Some dogs will literally eat anything and everything. It doesn’t matter how much you spoil them, or how much love and money goes into preparing their favorite food; they just can’t resist sampling any number of random things, and hair ties are no exception.
In May 2019, a Goldendoodle from Texas, US, had to have surgery to remove over 100 hair ties from his stomach. This is an extreme case, but even swallowing one or two hair ties could pose a similar risk to your pet.
If your dog swallows a hair tie, there’s a good chance they will vomit it up or pass it through their stool. If they do not vomit or pass the hair tie in a reasonable timeframe, you need to take them to a vet. Choking is also a potential risk. Continue reading to learn more…
Hair Ties Are a Choking Hazard
If your dog swallows a hair tie whole, it is likely they might choke on it. The hair tie can easily get stuck in their throat. If this is the case, it should be apparent right away. Your dog will violently gag and cough, just like a person choking on a piece of food.
The first thing you should do is try to remove the hair tie from their throat. However, it is extremely important you do this with lots of care and caution. Some dogs will bite their owners if they stick their hand in the dog’s mouth.
If you cannot remove the hair tie yourself, you must get your dog to a vet or emergency animal hospital as quickly as possible.
Hair Ties in Your Dog’s Digestive System
If your dog has completely swallowed the hair tie, there is no need to panic, but you should still remain vigilant and prepared for an emergency visit to the vet.
In most cases, especially if you have a large dog, the hair tie will pass through their bowels. Your dog’s body is incapable of digesting the tie, so it will simply pass through them.
However, there is also the possibility that the hair tie could get stuck in their intestine, creating a blockage. This is more likely to happen if you have a small dog, or if your dog has swallowed several hair ties at once.
If your dog has not passed the hair tie within a couple of days, it is likely stuck inside of them. If this is the case, vomiting and/or diarrhea are common symptoms.
If you think the hair tie is stuck inside your dog, it is imperative that you take them to a vet to have it removed. The vet will attempt to remove the hair tie using an endoscope – a tube that is inserted through your dog’s throat or rectum. If the vet cannot remove the tie with an endoscope, it will have to be surgically removed.
What if You Didn’t See Your Dog Swallow a Hair Tie but Suspect They Did?
Maybe one or two of your hair ties have gone missing, and while you did not directly witness your dog swallow them, you suspect that’s what happened. In this scenario, the best thing to do is to monitor your dog closely for two to three days to see if they pass the hair tie in their stool.
If, during this timeframe, your dog vomits and/or has diarrhea, and you still do not see the hair tie, there is a chance it might be stuck in their bowels. You should take them to a vet right away, as blockages can be life threatening.
Preventing Your Dog from Swallowing Hair Ties and Other Foreign Objects
Dogs that swallow foreign objects, like hair ties, typically don’t learn their lesson. They will attempt to swallow objects like this again and again in the future. Keep your hair ties and other similar objects in a drawer so your dog cannot get a hold of them in the first place.