Dogs are not humans. They seem almost obsessed with your most intimate and personal items as we look into the curious and rather filthy side of dog ownership. You see, to a dog, a dirty pair of your knickers, a used tampon, a sanitary towel, and even, yes, a condom, is like some fantastic treat for them.
However, it is not a treat, and as condoms can’t be digested and have a high level of elasticity, they can pose a threat if your dog ate one.
In the following post, we will give you tips and suggestions about what you should do if your dog eats a condom (or tampon, sanitary towel, you get the picture), but before that, it’s worth looking at why your dog eats these kinds of things in the first place.
Why, Why, Why Would My Dog Be Interested in Eating Condoms?
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Well, don’t worry if your dog ate a condom. They don’t have a weird fetish. Some very interesting reasons they like the most intense and disgusting items not on the menu.
Dogs Are Natural Scavengers
Wild species of dogs usually hunt and feed on live prey. However, they will, if necessary, hunt and eat carrion. Sorry to those reading this with a more delicate disposition, your condoms, sanitary towels, and tampons smell of decaying biological matter. To a dog that suggests carrion.
Dogs Use Their Noses and Mouths To Explore
As you probably know, dogs use their noses and mouths, rather than their eyes, to explore the world around them. Once they catch a whiff of a very strong, albeit pungent, smell, they are almost hardwired to seek it out. Just on the off chance, it is something delicious for their belly. Although the phrase curiosity killed the cat, dogs are just as equally curious critters as their feline counterparts. It’s in their instincts, so don’t shame the condom-eating dogs.
They Love Your Smell
As you are a pack member, and if you are their owner, the pack leader, there is no smell in the world better for your furry friend than your scent. This is why your dog loves snuggling up to things that you have worn when you are not wearing them and gone. It is also why, rather disgustingly, they love things like dirty pants and used condoms. There is nothing that transmits your scent more intensely than your bodily fluids.
Pica and Psychological Reasons Your Dog Ate a Condom (or something else unusual and disgusting)
One reason why many dogs, and even humans, eat things that are disgusting and abnormal, like faeces, cigarette ashes, hair, glue, flaking paint, clay, dirt, and in this case, condoms, is that they could be suffering from the medical condition known as Pica.
Therefore, if there are clear signs that it is not simply a case of curiosity or exploration that they have decided to eat a condom, it could be that they have Pica.
There are also a variety of mental and psychological issues your dog could be suffering from that could cause them to want to eat a condom, used or not, including:
- Trying to get your attention (remember dogs thrive on any attention, whether for good or bad reasons. It does not matter to your dog.)
- Anxiety or boredom (dogs and particularly breeds like cockapoos, despite their generally amiable and happy nature, are susceptible to suffering from anxiety and can also get bored very quickly)
- Incorrect nutrition (if the food you are giving your dog is not providing them with the nutrition they need, you may find that your dog is searching for things to eat that may satisfy their nutrition requirements.
- Not given enough to eat (again, if you are not making sure that your dog has enough fresh water and dog food available, they will tap into their scavenger side and look for food.)
If you think it is a psychological issue more than anything, the one way to prevent it from happening again is to address the problem and help your dog work through it.
Now you understand the why…we will consider the answer to one more question before we get down to what you need to do next.
Is It Dangerous?
One of the most pertinent questions you are likely to have is just how dangerous it is for your dog to eat a condom. Generally speaking, just like when a baby or toddler eats something they shouldn’t, it will be pooped out eventually. It will likely be fine if you have a medium to large dog. They ate or swallowed the condom with the wrapper still on. There is a slight but noteworthy increase in the risk of health problems.
If your dog has eaten an entire box or multiple condoms in one disgusting feast, the increase of damage and danger increases considerably. Although it’s often a good idea to make your dog vomit when they have eaten something they shouldn’t, if it is more than one condom, there is a chance that they won’t all come back up.
If your dog is more on the smaller side, there is a severe risk that swallowing even one condom in its wrapper could block its digestive system.
In any of these situations where the risks increase, it’s best to go to the vet as soon as possible.
What Should You Do?
