broken into numerous shards. Stepping on the glass pieces can even cause damage. Please keep your dog confined to another room before you remove the shards.
Avoid keeping glass utensils out of your dog’s reach
Keep your glass utensils far away from your dog’s reach. Remember that your buddy can jump high to reach attractive things, putting his paws and tongues on them.
Keep or store Christmas ornaments carefully
Dogs get highly allured to the Christmas tree’s decorative items or ornaments because of their shine. So keep those materials somewhere safe and out of your dog’s reach.
Will your dog fall sick immediately after eating a glass?
How long it will take for your dog to fall sick after eating glass can’t usually be predicted. It depends on several factors, like the type (shards or whole), the amount of glass swallowed, and your dog’s size.
Dogs are likely to get sick two to three days later.
Can dogs survive ingesting glass?
Dogs can survive even after eating glass. It would allow the glass to pass through the digestive system easily. As mentioned above, don’t try to induce vomiting, as it can pose more risks than feeding your buddy bread or other similar food.
How much time does it take for dogs to pass glass?
A dog typically takes 10 to 24 hours to pass the indigested glass piece. However, the time will vary according to the glass size they swallow.
Dogs can eat every weird and unusual thing that they find captivating. So it’s unsurprising that your dog can try to devour glass shards in the kitchen. But dogs usually avoid eating glasses. If they accidentally swallow it, they vomit or spit it out immediately.
But if your dog doesn’t, it can lead to a dangerous situation. Check out the things you should do soon after your dog eats glass. Monitor their health condition attentively and look for possible symptoms. If you notice any unusual activity, take your dog to the vet immediately.
Elena Gherman is a highly skilled and knowledgeable animal care expert. At the start of her career, she gained practical expertise with multiple animals. In addition to that, she works as a DVM veterinary editor for Joy Pet Products, which focuses on offering reliable information on pet health and wellbeing. She meticulously reviews each piece of writing before it is published to make sure pet owners get the most precise and updated information possible.