You walk into the kitchen after a long day at work only to find that your dog has not only eaten the banana bread that was on the counter, but also the aluminum foil that it was wrapped in! You thought you set that loaf up high enough, but your dog is sitting there, looking guilty and bread crumbs still on his face. Panic sets in – My Dog Ate Aluminum Foil!! What do I do?
First, don’t panic. Despite the internet rumors, aluminum foil in of itself isn’t toxic: aluminum won’t leach into your dog’s bloodstream and poison him from the inside out. Most often the danger with aluminum foil actually resides with what it is wrapped around: if the food inside the foil is high fat, it can cause inflammation in your dog’s gut or pancreas. It also depends on the size of your dog: if you have a big dog and he ate a small piece of foil, you probably won’t even see it pass in the feces.
Most dogs that eat aluminum foil can be observed at home and will pass it without incidence. If your dog eats aluminum foil, here are the things you need to know:
- Watch your dog for signs of sickness, which include vomiting, lethargy, and loss of appetite. If these occur, call your veterinarian and schedule an appointment immediately.
- Rarely, aluminum foil can cause intestinal obstruction, especially if your dog ingests foil that has been balled up. If your dog starts vomiting after ingesting the foil, please see your veterinarian immediately. He or she can sort out the reason for the vomiting and prescribe treatment and remember, the vomiting can be as much due to the food that was stored in the foil as the foil itself.
- If your dog ate aluminum foil that was wrapped around something that had chocolate in it, call the veterinarian immediately, as chocolate is toxic to dogs. If your dog just ate it, your veterinarian will induce emesis and hopefully get your dog to throw up everything he ate.
Eating aluminum foil in and of itself usually is not a veterinary emergency. If this happens to your dog, call your veterinarian and ask for advice.
Dr. Sarah J. Wooten, DVM. Paving new roads to wellness, every day.