Well, first and foremost, you need to avoid panicking. We know that sounds easier than it probably is. After all, you will be worried about your dog choking or the condom or a similar foreign object causing other damage. But overall, you will probably be worried about having that awkward conversation about your dog eating a condom.
When it comes to how serious a risk a condom poses, size is crucial. What we mean is the size of your dog in relation to the condom. Take a Cockapoo or Golden Retriever, for example. If a medium or large dog swallows a condom, it will usually pass through its system without much hassle or bother. Whereas if a small dog like a miniature poodle or Chihuahua swallows a condom, it probably won’t be able to pass it out.
Fortunately, condoms do not have anything in their physical makeup that is toxic or dangerous for animals. The main danger is that it gets stuck inside their intestines and cause a gastrointestinal blockage.
How To Deal With It Without Calling the Vet
Rather than immediately rushing to call the vet, there are some things you can do that could save you time, money, and embarrassment.
Should You or Should You Not Induce Vomiting
If you caught your dog in the act, it is a good idea to check to see if it can be pulled out of its mouth without getting injured. However, if you didn’t catch them in the act or there are no signs of the condom near the entrance of the dog’s mouth, do not try to remove it or induce vomiting by sticking your fingers into their throat. You could damage their oesophagus or throat in the process.
The best way to induce vomiting is by using hydrogen peroxide, if you have any, or taking him or her to the vet. Do whatever you feel comfortable with.
Taking Your Dog to the Vet
There is no shame in not being able to deal with this alone. That’s what vets are there for. If you go to your local vet, they will normally take three steps to solve the fact your dog ate a condom:
- Diagnose Your Dog
- Treat Your Dog
- Advise You On Preventative Measures
Diagnose Your Dog
Although it’s embarrassing, it’s best to be honest with your vet and tell them straight, “my dog swallowed a condom.” If you feel uncomfortable, you could say that your dog swallowed a plastic or balloon. The majority of vets treat this kind of issue as gastrointestinal obstruction.
If your vet thinks it is serious enough and there is a chance your dog won’t pass the condom naturally, they will perform x-rays or an ultrasound to locate where the condom is and how bad the blockage it is causing.
Depending on its location, your fur baby may need to have it surgically removed.
Treat Your Dog
A wide variety of treatments can be used in the event of a dog swallowing a condom. If your dog is or starts to choke on the offending object, your vet may decide to induce vomiting to shift the condom out of your dog’s throat or mouth. Alternatively, your vet may sedate your pooch and try to reach in and get the condom out.
As noted above, if the blockage is severe enough, the condom is too far inside your dog to get out through the mouth, and it’s unlikely to pass naturally, intestinal surgery may be required to remove it.
Advise You On Preventative Measures
Prevention is always better than cure, and your vet will offer advice on preventing your dog from eating and swallowing items like condoms and similar items.
The best advice your vet will give, and we will offer here, is to put used condoms in a bin and ensure your dog can’t access them.
It is also wise to keep a close eye on what your dog is chewing.
Symptoms to Look Out For (If You’ve Caught Your Dog Eating a Condom or Are Sure They Have)
It’s not unusual for dogs to eat anything they can get their paws and mouths on, including, rather grossly, condoms. To deal with it and not panic, you must carefully monitor your canine buddy. If they behave as if nothing has changed or is wrong, regularly check their faeces to ensure that it has been properly excreted.
However, when your dog starts acting strange, you need to push the embarrassment of the situation to one side and take them to the vet.
Look out for the following symptoms:
- Aversion to eating
- Stomach ache
Summary of My Dog Ate A Condom
So, if your dog has swallowed a condom, he or she should be perfectly fine. As noted above, it may be a worry if you have yet to see it pass through your dog naturally, and they may simply poop it out or if they are suffering from the symptoms cited.
Just put your condoms in the bin out of your dog’s way, and remember to laugh at the situation because as long as your dog is safe and well, it is rather funny!
Mike is the proud owner of a 7-year-old Cockapoo named Luna. He loves to share stories, tips and information about owning a Cockapoo. With over7 years of experience as an owner, Mike is passionate about helping others own and care for their dog.