My Dog Chewed and Ate a Pencil – What to Do Next

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Ingesting pencils can be dangerous to dogs but not in the way that you might think. We would recommend taking your dog to the vet as a precaution if you ever notice your dog chewing and swallowing a pencil.

Why pencils are a danger to dogs

A typical pencil consists of a graphite ‘lead’, a wood casing, and a small eraser at the end of the pencil. Most dog owners will believe the graphite as being the most dangerous component of the pencil but that isn’t necessarily the case. Graphite is a form of carbon that isn’t consider life-threatening to dogs especially if you consider the amount that a pencil typically contains.

The real danger is with the shards and splinters of the wood casing. Your dog most likely gave the pencil a good chew before swallowing it. In the process, the wood casing would have broken into small pieces, some of which may have sharp edges. Once swallowed, these sharp edges could result in perforation along the dog’s gastrointestinal tract.

The eraser might also pose a small threat to puppies and small-sized dogs. It might get stuck somewhere along the dog’s gastrointestinal tract and cause partial blockage. This can lead to serious health problems like bloat if left untreated.

What to do if your dog ate a pencil

The dog may end up being just fine and pass the pencil content after a day or two. We, however, would suggest taking the safe than sorry approach. Have your dog seen by the vet. If identified early enough (within a few hours of the pencil being ingested), the vet may suggest the induction of vomiting to get the pencil content out before it becomes a threat in the dog’s body.

The above suggestion is based on dog’s eating a regular pencil. Mechanical pencils, such as the Apple pencil, may pose a much higher risk if the dog chews and swallows one. A visit to the vet is strongly recommended if that was to happen with your pet.

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