As pet parents, hopefully we all know that we want to avoid our pets getting into the trash, the fridge, the . While we want to be sure our pets are safe from any poisons or toxins, there’s another threat that many pet owners might not think about initially-gastrointestinal foreign bodies. This occurs when a foreign object is swallowed by your pet and lodged in the digestive tract, unable to pass. Foreign bodies can become fatal quickly and often times require surgery to be removed. Here are a few not-so-obvious things to keep away from your pet to avoid the expensive and stressful foreign-body experience.
- Old broken or ripped toys: Be sure to throw these away pretty quickly, as the stuffing, string, or hard plastic may be swallowed by your pet. If your pet is particularly hard on his or her toys, investing the extra money in sturdier ones can save you big vet bills later on.
- Improper sized toys or chews: Puppies and kittens grow so quickly and outgrow their toys in the process. Make sure to remove these from your pet as they get bigger. Buying the appropriate sized dental chew or rawhide is also important, as bigger dogs may try to swallow them whole.
- Bones, hooves, or antlers: Chicken, tuna, steak, or any other kind of hard animal product is bad news for for pets. Movies and other media sources regularly show owners tossing the dog a bone and pet stores across the countries will carry bones, antlers, and more for our cats and dogs to chew on. Not only can these products be highly damaging to our pets’ teeth, sometimes pets can break a piece off and swallow it-presenting the danger of a foreign body.
- Sticks: They may make for a great a game of fetch, but they can splinter as pieces break off if actively chewed.
- Yarn, tinsel, floss, etc.: Cats’ instincts sometimes view these stringy objects as rodent tails and eat them. These objects may seem small and insignificant, but they can wreak havoc on your cat’s digestive tract.
How many of these common objects had you thought about keeping away from your pets? Has your pet needed a surgery to have a foreign body removed? Let us know in the comments below!