My Dog Ate a Cotton Ball: What Should I Do?


If you’re a dog parent, you know that our furry friends can sometimes get into mischief. One common concern is when our dogs eat something they shouldn’t.

One such item that can cause worry is a cotton ball. In this blog post, we’ll discuss what you should do if your dog ate a cotton ball and provide some helpful tips to keep your pup safe.

What to Do if Your Dog Ate a Cotton Ball

Discovering that your dog has eaten a cotton ball can be alarming, but it’s important to stay calm and take the necessary steps to ensure your dog’s well-being. Here’s what you should do:

  1. Assess the situation: Determine how many cotton balls your dog has ingested and if there were any other substances mixed with them. This information will be helpful when you consult with your veterinarian.
  2. Contact your veterinarian: It’s crucial to reach out to your veterinarian as soon as possible. They will be able to provide guidance based on your dog’s size, the amount ingested, and any additional factors.
  3. Observe your dog: Keep a close eye on your dog for any signs of distress or discomfort. Symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, or difficulty breathing should be reported to your veterinarian immediately.
  4. Follow your veterinarian’s advice: Your veterinarian may recommend bringing your dog in for an examination or provide instructions on how to monitor your dog at home. It’s essential to follow their advice to ensure your dog’s safety.

Why Do Dogs Eat Cotton Balls?

Dogs are naturally curious creatures, and sometimes their curiosity leads them to ingest things they shouldn’t.

While it may seem strange to us, dogs may be attracted to cotton balls for a few reasons:

  1. Texture: Dogs are known to chew on various objects to explore different textures. The soft and fluffy texture of a cotton ball may be appealing to them.
  2. Scent: Cotton balls can absorb scents, such as those from cleaning products or cosmetics. If a cotton ball smells interesting to your dog, they may be more likely to eat it.
  3. Pica: Some dogs have a condition called pica, which causes them to eat non-food items. This behavior can be influenced by factors such as boredom, anxiety, or nutritional deficiencies.

Potential Risks of Dogs Eating Cotton Balls

While a single cotton ball may not cause significant harm, there are potential risks associated with dogs ingesting them. These risks include:

  1. Intestinal blockage: If your dog ingests a large amount of cotton or if the cotton ball is combined with other materials, it can create a blockage in their digestive system. This can be a serious and potentially life-threatening condition.
  2. Toxicity: If the cotton ball has come into contact with toxic substances, such as cleaning chemicals, it can pose a risk of poisoning to your dog.
  3. Choking hazard: In some cases, a dog may swallow a cotton ball without chewing it properly, increasing the risk of choking.

Preventing Your Dog from Eating Cotton Balls

Prevention is always better than cure. To minimize the chances of your dog eating a cotton ball, consider the following tips:

  1. Secure your trash: Make sure your trash cans have secure lids or are placed in areas that are inaccessible to your dog. This will prevent them from rummaging through the trash and finding potentially dangerous items.
  2. Keep cleaning supplies out of reach: Store cleaning supplies in cabinets or areas that are not easily accessible to your dog. Be cautious when using cotton balls or other cleaning tools around your dog to avoid accidental ingestion.
  3. Provide appropriate chew toys: Dogs often chew on objects out of boredom or to relieve anxiety. Ensure your dog has access to safe and appropriate chew toys to redirect their chewing behavior.


If your dog ate a cotton ball, it’s important to take immediate action. Contact your veterinarian for guidance and closely monitor your dog for any signs of distress.

Remember to take preventive measures to keep your dog safe and minimize the risk of them ingesting harmful objects.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can bad teeth in dogs cause coughing?

Yes, bad teeth in dogs can cause coughing. Dental issues, such as gum disease or tooth abscesses, can lead to respiratory problems and coughing.

If your dog is experiencing coughing after dental surgery, it’s essential to consult with your veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment.

2. Is it normal for a dog to cough after teeth cleaning?

It is not uncommon for dogs to experience mild coughing after teeth cleaning. This can be due to irritation from the cleaning procedure or the use of anesthesia.

However, if the coughing persists or worsens, it’s best to consult with your veterinarian to rule out any underlying issues.

3. What should I do if my dog is wheezing after dental surgery?

If your dog is wheezing after dental surgery, it’s important to contact your veterinarian immediately. Wheezing can be a sign of a respiratory problem or an adverse reaction to anesthesia.

Your veterinarian will be able to assess the situation and provide appropriate medical care for your dog.

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