5 most common non-food items swallowed by pets

Last week we reported the case of a curious Cavalier King Charles who needed emergency surgery after swallowing his owner's toy train, but that's just one of the hundreds of stories we hear about dogs eating things they really shouldn't have. Pet owners will know that these inquisitive creatures love to investigate, chew and often eat anything they can.

If your pet has swallowed something dangerous, you may spot signs like vomiting, choking, respiratory distress, lack of appetite and lethargy. If you notice any of these sign, or suspect they may have eaten something they shouldn't have, consult your vet immediately.

Argos Pet Insurance have compiled a list of the five most common non-food items they've come across:

Underwear

Our dogs can't resist a stray sock or pair of knickers. Unfortunately, socks and other stretchy fabrics can cause complications in the digestive system, and eventually end up getting stuck in the intestines. Safely store away your underwear in drawers to keep them out of reach and keep an eye on your laundry baskets and washing lines too. 

String

String, or anything similar like yarn, thread or dental floss, is often favoured by the felines and can have a similar affect to underwear. Be extra vigilant when pets are playing with anything string-like and never to leave them unsupervised with it.

Bones

Bones and bone fragments of all sizes can become stuck in your pets' throats or digestive tracts, or even cause punctures and damage to internal organs, so never give your pet a bone to chew on.  

Toys

Small plastic toys, like the toy train, and balls are an easy target for playful pets. Vets have discovered chunks of plastic and even entire balls lodged in stomaches. This can cause blockages and discomfort. Wherever possible, avoid toys with bobbles, buttons or any other detachable adornments, and never let your dog play with balls or toys that are a size which can be easily swallowed.

Food wrappings

Smelly food wrappings can be irresistible to pets. Small pieces of paper or foil can be digested and passed without injury but larger pieces - particularly cling film - can become twisted in the gut and cause severe issues. Dispose of food wrapping in a pet-proof bin.  

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