What Happens if a Dog Ingests a Foreign Body?

Dogs are generally playful and curious animals. Unfortunately, this can sometimes lead to them ingesting foreign bodies. If your dog ingests something they shouldn’t, it is essential to seek veterinary attention immediately as they may require surgery to remove the object.

Signs Your Dog Has Ingested a Foreign Object

Vomiting is the most common sign that your pet has ingested a foreign object. If they cannot vomit the object up, they may start showing signs of lethargy and a loss of appetite. In more severe cases, they may begin displaying symptoms of an obstruction such as diarrhea, constipation, or abdominal pain.

If you think your dog has ingested a foreign body, you should take them to see a vet facility, such as River Valley Pet Hospital, as soon as possible for assessment and treatment accordingly.

What to Do When Your Dog Swallowed a Foreign Object

If you think your dog has swallowed a foreign object, the first thing you should do is call your veterinarian. They should give you specific instructions on what to do next. In some cases, they may want you to bring them into the clinic immediately so they can start treatment.

Sometimes, they may also tell you to watch your dog closely at home and bring them in if they begin showing any signs of distress. 

Below are some tips on what to do while you are waiting to see the veterinarian:

  • Do not attempt to make your dog vomit unless instructed to do so by a veterinarian.
  • Do not give your dog anything to eat or drink.
  • Keep an eye on your dog’s vital signs, such as their heart rate and respiratory rate.
  • Bring them to the clinic immediately if your pet begins to show any symptoms of distress, such as vomiting, diarrhea, or abdominal pain.

What Happens Next?

Once your dog is at the clinic or hospital, the veterinarian will start by doing a physical examination. They will also take a history from you about what happened and when. They may order some diagnostic tests, including x-rays or blood work, to help them get a better idea of what is going on.

Based on the findings, the veterinarian will then determine the best course of treatment. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to remove the foreign body. In other cases, your dog may be able to pass the object on their own and need to be monitored closely. Visit this link to learn more about how vet surgery works.

Preventing Foreign Body Ingestion in Dogs

  • The best way to prevent your dog from ingesting a foreign body is to keep them away from things they shouldn’t have access to. This means keeping an eye on them when they are outside and ensuring they can’t get into any cabinets or drawers inside your house.
  • You should also regularly check your yard for any objects that might be appealing to your pet so you can remove them before they have a chance to ingest them.
  • Give them toys that are specifically designed for dogs to chew on so they are less likely to try and eat something they shouldn’t.

How Is a Foreign Body Removed?

If your dog has ingested a foreign body, the first step is to assess the situation and determine if surgery is required. In some cases, the foreign body may be able to be passed through the digestive system without any problems. However, if it is causing an obstruction or perforating the intestines, surgery will be necessary to remove it.

After the foreign body has been removed, your dog will likely need to stay in the hospital for several days to monitor any complications. They will also need to take it easy at home for a few weeks while recovering.


As a dog owner, you should take measures to prevent your dog from ingesting a foreign body. If it happens, it is crucial to take them to see a veterinarian right away so they can be treated accordingly. That is why choosing a vet clinic or hospital as your partner in caring for your dog’s well-being is vital.

Make sure they have complete facilities and vets with specializations, including an internist vet, dentist, vet surgeon, etc.