My Dog Ate Soap

As dogs are naturally curious and active animales, they often try to discover their environment. However, how they do so sometimes leaves us a little confused. For example, why did my dog eat soap? Is soap toxic to dogs?

In this AnimalWised article, we are going to tell you what you should do if your dog eats soap, and answer other common questions about this situation. You may also be interested in:

Why does my dog eats soap?

Troubling Symptoms in Dogs Who Have Eaten Soap

Even though bar soap is unlikely to cause your dog significant problems, atypical reactions are always possible. Accordingly, you’ll want to be sure to watch your dog closely and seek veterinary attention if he displays any of the signs or symptoms below:

As mentioned earlier, your dog will likely experience some intestinal issues after eating a bar of soap. That’s usually not a big deal if the problems go away within a few hours, but if your dog is still suffering symptoms 24 hours later, go ahead and cruise on over to the vet.

Is Soap Poisonous To Dogs?

My Dog Ate 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.

My Dog Just Ate Soap, What Should I Do?

If you’ve come home to find that your dog has eaten soap, there are many things that you can do to limit the effects of soap ingestion.

Just like if your dog eats chocolate, chicken bones, or dangerous nuts, your first step is to stop your dog from eating any more soap. Generally, the more they eat the worse the effects are likely to be. Shut your dog away and clean up any spillages. You should also put any other soap around the house away in a secure location.

If possible (and you’re not likely to get bitten!), flush out your dog’s mouth with water. This will dilute the soap and limit the harsh effects in your pet’s mouth. Be careful though, you don’t want your dog inhaling any water as you splash it around their mouth. So if they’re struggling it’s best to stop. If your pet gets soap in their eyes or on the skin, rinse them down in the shower to dilute the soap.

Even if your dog appears OK it is important to seek veterinary advice. Be sure to provide the vet with the ingredient list on the soap packaging as this will help them decide the most appropriate course of action. It may only be necessary to monitor your pet’s symptoms at home, however, some cases require a veterinary visit for further assessment and treatment


Why would a dog eat a bar of soap?

It is more likely that dogs associate the smell of the soap with something they would enjoy eating and act upon that instinct rather than a nutritional deficiency. Frustration and anxiety are other leading theories, as well as the idea that pica perhaps arises out of play.

Is dish soap toxic to dogs if ingested?

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.