Help! My dog ate something it shouldn’t

marti the dog with charcoal

Puppies love to explore the world with their mouths. They bite, chew, and nibble their way around their environment—and often eat things they really shouldn’t. In practice, I’ve seen puppies that have eaten yoga mats, chowed down on chocolate, and swallowed socks. Here’s what to do if your puppy eats something silly.

Meet Martini

Martini (Marti, to her friends) is a new addition to our extended family pack. She came home with my sister and her partner two weeks ago. She’s a ten-week-old crossbreed who loves a cuddle and has an insatiable appetite for chicken.

At 11pm last Sunday night, she decided to start exploring the local fungi. Fun!

What do I do when my puppy eats something strange? 

When your puppy eats something stupid, Google is your bestfriend. Some things that sound ridiculous—like birth control pills, cat poo, and their own vomit—are relatively alright, and others—like grapes, weed brownies, and protein bars—are a medical emergency. After Marti was apprehended chewing on mushrooms in the garden, we all started googling to identify what species it was.

This list of things that are poisonous to pets is a good place to start your search, but double-check anything that your puppy eats on Google, even if it doesn’t fall on these lists. 

If you live in the States or the UK, there are helplines for owners whose pets have eaten something poisonous. . 

In Martini’s case, the mushroom she was chewing on could either have been harmless, or could cause liver failure. In these situations always attend your emergency vet. It isn’t worth taking the chance. 

What happens when I get to the vet? 

Bring a sample, or the label (if there is one) of whatever your puppy has eaten with you when you go to the vet. This lets the team double check their resources and decide the best course of action. 

Your vet will weigh your puppy and do a full clinical exam to check their vital signs and general demeanour. 

Your vet may give your puppy some medication to make them vomit, and possibly keep them in on IV fluids to support their liver and kidneys. 

In more serious cases, or where the vet suspects that the thing they’ve eaten could cause an intestinal blockage, they may discuss surgical options with you.

Patient Update 

Martini and her mushroom made their way to our local emergency clinic, where the vets decided to make her vomit. 

It turns out she didn’t swallow any of the mushroom in the end. When the (long suffering) veterinary nurses checked her vomit, she had only spewed up her kibble. This is very common and the best possible outcome of the situation. 

Don’t be embarrassed if your puppy has managed to fake a potential poisoning. When it comes to puppies, safe is always better than sorry. 

Martini went home from the emergency vet with an empty tummy and some activated charcoal that was to be given to her an hour after she got home. She loved it so much that she wanted more!