My Dog Ate Styrofoam

Did your dog take a chunk out of the styrofoam for your packing box? Here’s what you should know about if your dog ate styrofoam.

If your dog ate styrofoam, you will want to schedule them for a vet appointment sooner rather than later. Styrofoam is a plastic product that can be toxic and dangerous to dogs since they can’t digest it. Styrofoam can be a choking hazard and cause serious intestinal blockages in your dog.

We use the term “styrofoam” for everything from packing peanuts to the sheets of styrofoam used on houses. However, it’s not all the same as far as its actual active ingredients in it. Since styrofoam is a hazard, especially for children, many companies now use exclusively non-toxic styrofoam.

So, it’s rare to find styrofoam made from toxic materials these days. Chemical poisoning is not often a concern. However, if you are using styrofoam that came out of an old product (such as an old box or a plushie from years ago), it may still have toxic ingredients.

The most risk will be from the choking hazard that it causes. Since the plastic doesn’t break down or degrade, it can cause a problem in your dog’s twisty and turny digestive system.

Yes, styrofoam can kill a dog if they eat it. Many think that “just a few bits” is fine, but the reality is that it doesn’t take much to cause a problem. Whether it be toxic ingredients in the styrofoam or the risk of a blockage, your dog’s snack of styrofoam can be a fatal one if left unattended!

The liver and kidneys will try to process Styrofoam, but all that will happen is those vital organs become overworked. In extreme cases, especially where urgent medical attention does not get sought, the liver and kidneys may eventually collapse. Styrofoam doesn’t just stop at causing multiple organ failure.

Prevent access to more Styrofoam.

Make sure your dog can’t get to any more Styrofoam. You should also take a moment to ensure other pets in the house are also safe. This may mean shutting your dog away whilst you clear up a split bin bag.

What Happens if My Dog Eats Styrofoam?

The main danger that your dog faces if he eats Styrofoam is blockage of the gastrointestinal tract (guts). Large bits (or lots of small bits!) of Styrofoam could become lodged in your dog’s stomach or intestines, causing a blockage. Blockages of the guts are classed as a veterinary emergency. They can quickly cause dehydration and become life-threatening. The chemicals on Styrofoam may also irritate their mouth, throat, or stomach, causing your dog to become uncomfortable or start throwing up. Diarrhea is also a possible side effect of Styrofoam.

Styrofoam could also be inhaled and get stuck in an airway or the nose. This could block the airway and stop your dog from breathing which is a life-threatening emergency. If you think this may have happened, call your veterinarian immediately.

Is Styrofoam Dangerous for All Dogs?

Puppies are more likely to chew on lots of different things, including Styrofoam, putting them at a greater risk of problems. They’re also smaller, meaning they’re more likely to get blockages from Styrofoam. However, if your dog ate Styrofoam, know that it is dangerous for dogs of all ages and breeds as it can cause blockages in all dogs.


What happens when animals eat Styrofoam?

2. Styrofoam (polystyrene foam) How it harms wildlife: Food remnants found on Styrofoam takeout containers encourage animals to eat the container too, which can lead to choking and digestive problems. Styrofoam is quick to breakdown and the tiny pieces are eaten by fish.

Will Styrofoam digest?

Styrofoam is a foam plastic that does not break down or get absorbed into the body when ingested. If a large piece of styrofoam is ingested, it can cause gagging and choking. There is a chance for the piece to become stuck in the esophagus and cause mild discomfort with swallowing.

What if a dog eats a Styrofoam peanut?

Call your veterinarian.

The next step is to call your veterinarian for advice. Things to tell your veterinarian include; when you think your dog ate Styrofoam, how much Styrofoam your dog has eaten, and if your dog has had any signs of problems with vomiting or breathing.