Are Highlighters Toxic To Dogs

Dogs are generally known to be such curious creatures; for that reason, they might want to try to chew certain objects or even swallow them. These objects can include some toys, furballs, or even something as weird as a highlighter! This is related to their natural instinctive urge to chew bones or can even occur due to boredom. Additionally, this behavior is just one of their sensory ways to explore their environment as well as the objects around them.

Generally, this behavior is not very pleasant to dog owners as they will always be concerned about their pet’s health. Sometimes, this behavior will not cause any serious trouble, but at other times it can lead to significant physiological problems. These can include poisoning, intestinal obstruction, or even intestinal bleeding.

If your dog ate a highlighter, you might want to contact your veterinarian immediately. But if you are not in immediate reach of a vet at the moment, we are here to answer all of the questions roaming your mind. We will explain all of the symptoms that show the presence of a significant physiological problem, and we will help you understand how serious your dog’s state is.

The Short Answer:

According to Healthline, the ink can be mildly toxic especially if consumed in large quantities. This means that your dog may be poisoned for nibbling on the highlighter, especially if they eat too much of the highlighter ink. The casing can also cause issues for the dog if it leads to an obstruction.

What are Highlighters Made Of?

The outer casing of a highlighter pen is nothing more than a plastic tube. On the inside of the plastic outer casing, the tube holds a sponge (or something similar), which allows the ink to flow across the paper. The ink is contained within the sponge.

The good news is that the sponge and ink are non-toxic for your dog. The sponge only contains a minimal amount of ink. The amount of ink and the chemicals it contained will not be enough to make your dog sick. That’s the good news!

Now, you’ll need to see how much of the highlighter’s outer casing may have eaten. Try to bring the pieces back to one place and put them together like a puzzle. Do you see anything pieces missing? Are they large? Or is most of the pen casing missing?

If a large part of the casing is missing, it’s probably a good idea to call the vet. It’s possible your dog could have eaten the casing, which can cause an excruciating condition known as an intestinal blockage.

What if my dog eats a highlighter?

Highlighters are non-toxic. The problem with them is the actual plastic part which can cause alot of GI irritation and possible blockage. I would suggest that you feed your dog and just monitor him for any vomiting or diarrhea. If you note any of that then you will want to take him to your vet.

Can A Dog Die From Eating Highlighter?

Thankfully, dogs are rarely seriously hurt by eating highlighter ink.

Most cases of dogs ingesting a highlighter will resolve on their own with the dog requiring no treatment or surgery to remove any residue from its digestive system.

However, if the dog has consumed a significant amount, or ingested an ink bottle with a particularly toxic highlighter, then your veterinarian may recommend surgical removal of any remaining ink.

Even in those situations, most dogs recover quickly and without incident after surgery.


Is highlighter pen toxic?

Ink from pens, markers, highlighters, etc., is considered minimally toxic and in such a small quantity that it’s commonly not a poisoning concern. Symptoms are typically a stained skin or tongue and, although unlikely, mild stomach upset.

How toxic is a Sharpie highlighter?

While Sharpie markers are AP-certified non-toxic, we do not recommend using them on areas of items that may come in contact with food or the mouth. Sharpie has not been tested as an oven proof product and should not be used anywhere where a consumer could possibly ingest the ink.

What should I do if my dog eats a marker?

Thanks for using PetCoach! The ink or color in these markers now is usually non toxic. The main concern is the possibility of an intestinal obstruction. If she swallowed the marker whole then the main concern would a possible obstruction that may require therapy via endoscopy or most likely surgery.

Can eyeliner hurt a dog?

These can cause serious damage to your pet’s internal organs. Again, it’s not so much the concentration of makeup on these items, but the damage they can cause. Brushes with wood handles or eyeliner pencils can splinter as your dog chews and swallows them. The plastic in mascara sticks can do the same.