My Dog Ate and Licked Paint – What to Do Next

Disclaimer: The content on MyPetChild.com is for informational purpose only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a veterinarian when in doubt.

Paint, whether it is acrylic, oil, or other types like emulsion, is dangerous to dogs when ingested. How dangerous it is to a dog’s health will depend on a number of factors like the amount of paint the dog licked and the dog’s body weight.

What happens when a dog eats paint?

One factor to consider is the type of paint. Water-based paints, for example, are less likely to pose a health threat to dogs than oil or solvent-based paints. Some dogs may get lucky and not suffer from any sickness if they only ate a small amount of paint. Dogs that eat or lick a larger amount of amount may first suffer from a variety of gastrointestinal symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea.

Things get more serious if the paint contains ingredients that are toxic to dogs. One example is glycol, which some paints may contain a small concentration of. According to VCA Hospitals, ethylene glycol has a low margin of safety. This compound can be found in certain types of paint including latex-based paint products.

There is also the risk of ingesting heavy metal which certain pigments of paint may contain. Certain types of acrylic paint, for example, may contain hazardous ingredients unless they are marked as non-toxic. This may include metals like cadmium, chromium, and cobalt.

What to do if your dog eats paint

Call the vet or pet poison hotline right away, even if the dog ingested a small amount. This isn’t a situation when it’s safe to assume a dog would be okay given the health risks of eating paint. Be prepared to share information such as the type and amount of paint the dog ate or licked.

In the meantime, keep a close eye on the dog. You may start to notice the first signs of trouble if your dog isn’t eating or pooping at his regular schedule. In addition to stomach troubles, dogs that eat may paint may suffer from a loss of appetite. They may also act lethargic.

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