It’s possible that you’re researching what to do if your dog ate chapstick because he or she got into your purse.
Curious animals like dogs can get into trouble if they eat something they shouldn’t. In addition, dogs often can’t resist the temptation of lip balm.
Your dog may have been interested in chapstick because of the lip balm’s sweet flavor, which is caused by the addition of xylitol.
Boredom leads other dogs to play with your stuff—like your socks and chapstick—because they like the way your scent makes them feel. Exercise and games like snuffle and slow feeders can help these dogs.
It has been shown that smaller dogs have a greater reaction to chapstick than larger dogs, even when using the same amount.
In this article, we’ll go over the signs of chapstick poisoning so you’ll know when to take your pet to the vet right away.
Are ChapSticks dangerous to dogs?
Because there are so many varieties of lip balm available, this question defies a concise response. Lip balms and ChapSticks, especially flavored ones, are unfortunately irresistible to dogs.
When your dog eats a ChapStick, you should be concerned about two things. One is the lip balm’s packaging, which can be either plastic or metal. The other is that your dog may be allergic to the lip balm’s ingredients.
Because of the potential for the tube’s packaging to become lodged in your dog’s digestive tract if he or she eats the entire lip balm tube, be careful if your pet consumes it.
This is more likely to happen if multiple tubes are consumed at once or if larger containers are used (like Vaseline tins or certain plastic EOS ChapSticks).
Known as a “foreign body,” when a dog ingests something it can’t digest, it can cause severe internal blockage and even death. Here’s more information about canine plastic ingestion:
There are a number of ingredients in ChapSticks that are harmful to dogs. Xylitol, camphor, sunscreen, essential oils, and phenol are all examples. The toxicity is dose-dependent and partially individual to your pet.
Fortunately, eating a small amount of these ingredients from a ChapStick won’t usually cause any issues.
However, factors such as age, liver function, and kidney health can affect the intensity of an adverse reaction. And some canines are extremely sensitive to even very low doses, while others show no reaction at all.
The petroleum found in Vaseline is safe for most uses. Flavored varieties, however, may contain other ingredients.
If you suspect that your dog has ingested something it shouldn’t have, no matter how small a dose it may have been, you should contact your veterinarian or the Pet Poison Helpline immediately.
Why Do Dogs Like Eating Chapstick?
Due to the pleasant taste and scent, some dogs appear to be completely enamored with chapsticks. Even dogs go through phases where they want to eat everything you touch.
Dogs have an enhanced sense of smell, so the flavors that go into your go-to lip balm will be even more noticeable to them. When other dogs are left with nothing to do, they sometimes resort to eating chapstick out of the tube.
In dogs, lack of mental and physical stimulation is the root cause of many abnormal and undesirable behaviors. Pica (indiscriminate eating) is one of these peculiar behaviors; it occurs when a dog consumes something other than food, such as a dryer sheet or even feces.
What Chapstick brands are toxic to dogs?
Thankfully, the amount of each ingredient in most brands of lip balm is not enough to poison the average dog. Petrolatum, octyldodecanol, some parabens, beeswax, cetyl alcohol, and seed oils are the most ubiquitous components of all chapstick formulations.
In the amounts typically found in chapsticks, none of these pose a significant risk to canine health. On the other hand, if your dog eats enough chapstick, it could end up ingesting something poisonous. At sufficient concentrations, this can be harmful.
ChapStick typically contains menthol and camphor, both of which are toxic to dogs.
Some of the most common brands of chapstick contain ingredients that are harmful to dogs, and we’ve listed them here.
For its high antioxidant content and lack of petrolatum, EOS Chapstick has won many fans. Large doses of the vanilla extract it contains can be fatal to dogs.
Most medicated lip balms, including chapStick, also contain methanol and camphor in their ingredient lists. Dye and sunscree are available on some varieties.
Natural ingredients like beeswax and rosemary and peppermint essential oils make Burt’s Bees Wax potentially toxic to dogs.
Blistex contains camphor, phenol, and menthol—three ingredients known to be toxic to dogs.
