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Dr.Fiona
Dr.Fiona, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 6273
Experience:  Small animal medicine and surgery - 16 years experience in BC, California and Ontario
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My dog likes to chew/eat anything made of hard plastic. Is

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My dog likes to chew/eat anything made of hard plastic. Is this harmful and why does he do this?

Hi there,

Welcome to Just Answer!





I would like to help you and your dog with this question, but need a bit more information in order to better assist you.


Does he have any dental problems that you are aware of?

Does he ever eat bits that he breaks off?


Fiona

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Yes, he does eat the pieces that he chews off. As far as we know from previous vet visits, he is very healthy otherwise. He has chewed on grill scraper handles, plastic chew toys until they are completely gone, plastic hangers, zipper teeth, etc.
Oh,wow!

Chewing is a natural instinct for a dog. Some dogs just like to chew more than other dogs! And it would seem that your little guy is one of them.

The concerns with this amount of chewing is that he could damage his teeth, and a bigger concern is that he can swallow pieces of plastic that he chews off.

These bits of plastic could become a Gastrointestinal Foreign Body.



Dogs eat the strangest things - plastic bags, children's toys, bones, bits of towel, socks, rocks and other things. Often, these foreign bodies pass through the intestinal tract, but sometimes they do not. They may get caught in the stomach or the small intestines.




The symptoms of a GI foreign body are generally vomiting, loss of appetite, depression and dehydration.


In the case of an obstruction, surgery is often needed to remove the foreign object.



I will include further information about GI foreign bodies:

http://www.michvet.com/library/surgery_gi_foreign_body.asp

http://www.petplace.com/dogs/gastrointestinal-foreign-body-in-dogs/page1.aspx




So, we definitely want to avoid this!

It would be a very good idea to provide your dog with safe things to chew on, in order to redirect his instinct to do this.

Good options are:

1. Kong toy

This toy is (almost) indestructible. I have found that dogs particularly like it if you put a little smear of peanut butter or cream cheese at the bottom, or freeze some chicken broth in the bottom.

2. Rope toys

Many dogs love these - particularly if you soak them in broth and freeze them. You do have to replace them when the dog begins to shred them as swallowing sections of rope can also be dangerous.

Both of the above are safe for their teeth and good for redirecting this chewing behaviour!

I hope that helps!

If this has been helpful, please "Accept" my answer and provide feedback.


If you need more information, just click on reply and I will try to provide it!

The above is given for information only. Although I am a licensed veterinarian, I cannot legally prescribe medicines or diagnose your pet's condition without performing a physical exam. If you have concerns about your pet I would strongly advise contacting your regular veterinarian.


Fiona

 



Customer: replied 7 years ago.
He has a rope bone but haven't tried the broth or anything. He absolutely loves the rope bone and is lost without it. I just wanted to make sure he maybe didn't have some kind of food deficiency or anything since he seems to crave plastic. Thanks for your help.
I understand!

If he is on a good quality dog food, I am certain that he is not missing anything in his diet and this is just a normal chewing instinct that is a bit overdeveloped!

Some dogs just like the feel of plastic, and it sounds like your guy is one of them.

Hope that helps!


If this has been helpful, please "Accept" my answer and provide feedback.


If you need more information, just click on reply and I will try to provide it!

The above is given for information only. Although I am a licensed veterinarian, I cannot legally prescribe medicines or diagnose your pet's condition without performing a physical exam. If you have concerns about your pet I would strongly advise contacting your regular veterinarian.


Fiona


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