The Kong brand is one of the most popular names in dog toys today. It’s known for creating super tough, chew-proof toys that even the most aggressive chewers can’t destroy.
But if you’re a dog owner, you already know that it’s impossible to truly create a chew-proof toy. The most determined dogs will rip apart any toy they want without the regret of money spent in vain.
But what happens when you realize your dog ate Kong rubber from their toy? Is your pooch in danger, or is it nothing to bark at? We answer these questions and more for you below.
About Kong Dog Toys
The Kong Company has been creating popular dog toys since the 1970s. Overall, the brand is dedicated to making safe, long-lasting toys using strong materials and innovative designs.
Perhaps the most well-known of the company’s highly-rated products is the Kong Classic. This rubber toy was designed to be multi-purpose, entertaining dogs with an unpredictable bounce, a high chew appeal, and a hollow inside for treats.
But while the toy comes recommended by both veterinarians and trainers, some risks tag along, too if a dog ate Kong toy rubber.
The Risks of Dogs Swallowing Rubber
The good news is that Kong toys use natural rubber, which is not toxic to dogs. So, if you can confidently determine that your pet |has only swallowed a small piece of a rubber Kong toy, there’s a reasonable chance they’ll be just fine.
However, swallowing large pieces or even a whole rubber Kong toy can lead to some much more serious issues. Even if toxicity is out of the question, other complications might occur.
One of the most immediate signs of danger if your dog swallows Kong rubber is choking. Choking can occur when a piece of rubber gets lodged in your dog’s throat. When that happens, it may or may not completely block their airway.
Look for these signs that your dog may be choking on their rubber toy:
- Choking or gagging sounds
- Pawing at their muzzle
- Excess drool
- Rubbing their face on the ground
- Blue-colored skin/mucous membranes
Remember, the worst thing you can do when you think your dog is choking is panic. Remain calm and consider these indicators so that you can take the next proper steps safely.
If your dog has successfully swallowed Kong rubber without it getting lodged in their throat, that doesn’t mean they’re necessarily in the clear.
Large foreign objects such as rubber can partially or completely block off your dog’s intestines, which prevents food or water from passing through. Not only can this blockage prevent your dog from receiving the nutrients and hydration they need, but it could cause more threatening issues like intestinal damage.
You may see evidence of an intestinal blockage in the form of:
- Loss of appetite
- Weakness and lethargy
- Abdominal pain
- Diarrhea or constipation
Most dogs who suffer from an intestinal blockage will vomit but not have bowel movements. Contact your vet if you suspect that could be a possibility.
What Do I Do if My Dog Ate Kong Rubber?
If your dog ate Kong rubber, they could be in significant danger. Follow these steps to make sure your canine gets the best possible treatment.
Assess How Much Rubber Was Swallowed
The more you know, the more your vet can help you. Try to get a good idea of how much rubber your dog swallowed. A small piece might pass through their system, while a whole Kong toy will likely necessitate an emergency trip to the animal hospital.
If you know how much your dog ate, your vet might be able to better assist you and identify the severity of the situation.
Call Your Vet
Once you’ve quickly and calmly assessed the situation, contact your vet as soon as possible. The internet may be able to give you some guidance or quick answers, but your vet will know the best way to handle the situation.
Based on what kind of rubber and how much of it your dog ate, your vet might recommend that you wait to see if your dog passes the material.
However, don’t be surprised if your vet wants you to run an endoscopy, which is an internal examination of the upper GI tract.
Monitor Your Dog’s Behavior
As we mentioned above, your dog will show clear signs and symptoms related to emergencies like choking or intestinal blockage. If your vet doesn’t ask you to bring them in immediately, keep a close eye on your dog and watch for anything troubling.
If anything changes in your pet’s behavior, be sure to report it to your vet.
Observe Your Dog’s Poop
The best way to know if your dog is in the clear, other than an invasive examination, is to monitor their poop. If the piece of rubber they swallowed is small enough not to cause any harm, it will pass through their digestive tract and come out in their feces.
Keep an eye out for the missing rubber, but also track the shape and texture of your dog’s poop. Diarrhea can be a sign that something is wrong, as can constipation.
How Do I Prevent My Dog From Swallowing Kong Rubber in the Future?
It’s not uncommon for puppies to test their boundaries and swallow all sorts of objects, but some pets continue this habit into adulthood.
The best way to prevent your dog from swallowing Kong rubber in the future is to always monitor their playtime. Once they start to rip pieces of rubber off their toys, take them away and toss them.
Experiment with different types of toys and see if you can find one that your dog doesn’t rip apart and eat. Never leave your pet home alone with access to dangerous toys.
It’s natural for dogs to play, chew, and destroy things, but it’s valid for owners to be concerned when their pup starts swallowing things that aren’t food.
So what should you do if your dog ate Kong rubber? The best step to take is to contact your vet immediately. Follow their advice carefully and keep a close eye on your dog in the meantime—and in the future.