Dog Ate Toothpick: What To Do!

Dog Ate Toothpick

Picture this – You’re out for a walk with your dog, and they suddenly go running after a bird. Or maybe you’ve been at it all day, playing hide-and-seek with a tennis ball. And then, for some reason, your dog eats a toothpick.

This might seem like an unlikely scenario but unfortunately, it happens all too often. Toothpicks are dangerous, so what should you do if your dog ate toothpick.

You should call your vet immediately you realize your dog has eaten toothpicks whether wooden or plastic.

Your vet will decide on the best course of action. There are three treatment options: wait-and-watch, endoscopic removal, and surgical removal (more on these later).

What To Do If Your Dog Ate A Toothpick

If your dog eats a toothpick, here is what you should do:

Call your vet. You’ll want to ask them if they want you to bring the dog in or if they can give you over-the-phone advice.

If it’s an emergency, take your dog to the nearest animal hospital. If it’s not, stay on the phone and answer any questions they ask while they assess how serious the situation is. 

See if you can tell how many toothpicks were swallowed and what kind they were (plastic or wooden). The type, number, and size of toothpicks will help determine what to do next.

Watch your dog’s behavior for signs of discomfort or pain. If there are no signs of distress, then chances are good that your dog will pass the toothpicks without incident.

However, you should still monitor them closely over the next few days—if anything changes, call your vet immediately. Symptoms to watch for that are cause for immediate concern include fever, vomiting, lethargy, as well as bloody stool.

Follow the vet’s advice, which may include giving your pet medication to help them pass any stuck toothpicks more easily or getting x-rays done at their office so they can see where exactly in their digestive tract the toothpick is located.

Treatment Options For A Dog That Has Swallowed A Toothpick


This is usually the best option if your dog hasn’t had any symptoms since swallowing the toothpick. You may want to keep an eye on your dog just in case, but most of the time the toothpick will pass through without any problems.

There are various recommended methods to help your dog pass the toothpick safely. The most popular method is feeding your dog bread to help cushion the toothpick.

Endoscopic removal

An endoscopy is when a doctor inserts a tiny camera into your dog’s mouth and looks around for the toothpick. They use tweezers or other tools to remove it. This procedure can be expensive and it’s not available in all clinics.

Surgical removal

If your vet thinks there’s too much risk involved with endoscopic removal or if they can’t find the toothpick during an endoscopy, they might recommend surgical removal instead. Surgery is more invasive and requires general anesthesia or deep sedation (depending on how old your pup is).

Dog Ate Toothpick: FAQ

Can Dog Stomach Acid Dissolve Wood

No, dog stomach acid cannot dissolve wood.

Stomach acids are designed to break down meat and bones. They are not designed for dissolving wood. Dogs do not have the ability to digest something that is as harsh on their stomachs as wood is. Dog’s stomach acid will also not help if your dog ate a plastic toothpick.

Can A Toothpick Kill A Dog

Yes, a toothpick can kill a dog.

If your dog swallowed a wooden toothpick or any other kind of toothpick and it is not treated immediately death is a possibility. As we’ve seen above, the best way to avoid this is to contact your vet.

My Dog Threw Up A Toothpick: What Should I Do?

If your dog threw up a toothpick and you were not aware it had swallowed a toothpick, call your vet. The vet will tell you whether it’s a concern or not—and if it is, they can help you get the situation under control.

Final Thoughts

If your dog eats a toothpick, you need to take her/him for a checkup immediately. Please, do not waste time. Dogs can choke and even die from this type of injury.

Make sure that you get immediate attention from the vet so that the toothpick can be properly dislodged from the dog and they are not in any danger or discomfort. 

Related Content: What to do if your dog eats glass

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