Linalool, an ingredient in Nivea’s lip balm, is toxic to dogs due to its insecticidal properties and the fact that it is metabolized in the liver.
Lips love Carmex because of the sunscreen, but dogs shouldn’t. It’s bad for dogs because it contains camphor and menthol, too.
Lip balms containing Vaseline may not be safe for dogs to use because of the high concentration of raspberry fruit extract.
Some formulas of Aquaphor Healing Ointment may have sun protection factor (SPF) ingredients.
In Lip Smacker, there are unidentified flavoring and fragrance ingredients that may be harmful to dogs.
Many brands of lip balm claim to be all-natural, so it stands to reason that they wouldn’t include xylitol in their products. Nonetheless, the scientific names used by some brands may be an attempt to hide additives.
Bear in mind that the ingredients in most chapsticks are not harmful to dogs. Seeing empty chapstick tubes lying around is a dead giveaway, as are any other signs of substance poisoning.
What will happen if my dog eats a ChapStick?
If your dog has consumed an entire lip balm tube, they may exhibit foreign body symptoms. There may or may not be blood involved, but there will be a lack of appetite, fatigue, and either diarrhea or constipation.
Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, irritability, and heart problems are the most common outcomes of ingesting poisons. The symptoms could be different for different people because of the different components. Here are a few examples of ingredients that are frequently used:
- Xylitol, a popular sugar substitute, lowers a dog’s blood sugar and, in large doses, can lead to liver failure. Symptoms usually begin soon after eating. Some examples of these are nausea, dizziness, fatigue, collapse, and seizures. If the ChapStick you’re using contains Xylitol, you need to get in touch with your vet right away.
- Peppermint and tea tree oil are two of the most popular and widely used essential oils. Large doses of these can cause drooling, nausea, drowsiness, and even breathing problems.
- Sunscreen: Many chapsticks have sunscreen added to them, which is great for human lips but harmful to pets. While mild symptoms may not appear until larger amounts are consumed, this substance is known to cause bloody diarrhea and vomiting.
- Phenol: This compound is known to irritate the skin, resulting in symptoms like drooling and a decreased appetite.
- If your dog ingests camphor (found in products like Carmex), he or she may become lethargic, sick, and vomit.
What Do I Do If My Dog Ate Chapstick?
First and foremost, keep your cool if your dog ingests chapstick. In this case, a veterinarian would be the best person to give you advice on how to treat the poisoning caused by the chapstick.
Keep in mind that even a large dog probably won’t eat enough chapstick to cause any serious problems aside from an upset stomach. You should still keep an eye on your dog in case the symptoms worsen.
1. Observe your dog
Keep an eye out for signs of poisoning, like vomiting and an unwillingness to eat, in your dog, such as chapstick or other product poisoning.
2. Call your vet as soon as you suspect substance poisoning
The severity of the damage to your dog’s body from ingesting chapstick depends on how quickly you get him to the vet.
The intention is good, but the execution is often disastrous when pet owners try to make their dog throw up. The greatest danger is that the dog will choke on its own vomit or on the object itself if it makes its way back into the esophagus.
The veterinarian will examine your dog, take note of his or her symptoms, and then decide what medication is best. The level of toxicosis usually determines how serious treatment must be. Some dogs experience mild symptoms, which typically resolve on their own or with the help of a bland diet.
Xylitol poisoning is particularly serious and requires more intensive care for other dogs with severe symptoms. A veterinarian should administer any medications, such as IV fluids, antibiotics, or liver protectants.
3. Gather what remains of your chapstick
If you were lucky, you caught your dog in time before he ate the chapstick tubes and cap. If this is the case, remember to write down the lip balm brand your dog has been given in case the vet has any questions.
4. Monitor recovery
The majority of dogs who accidentally ingest chapstick make a speedy recovery, provided they didn’t consume too much of the substance. A bland diet, like rice and chicken, can help recovering dogs cope with stomach issues.
