What Is Dietary Indiscretion? When do I Call the Vet



Just when you think you are taking the best possible care of your pets, they find something icky to chew on! Why do dogs and cats eat the things they do? We may never know all the answers to this seemingly simple question. Maybe it smelled good, maybe they were hungry, or maybe they were just plain curious.

Dog licking its chops
IMAGE CREDIT: Cara Dolan / Stocksy United

Plastic or potentially toxic items may also have some appeal to your curious pet. Some of these may be found in your yard, or in your neighbors, though none of them are good for your dog or cat to ingest.

Among the possible things you might find are household cleaners, fertilizers, and other substances such as antifreeze, snail bait, and other pesticides. Discarded chemical containers, cocoa mulch, blood meal, and similar things should be stored safely away from pets at all times as well.

Organic Snacks

If you found that your pet had a snack of organic material such as fecal or rotting matter, dead animals, or the like, call your vet to discuss what you found or know about the ingestion. Watch your pet closely for any listlessness, vomiting, diarrhea, or lack of appetite. Be sure to call your vet immediately if you observe anything out of the ordinary.

Toxin Ingestion or Exposure


Call your veterinarian immediately if your pet ingested anything that is possibly toxic. Some toxins, such as antifreeze, are immediately life-threatening, while others take time for signs to develop.

Call your veterinarian or poison control center for advice. There are pet-specific poison control centers such as​ the National Animal Poison Control Center and Pet Poison Helpline that will be able to assist you or your veterinarian with the case.

Inanimate Objects

There is also the possibility that your pet has eaten the most unlikely of inanimate objects. These include items that don’t always sound tasty: sprinkler heads, socks, rocks, balls, and so on. Call your veterinarian as soon as it happens to touch base and determine the best course of action because each case is different.

While some items aren’t an immediate emergency, others, such as a sharp object, are. Possible problems include obstruction or perforation of the stomach or intestine, chronic metal poisoning due to ingested particles being digested and retracted within the body, and rectal tears.

If you suspect your pet is sick, call your vet immediately. For health-related questions, always consult your veterinarian, as they have examined your pet, know the pet’s health history, and can make the best recommendations for your pet.



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