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Did your dog swallow a sharp object?

Updated: Mar 31


My dog is sick!

Sharp objects can cut a dog’s mouth, cut or pierce the esophagus, cut or pierce any part of the digestive tract from the stomach to the intestines. In addition, a sharp object can become lodged in the intestines and cause an intestinal blockage. These are all very serious threats to your dog’s life.

Firstly, call your vet ASAP to explain the situation and see what course of action they advise. It might be that they’d like to admit the dog or possibly merely for you to watch him at home. This decision will be made dependant on several factors including:

  • the object (and size) of what has been swallowed,

  • the size and character of dog,

  • whether the owner is able to observe the dog closely,

  • whether the vet would be able to deal with the situation on site, or whether a referral elsewhere might be required, etc.

DO NOT try to make the dog vomit. There is always the chance that further damage could be done on the way back up, so don't do that!

Did your dog swallow a sharp object?
Always consult a vet if your dog ingests a sharp object or toxic materials like anti-freeze or chocolate.

What can you do if your puppy or dog swallows a sharp object like a push pin, glass, broken Christmas decoration, etc...

Depending on the size of your dog, soak 2-4 cotton balls in milk or cream and put it down your dog's throat. Experts also say that you can use white bread, peanut butter or fibrous pumpkin pieces instead of cotton balls.

The rational behind this technique is that the cushioning provided will pad any sharp edges and protect the gut during transit. Any small shards of glass or bits of plastic, etc. would get caught up in the cotton wool and hopefully just pass through, without incident.

Make sure to check your dog’s poop every time he/she goes. It could take 24 hours. A vet recommended the cotton ball/milk combination after my client’s dog ate a push-pin… AND IT WORKED, saving my client thousands of dollars in vet bills (or worse)! The pin passed with the cotton safely wrapped around it.

Of course, monitor your pooch closely, and take him/her to a vet immediately if your dog shows the following signs:

  • Vomiting

  • Loss of appetite

  • Lethargy

  • Abdominal pain

  • Diarrhea

  • Constipation

Stay safe!

Yours in training,

Jayne Barnstead


Jayne has been informally training dogs for over 20 years. During the Covid crisis, Jayne completed her Professional Dog Training Certification Program at the Ottawa K9 Academy, and set up her business - OUTSIDE THE CRATE. She is a member of the Canadian Association of Professional Dog Trainers (CAPDT), the Pet Professional Guild (PPG), and the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT). She has also received several certificates of completion, including Game Changing Dog Training through the Karen Pryor Academy (facilitated by Terry Ryan), Unleashed Potential - The Core Excellence Program with Duke Ferguson, Trainers Supporting Shelters & Rescue Programs (APDT), Top Dog Academy (Ian Dunbar), and more!

Jayne is a positive reinforcement trainer who uses methods that are science-based, allowing her to adjust her training techniques as new evidence comes forward. Jayne avidly pursues continuing education and professional development by attending seminars and keeping current on all industry literature and trends. She will give you step-by-step instruction on how to train your dog in all basic obedience behaviours and good manners.


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