My Dog Ate A Bar Of Soap

So, your dog just ate soap! You are probably asking yourself, “Why on earth would a dog want to eat soap? Will they be ok? What should I do?” This is going to depend on what type of soap it was. Dishwasher soap is different from facial soap, and bar soap is different from liquid soap. In most cases, your dog will be fine depending on the amount they’ve eaten. There are still some steps you can take immediately after.

Before you read further, please know that firstly, we recommend a phone call to your vet. In most cases, it’s free and your vet or vet tech can give you peace of mind, oftentimes without an in-person visit. You can also call the ASPCA hotline at no cost. The good news is that most of the time, a dog that ate a little bit of hand soap, dish soap, or body soap will be just fine. While we go into the steps you’ll want to take in detail, we do recommend you contact your own vet immediately, or your local animal poison control hotline.

So when your dog eats soap, you may be alarmed. Depending on the types of soap it is, there are some steps you can immediately take. In the guide below, we walk through exactly what you should do if your favorite furry friend decides to eat a bar that has a little more suds than their favorite dog food.

There are many varieties of soap used in our households. These include those used for washing our bodies (e.g. hands and face) as well as detergents for washing our clothes and dishes. They come in a variety of forms ranging from solid bars, powders, and liquids. They may be unpackaged or contained in dispensers, capsules or ‘tablets’.

Most times when a dog eats some hand or dish soap, it’s not something you’ll need to be incredibly concerned about. The most common types of soap that a dog will ingest are a basic bar of hand soap, or they decide to get into dish soap. Both of these are fairly common, and the steps for treatment are straightforward. If your pup decided to get into a soap that’s made for acne treatment, detergent pod, or a large quantity of any type of soap, then treatment will vary depending on the ingredients.

Sometimes you can do absolutely everything to keep your dog safe. Somehow, they still manage to lick some liquid soap or even eat a whole bar! It can happen so quickly and the only evidence you may have is a missing bar of soap or a chewed soap dispenser! If this does happen, try not to worry. Keep reading as we discuss everything that you need to know. We will explain why dogs are attracted to soap, whether soap is poisonous to dogs and what to do if your dog eats soap.

Certain dogs will be more curious than others. It largely depends on their age and personality. Puppies that are teething are more likely to chew or eat inedible items. Chewing on something helps soothe their discomfort. When your puppy is going through the chewing phase you should ensure likely chew-items are kept out of reach. Providing your pup with a suitable puppy chew toy (or several) will often resolve this problem.

We like to smell nice, so perfumes are often added to soaps. These pleasant aromas may also be attractive to your dog as well. This encourages them to lick, chew, or even ingest large volumes of soap. This may simply happen because your dog mistakes it for a toy. Or, soap may have leaked onto the floor and your dog comes along to ‘clean up’ the spillage. They may be tempted by those gorgeous soapy bubbles while you have a bath. They may even just be licking you when you get out of the shower or bath.

Some dogs are just plain greedy and will always be on the lookout for their next snack. This can happen regardless of what this is. Determined dogs can be quite a challenge. Sometimes there could be a medical or behavioral reason for your dog chewing or eating inedible items. If this is a frequent occurrence, we recommend having a check-up with your vet to discuss this possibility.

Dogs that are repeatedly attracted to soap or other inedible items may require further investigation. Pica is a condition where pets feel the need to eat unusual items such as wood, grass, plastic, paper or metal. It may be one particular item that they crave, or they may seek out different items. Pica is caused by an underlying behavioral or medical condition. Your vet may want to run blood tests or suggest a behavioral assessment.

What happens if a dog eats a bar of soap?

Is Soap Poisonous to Dogs?

A large proportion of soap bars are made from natural ingredients that aren’t poisonous to dogs. Nonetheless, if ingested, they may still cause them to have a tummy ache. However, some soaps do contain toxic ingredients. For example, some soap bars contain essential oils, such as tea tree oil and pine oil, which are poisonous to dogs. Some soaps also contain lye, an alkali substance called sodium hydroxide. Lye soaps can be dangerous to your pet. You also need to consider that if your dog ate a large piece of a soap bar, or your dog ate a whole soap bar, then this may cause a blockage.

My Dog Ate A Bar Of Soap

Point Blank: Is Bar Soap Dangerous for My Dog?

No — most bar soaps are formulated from non-toxic ingredients which won’t severely sicken your dog.

He may feel pretty rotten after eating a bar, and it may cause his body to start purging from both ends, but it’s unlikely that he’ll need veterinary attention unless he eats a ton of soap or has other medical conditions.

Still, you should always call your vet or the Pet Poison Helpline and solicit their advice anytime your dog eats something that isn’t obviously safe.

It’s also important to note that soaps containing essential oils may sicken your pet, as some of these plant-based derivatives are very dangerous to dogs.

Do not induce vomiting unless you are specifically instructed to do so by a veterinary professional. Not only is this probably unnecessary in the case of soap, but it can be dangerous to make a dog throw up in some situations (this is a good general rule of thumb to remember any time your dog swallows anything that may be dangerous).

There is a chance that a large piece of soap could get stuck in his esophagus or block his intestines, but this isn’t terribly likely to happen. Plus, soap is slippery, which will increase the chances of it sliding free before serious problems occur.

It is also theoretically possible for your dog to smear some of the soap in his eyes. This probably won’t cause much more than minor redness and irritation, but you’ll want to flush them out with plenty of water and watch him closely. He’ll probably start feeling better in no time, but if he doesn’t, call your vet and follow his or her advice.

Don’t have easy access to a vet? You may want to consider getting help from JustAnswer — a service that provides instant virtual-chat access to a certified vet online.

You can discuss the issue with them, and even share video or photos if need be. The online vet can help you determine what your next steps should be.

While talking with your own vet — who understands the ins and outs of your dog’s history — is probably ideal, JustAnswer is a good backup option.

Is Soap Poisonous To Dogs?

My Dog Ate A Bar Of Soap

Every soap is different and can have variable ingredients and strengths of toxic components, therefore there is no defined safe amount that can be ingested by your pet. Solid bars of soap are made from sodium hydroxide (otherwise known as caustic soda and often referred to as ‘lye’).

Liquid soaps are produced from potassium hydroxide. Both hydroxides are strong alkalis and can cause chemical burns to the mouth, esophagus (food pipe) and stomach if ingested. Symptoms may include drooling, vomiting, tummy pain and diarrhea.

Dishwasher or laundry detergent in a capsule is considered more dangerous, as they ‘burst’ when chewed, firing the chemicals to the back of the mouth and throat, and even into the lungs. Detergent or soap pods that are ingested definitely warrant an immediate call and/or trip to your vet. Some soap pods contain some of the same toxic chemicals that dryer sheets do.