In the future, you can protect yourself from another episode of chapstick toxicity by following a few simple precautions, such as
- A dog that has been on a daily walk routine is a well-behaved dog. When dogs are bored, they often bark for no reason, destroy furniture, and even become aggressive.
- Use puzzle toys and other interactive playthings to keep your dog’s mind active and engaged.
- Chapsticks should be stored in a secure location: The difficulty may arise from the fact that dogs can sniff out unsealed chapsticks.
- If you want to keep your home clean, crate your dog for as long as it takes for him to settle down in his crate.
What will happen if a dog eats ChapStick?
The next steps will be determined by the contents of your dog’s stomach and the presence or absence of any symptoms of illness.
If you are tasked with keeping an eye on your dog at home, you should be on the lookout for signs of illness, diarrhea, excessive sleepiness, and anything else that seems out of the ordinary.
You should make an emergency appointment with your vet if you notice any of these signs.
Your vet may recommend giving your dog an injection to make them sick in order to induce vomiting and help them throw up any ingested food.
Your dog’s condition, the object’s toxicity, and the potential for sharp edges in the packaging will all determine whether this is a viable option.
Warning! If your dog ate ChapStick, do not force them to vomit at home
A home attempt to induce vomiting in a dog should never be attempted without first consulting a veterinarian. There are potential dangers associated with making a dog vomit, such as the object becoming lodged in the dog’s digestive system or the nose and throat being burned by the ingredients.
Some toxins that dogs ingest can be fatal to them because of the way they absorb them through their lungs. You can have faith that your vet will carefully consider the alternatives and give you sound advice.
Possible Testing Scenarios
It’s possible that your vet will need to draw blood to check for internal injuries or glucose levels.
Anti-nausea medication, medication to protect the stomach, and/or medication to help absorb any remaining toxins may be prescribed. Having your dog stay in the clinic for a drip treatment is sometimes necessary.
If you suspect that your dog has ingested the plastic or metal casing of a ChapStick, an X-ray may be necessary to determine the exact location of the packaging and determine whether or not your dog has a blockage. It’s true that X-rays can’t detect everything.
If there is no obvious blockage, your vet will probably just keep an eye on your dog and hope that the plastic pieces will work their way out. On the other hand, an operation may be necessary to remove any larger or sharp plastic or metal tins.
Dog Ate Chapstick Symptoms
Symptoms of an upset stomach in a dog that has eaten chapstick include vomiting and diarrhea. Toxicity from excessive use of lip balm can cause the following signs and symptoms:
- Secondary dehydration caused by electrolyte imbalance from chronic diarrhea and vomiting
- Spasming of muscles
- Having mouth or lip burns or sores
- Itchy skin that appeared out of nowhere
- There are more severe symptoms, including
These symptoms are nonspecific and may represent a wide variety of illnesses or poisonings. It’s better to be safe than sorry, even though many dogs with mild symptoms like vomiting get better after a while. If you experience any of the above symptoms, please see a doctor immediately.
In dogs, clinical signs of toxicosis typically appear within six hours and always within 24 hours. In that time, a lot of harm could be done to your dog’s internal organs.
The aforementioned symptoms are also shared by dogs suffering from intestinal blockage or poisoning from chapstick.
A GI obstruction could be the cause if your dog hasn’t passed the tube or cap after two days. Leaving it untreated is a bad idea because this condition can lead to serious illness or even death.
Can dogs die from eating ChapStick?
Most ChapSticks are relatively small, so even if they contain toxic ingredients, it’s unlikely that a dog would die from eating one.
It’s highly unlikely that your dog will get sick or die from eating a ChapStick, but it’s still important to get him checked out by the vet as soon as possible after eating one.
Keep all tempting-smelling toiletries out of reach of curious mouths; prevention is always preferable to treatment.
Canines of varying sizes and the amounts of chapstick consumed will experience varying side effects from this food item.
Most ingredients in chapsticks are not toxic enough to cause illness in dogs, so you can rest easy. However, if you observe symptoms such as these, including vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite, you should schedule an appointment with the vet immediately.