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Why Does My Dog Eat Q-tips? 

Why Does My Dog Eat Q-tips? Dogs are notorious for eating things they shouldn’t, but even the smartest dogs may try to gobble up an ear-cleaning tool that looks like a tasty treat. If your dog keeps eating Q-tips, you might be wondering what causes this dangerous behavior and whether you can stop it before your dog ends up in the emergency room.

Read on to find out why my dog eats Q-tips and how you can keep him safe from this dangerous activity.

What Are The Side Effects of Eating q-tips?

The side effects of eating q-tips can range from mild gastrointestinal distress to life-threatening problems. This is because when a person eats a q-tip, it is unable to digest and may just pass through their system.

However, in dogs and other animals with smaller throats and stomachs, q-tips can get stuck in their esophagus or stomach resulting in death. In addition, eating q-tips can cause an animal to vomit which could lead to choking.

It’s important for pet owners to be aware of these risks so they know what they are dealing with if they see that their dog has eaten one. If you notice your pet has eaten a q-tip call your veterinarian immediately as time is critical.

Read Also: Why Is a Female Dog Called a Bitch?

What Happens If Your Dog eats Q-tips?

While some dogs may think that Q-tips look like tasty lollipops, eating them can have serious side effects. As a general rule, you should avoid leaving small objects in areas where your dog can get to them; however, if he or she has already eaten a few cotton swabs, they probably won’t hurt too much.

The biggest concern is that Q-tips are made of waxed paper and plastic, which could cause an intestinal blockage.

If your pet ate a large number of cotton swabs, it’s important to bring him or her to see a vet as soon as possible so that any foreign objects can be removed from his stomach.

In most cases, however, dogs will expel whatever they ingested within 24 hours. If you notice that your dog begins vomiting frequently after eating cotton swabs or other nonfood items, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Why Does My Dog Eat Cotton?

Dogs can eat cotton, but they should not. Most dogs who ingest cotton will pass it on their own. And if they don’t, it may require a trip to your veterinarian for surgery.

The cotton will often be found in their stomach and intestines, so it can cause severe blockages of these systems as well as damage to your dog’s kidneys and liver.

Some symptoms that you might see include vomiting, diarrhea or even blood in either stool or vomit. If you think your dog has eaten any type of fabric (such as wool or silk), contact your vet immediately.

Sometimes, though, when your dog eats something non-digestible such as a rock or plastic bottle cap, he may show no symptoms at all. But check with your vet just in case!

Is It Normal For Dogs To Eat Q-tips?

Unfortunately, it can be normal for dogs to consume q-tips or other household objects, especially puppies and younger dogs. This is why it’s important that you keep all household cleaners, paint thinner, and other chemicals out of reach of your canine companion to prevent ingestion by accident. Here’s what you need to know about why your dog eats q-tips.

This problem usually occurs when a pet owner leaves a q-tip sitting on a surface in plain views, like a table or nightstand. Dogs are naturally curious animals who love investigating new smells and tastes. When they see an unfamiliar object left out in plain sight, they’ll often attempt to investigate further by tasting whatever is available.

In some cases, dogs will ingest items because they’re bored or anxious. If you leave a q-tip lying around where your dog can get to it while you’re away from home, he may try eating it as a way of keeping himself occupied.

In addition to being dangerous, consuming too many nonfood items can lead to digestive problems and blockages. If your dog has ingested something he shouldn’t have, contact your veterinarian immediately for advice on how best to proceed.

Are Q-tips Bad For Dogs To Eat

Absolutely. The stick or cotton itself can’t hurt your dog, but it’s possible for some dogs to swallow small pieces of cotton that can cause obstructions in their intestines. If your dog eats a whole q-tip, he could develop an intestinal blockage (and other complications) that requires emergency surgery to correct.

Just keep them out of reach! Also, make sure you don’t leave any medications on surfaces where your pup can get to them; just because something is dog-friendly doesn’t mean they should be eating it.

Check with your vet if you have any questions about what medications are safe for dogs to take and which ones are not.

Common Reasons Dogs May Be Eating Their Toys

Boredom: Just like we need to keep up with our interests and hobbies, dogs can also get bored. Eating toys is one way for them to pass time. If you think your dog may be getting a little restless, try adding more exercise or stimulating activities to his daily routine.

You can also try new toys to help change things up in your pet’s playtime routine. This might encourage him to chew on his toys instead of other items around your home or yard.

Anxiety: Dogs can suffer from anxiety just as humans do, and if they’re anxious about something it may make them chew on objects even when they aren’t hungry.

Look at what triggers your dog’s anxiety – then find ways to eliminate these triggers or distract him from thinking about them while he’s chewing. For example, if you leave your dog at home alone every day while you go to work, it could lead to separation anxiety.

How Can I Stop My Dog From Eating His Toys?

Unfortunately, there is no surefire way to completely stop your pooch from eating his toys. There are methods that can be used to discourage your pet’s unhealthy habits, but if he likes something enough, he will find a way to chew it up and swallow it.

Toys with strings and long hairs should be avoided at all costs; these can get lodged in your pup’s digestive tract and cause serious health problems. If you have a particularly destructive toy eater on your hands, you might want to consider removing all of his toys before leaving him alone for extended periods of time.

That said, many dogs like having something to play with while their owners are away—so make sure you have an extra set of throwaway toys around just in case!

Training your puppy not to eat his toys takes patience and consistency. You may need several weeks or months before he learns not to touch his stuffies anymore, so stay strong!

Be careful not to accidentally reinforce bad behavior by giving him attention when he chews on something inappropriate. Instead of praising him when he gnaws on a favorite toy, ignore him or say no in a firm voice.

How Do I Get Rid Of Bad Habits Like This One?

The best way to get rid of bad habits is to replace them with better ones. So, if you’re trying to kick a habit like eating your hair, chewing on pens or pencils, smoking cigarettes, and so forth, try replacing those habits with positive behaviors.

While some of these replacement behaviors may seem silly at first (e.g., shaking hands when you want to pick up your hair or a pen), they are far more effective than just trying to banish all bad habits in one fell swoop.

If you’re interested in learning more about how to kick bad habits for good, check out our other post on how to do it 


Your dog will only attempt to eat a q-tip if he’s sick. Unfortunately, it could take weeks or months before your vet knows for sure what’s wrong with your pooch. In some cases, dogs don’t show symptoms at all, even though they are already ill (e.g., there is no blood in stool when examined by a vet). In these situations, it may be necessary to completely change their diet while also reducing physical activity levels.