My Dog Ate a String from a Rope Toy – What to Do Next

Disclaimer: The content on 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.

They may look harmless but the strings of a rope toy can potentially become a major health threat if a dog was to ingest them. How dangerous it is will depend on a number of factors such as the size of the string and the amount the dog ate.

What happens when a dog eats a string of a rope toy?

One of the biggest health risks is with blockage and obstruction. The piece of string from the rope toy will make its way along the dog’s digestive tract. At some point, the string may get stuck wherever there is a narrow passage. This could be in the dog’s stomach, intestines, bowel, or other internal organs.

Obstruction is a major concern. Typical clinical signs include vomiting, a loss of appetite, painful abdomen, and weakness. The symptoms can get worse over time if the blockage isn’t treated quickly. The dog may start to experience things like bloat and excessive dehydration.

The string of a rope toy can easily cause blockage as it gets tangled together. Certain strings may even expand in size (while absorbing the stomach content) depending on the material it is made of.

What to do if your dog ate a string

This isn’t a time when you simply hope for the best and wait until the piece of string passes and appears in the dog’s poop. We would, at minimum, call the vet for advice to determine whether there is a need for the dog to have additional diagnosis at the veterinary clinic.

Some dogs may end up being completely fine. The rope toy strings may appear in the dog’s poop after a day or two. Dogs, however, are good at hiding their pain so they may still be feeling a lot of discomfort until that happens.

In the meantime, watch over your dog carefully. Look out for concerning symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, and constipation. It may help to feed your dog more frequently but at a lower amount. This could help keep the dog’s gut moving (as long as your vet approves of this step).


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