My Dog Ate Play Doh, What Should I Do?

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What should you do if your dog eats play-doh? It is not uncommon for dog owners to discover that their pets have eaten something they shouldn’t have; but is play-doh actually dangerous for dogs? And what should you do if your dog eats play-doh? If your dog has eaten some play-doh, read on to find out more regarding play-doh and dogs.

While we think it’s ridiculous for kids and pets to eat play-doh, dogs’ senses are much stronger than humans. Some might think it smells good enough to eat, while other canines eat it out of pure curiosity. 

different colored containers of play doh

What is Play Doh?

Play-doh refers to a dough intended for children to play with, typically by molding it into shapes and creating various objects and scenes with the doh. 

Play-Doh technically refers to a name brand, but parents often use the term as a generic catch-all for all types of toy dough. However, it is important to note that store-bought play-doh–whether it’s a brand name or generic–is vastly different than homemade play-doh.

Both store-bought play-doh and homemade play-doh have the same basic ingredients: water, flour, and salt.

Store-bought play-doh, however, often has additional ingredients such as essential oils, fragrances, petroleum, and other ingredients designed to create certain textures and colors.

Homemade play-doh, by contrast, often does not contain much more than the base ingredients and sometimes added food coloring. However, sometimes DIY salt dough recipes may call for cream of tartar which could lead to renal failure.

kids playing with homemade salt dough

Is Play-Doh Toxic?

Play-doh is non-toxic to humans. However, it can be toxic to dogs. Whether or not play-doh is toxic for dogs depends on the specific ingredients in the play-doh, as well as the size of the dog and how much they consumed.

Salt is a key ingredient in store-bought and homemade play-doh. When purchased from the store it often has very high amounts of salt, which can cause salt toxicity in dogs. Salt toxicity is dangerous and can cause kidney failure.

Essential oils are another ingredient that might be found in both versions. Some types of essential oils, along with fragrance oils, are toxic to dogs when consumed. Most vets recommend steering clear of all essential oils when it comes to canines, but those such as tea tree oil, eucalyptus oil, citrus, and cinnamon are known to be toxic.

It is important to note that the size of the dog, as well as the amount, is eaten, can play a significant role in whether or not your dog may need medical attention. If you have a very large dog and they only ate a small amount, they will likely be fine. If you have a small dog and they consumed a large amount, however, they will need to see the vet.

However, you should not ignore your dog after they have eaten play-doh, even if it was only a small amount or they are a larger dog. Keep an eye on them to look for any serious symptoms that may occur. At that point, they will need to be taken in for an exam and treatment no matter what size or breed they are.

top shot of small containers of play doh

How Much Salt Is In Play Doh? 

According to Hasbro, because the mixture is non-toxic to humans, they are not required to publish a MSDS. They also state that if a dog ingests Play-doh and you are concerned about the salt content to contact your vet immediately

BBC reported that if you were to make your own concoction using 1 part water, 2 parts flours, and 1 part salt that one gram of that dough would contain 250 milligrams of salt. 

So in terms of store-bought products, we don’t think there is a real way to tell how much salt is in one container. 

Symptoms Your Dog May Show After Eating Play Doh

If your pup has consumed play-doh, it may show a variety of different symptoms. Here are some common symptoms you may see:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Shaking/Tremors
  • Fever
  • Sudden excessive thirst
  • Sudden excessive urination or inability to urinate
  • Seizures
  • Appetite changes and/or nausea

If your dog is experiencing any of these symptoms, it may be a sign that their body is reacting negatively to the ingredients in the play-doh. The severity of the symptoms may vary depending on the dog’s size, how much they ate, as well as the specific ingredients in the product.

What to Do When Your Dog Eats Play Doh

The first thing you need to do is immediately separate your dog from the play-doh and ensure that they can’t get into it again.

Then, you will want to determine how much play-doh was eaten. This will give you a good idea of the next step you should take. You should also inspect the container of play-doh if it was store-bought so that you can see what the ingredients are; this will be essential if your dog needs medical attention, as it will help the vet determine the diagnosis and treatment options.

Inform your vet and see if you need to bring your pup into the office for an appointment.  

If your dog is not experiencing symptoms or appears to be fine, you should keep an eye on them for a few days. This includes behavior, symptoms, and overall health. 

If you have a small dog or a dog who has ingested a lot of play-doh, then they should be taken to the vet ASAP for emergency medical attention. Even if they aren’t showing signs right away, they could be seriously injured or even killed if they aren’t treated promptly.

sick white lab laying on the table at the vet next to owners

 What To Expect From The Vet (Treatment Options)

If you do have to make that emergency trip to the vet, you may be wondering what the possible treatment options are. 

Most likely if your dog only ate a little play doh but is showing symptoms, the doctor will induce vomiting. While this sounds easy, you should not try this at home, leave it to the vet. Sometimes dog owners can cause more damage than good in medical scenarios like this one. 

If the case is more severe, your veterinarian will perform an examination and request bloodwork. They are looking for signs of salt toxicity and the current condition of the liver and kidneys. Normally an IV drip of fluids is prescribed to help dilute and flush out the toxins. 

Your vet may require an overnight stay for fluid therapy. Supplemental treatments may include anti-nausea medication such as Cerenia and pain medications. Please do not administer any OTC products you may have at your house for these symptoms. There are many human medications that are toxic to dogs such as acetaminophen (Tylenol).

Can Dogs Die From Ingesting Play Doh?

Yes. Unfortunately, playdoh can be deathly to dogs. The primary cause behind play-doh-related toxicity deaths is an excess of certain ingredients in the dough, such as salt, certain types of oils, and other ingredients that are harmful to canines.

Play-doh is a fun toy for children, but it is not considered safe for dogs.

My Dog Ate Play Doh Now What? 

  • Watch for symptoms, if there are any notify your vet immediately. 
  • Keep all Play-Doh products away from pets and supervise smaller children while playing, 
  • The larger the dog the less likely they are to become sick from ingestion. 
  • There are toxicity concerns when it comes to canines and play-doh, so don’t take it lightly when it happens. 
  • Identify the amount that was consumed and the ingredient list if possible to report to your vet. 
  • Follow all of your local vet’s advice, as they know your dog better than we do. 

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