Dogs explore the world through their mouths and noses and that’s how they tend to swallow objects and any other non-food items that they’re not supposed to. Foreign objects hold serious threats to the health of your dog, for instance, something like dental floss. Such items have to be kept away from your dog’s reach at all times. 

So what should you do if your dog ate dental floss? 

First and foremost, don’t panic that your dog ate dental floss. It happens.

When it comes to your dog swallowing foreign objects the first two factors that matter are the size of the object and the size of your dog. If the dental floss is shorter than four inches then consider the dental floss to be most probably harmless. Whereas, on the other hand, if your dog has eaten a dental floss that is a long string it’s entirely dangerous since it could tie up your dog’s intestines together. If not treated immediately it could lead to a painful death. 

However, if you’re not sure of how much floss your dog ate and what are the symptoms you will come across? Continue to read to find your answers…

What Should You Do if Your Dog Ate Floss?

Any linear object such as a string or dental floss holds a serious threat to the health of your dog. Like mentioned before, the string inside the body of your dog can mess with its intestines by tying them together which then leads to intestinal obstruction. If you find yourself in any unfamiliar situations, wherein you see your dog suffering and you have no idea why immediately call up your vet. There are times wherein you cannot identify what is the object your dog gulped down his throat and that’s why you can not intervene. 

So, always make sure to react in time. Time is essential in such cases. If you see your dog trying to gulp down something in his throat and you notice the dental floss box around him you can still avoid the situation getting worse and intervene just in time. 

Do not induce vomiting on your dog

It is our duty to tell you that before you think of choosing this method to save your dog’s life make sure you consult your vet and only after their approval you induce vomiting in your dog. Your vet knows your dog the best in terms of its previous and present medical conditions and that’s why it is important to run this solution through them first. 

If in any case, your vet is not available, do not induce vomiting on your dog. Contact an emergency number and then take the next step. But, never induce vomiting on your dog before consulting a professional.  It won’t help even if the dog ate dental floss that’s very little. You might just hurt them.

What should you do if your dog has already digested dental floss?

It may tend to be really difficult to solve the problem with inducing vomiting after one hour of ingestion and you should definitely consult your vet. It is absolutely safe to say that your dog has digested the string successfully after two hours. It’s not alright even after the string manages to pass through your dog’s stomach without showing any symptoms. The stomach is not the area where the floss may cause problems; instead, it’s the intestines where the dental floss causes the biggest of the biggest problems.  

The best solution here in this case as soon as you know your dog has digested the dental floss is to contact your vet and take your dog for a check-up immediately. Do not wait for symptoms to show up and then decide to call your vet. 

How do I know if my dog ate dental floss?

It is necessary you observe your pet after they consume anything they shouldn’t have eaten or did not manage to digest for your pet dog to show any signs of discomfort or pain. Symptoms like vomiting, lethargy, etc are what your dog may show. 

Besides vomiting and lethargy if you see your dog showing any symptoms like the following contact your vet. 


If you find your dog being eager to eat but isn’t eating consider it to be signs of anorexia. They will progressively show lesser and lesser interest in eating. What does this mean? It means that there is something stopping your dog from eating food. And this needs instant medical attention. 

Abdominal Pain

If the string has happened to tie up any parts of their intestines together, your dog will be in terrible pain. Even if it’s a minor sign of abdominal pain don’t take it for granted, if you are well aware that your dog has consumed something he shouldn’t have.

Inability to Defecate

One of the main signs of gastrointestinal problems is your dog being unable to expel. If your dog is forcing himself or herself unlike the usual then consider that a sign of gastrointestinal problems. Why are they unable to defecate? There are high possibilities of something being stuck inside their body that is not letting them evacuate properly. 

Loose Strings

If you see a string by any chance peeking out of your dog’s rear end, do not try to pull it out. Even if you think that your dog ate dental floss, now digested, and ready to be defecated. You may tend to unintentionally cause your dog a lot of suffering and pain or even wounds if you try to pull the string out of your dog’s anus. The very fact that you can see the string peeking out of your dog’s anus says that it has successfully passed your dog’s intestines and has reached the rectum. So in time, it will naturally get expelled.  

Preventing your dog from consuming dental floss

Problems like your dog eating floss, or your dog eating a ham bone, all have the same solution is keeping these harmful things that you know are not good for the health of your dog away from them. 

You are very well aware that dogs get attracted to various smells, so for instance if you have tied a piece of meat with a string and your dog will easily smell that and be able to taste the meat on the string. Hence, store such things out of your dog’s reach in places where they don’t usually go. 

Sometimes, it is difficult to tell whether your dog has the condition called pica or it’s their normal behavior that is making them want to eat things that are not edible for them. Pica is a common condition in dogs that can make them eat things like a wooden popsicle stick.

Throwing away stuff like dental flosses or strings directly in the garbage bin is not right since your dog can still be able to find its way to drop the bin and get the dental floss out of it. Now you may think if flushing down such things is the right option or not, IT’S NOT. It may clog your plumbing system further. 

The best solution is to make use of things that make it difficult for your dog to open up or find his way through. For instance, you could purchase a wastebasket that is hard for your dog to open. 


The two factors that play a major role in determining what step to take next in situations wherein your dog has eaten unwanted things are the size of your dog and the size of the one that they have consumed. If your dog ate dental floss that is small it is harmless mostly, however, if it is any long linear objects you have to take much more care. 

Nevertheless, bringing them to the vet is guaranteed safe solution for your dog. Whether your dog ate floss or a big bone, a doctor is always the best option.

Also, just make sure to be more responsible and keep all the unwanted things that may catch the attention of your dog miles away from them!!