Help! My Dog Ate Play Doh (Is it TOXIC?)

Do you have a home with both kids and a happy dog? I bet your kids love arts and crafts so much that you can find Play-Doh lying around the living room floor. 

If your lovely pup accidentally ingested Play-Doh, you might worry that your dog will get sick or worse. You might get concerned that the Play-Doh is toxic for canines. 

dog ate play doh
Help! My dog ate Play Doh (Is it toxic?)

Luckily, you’ve come to the right place. Here, we will explain what to do if your dog ate Play-Doh. We will let you know if the substance is toxic, what health risks are possible, and what treatments your veterinarian may need to choose to heal your pup. 

Let’s get started!

What Is Play-Doh Made Of?

First, let’s take a look at the ingredients in Play-Doh. Luckily, they are mostly safe. Play-Doh is made of mostly flour, water, and salt. However, some of these clay products might have:

  • Oils
  • Colorings
  • Antimicrobial factors
  • Preservatives
  • Fragrances
  • And more

Usually, people buy Play-Doh at the store and, sometimes, they purchase the clay online or make the product at home. You can use the three different items from above to make Play-Doh.

Some people will also add cream of tartar when making Play-Doh at home. Cream of tartar is known as a by-product of grape fermentation and is a great preservative. 

play-doh house
Keep your Play-Doh out of reach of dogs.

Is Play-Doh Toxic to Dogs?

Unfortunately, store-bought Play-Doh is toxic to dogs. Additionally, if you add too much salt to your homemade Play-Doh, the high salt intake could make your pup feel very sick. Therefore, it’s safe to say any type of Play-Doh is toxic to canines.

Your dog could develop sodium-ion poisoning if the pup ingests too much salt from the Play-Doh. Essentially, your sweet doggo can start vomiting, having diarrhea and a high temperature, and even seizing.

As such, you should bring your dog to the veterinarian as soon as you can. If the vet is not open, you should try calling up a veterinarian or even get your pup to a pet hospital. 

Chihuahua feeling sick in the car
Chihuahua is not feeling well inside the car. Heading to the vet clinic!

What To Do if Your Dog Ate Play-Doh?

What you need to do greatly depends on how much Play-Doh your dog ate. If your pup only had a small amount of homemade Play-Doh, the canine is likely safe. Most dogs don’t have any bad side effects after eating a small amount of Play-Doh.

However, it can get toxic if a pup eats too much.

The first step to take is to remove your dog from the room with Play-Doh. Get rid of any extra Play-Doh from the house. If your dog’s mouth has any extra Play-Doh, try to remove it if you can.

Try to figure out exactly how much Play-Doh the dog ate. 

Then, call your local veterinarian to see what type of treatment plan your dog might need. Now, you just have to follow the advice of your veterinarian.

Rottweiler mouth
Checking a Rottweiler’s mouth in the field.

The Risks and Outcomes Play-Doh Toxicity Among Canines

The biggest risks of Play-Doh toxicity for dogs include salt poisoning, which is one of several spices that can hurt dogs. The extra salt leads to changes in the dog’s blood chemistry. The side effects of salt poisoning include:

Excessive salt intake and poisoning can even lead to organ failure and brain damage. As such, salt poisoning is very dangerous for dogs. Another major side effect of consuming Play-Doh includes the potential for kidney failure

Since dogs all react differently to salt intake, you can’t be sure how much salt is dangerous for your pup. If you see your dog drinking too much and urinating excessively, he may be at risk of kidney failure. In such a case, get your dog to the vet as soon as possible.

sick dog sleeping
A sick dog sleeping on a pillow.

How To Treat the Health Risks of Play-Doh Toxicity? 

If your pup has swallowed the Play-Doh in only the last four hours or less, then a veterinarian can give your canine a safe injection. The shot will lead to extensive vomiting, and your dog will throw up the Play-Doh before any permanent damage is caused. 

If your dog is showing negative symptoms and too much time has passed, your vet may advise more extensive treatments. The vet may perform a blood test and examine the dog, including checking her kidneys. Your pup may need intravenous fluids to help the kidneys function better.

Pain medication and anti-nausea meds may also help.

Jack Russell Terrier lying on the table
Jack Russell Terrier is lying on the table at a vet clinic.

How To Ensure Your Dog Never Eats Play-Doh Again

You should consider adding fencing inside the house or at least keeping your dog in another room behind closed doors when your children are using Play-Doh. Keep the arts and crafts areas as clean and tidy as you can. Make sure all Play-Doh and paints are kept higher up on shelves and out of a dog’s reach.

If you have small children, make sure they know to never feed the dog any Play-Doh. Also, avoid Play-Doh with toxic ingredients when purchasing the product for your kids. 

white dog alone
A white dog alone in a small room.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Check out the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about Play-Doh toxicity among dogs.

Why is Play-Doh toxic to dogs?

A large amount of salt or sodium chloride is one of the major reasons why Play-Doh is toxic among dogs. Since sodium chloride is an electrolyte, it can negatively impact a dog’s water levels, nerves, and muscle contractions. 

However, Play-Doh is not toxic to small children. Salt intake levels are very different between humans and canines.

sad Cocker Spaniel
Cocker Spaniel looks sad lying on the grass and .

How do I know if my dog has salt poisoning?

Some of the typical signs that your dog has salt poisoning include side effects like:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Seizures
  • Excessively thirsty and urinating frequently
  • Lethargy
  • Lack of an appetite
  • Tremors
  • Coma
  • Incoordination

Salt poisoning can get very dangerous for your dog since it can even lead to comas or death. You will want to get your pup straight to a veterinarian if you believe your pooch has salt poisoning. Make sure to keep Play-Doh and all salt products far away from your dog to prevent salt poisoning. 

dog vomit smells like poop
Dog vomit smells like poop. [Help!]

How do you treat salt poisoning in dogs?

Some of the typical treatments of salt poisoning among pups include controlling seizures, managing the pet’s electrolyte status and hydration, and restoring the canine’s water and electrolyte balance.

Veterinarians will also provide your pup with other supportive care. Provide your dog with plenty of water during the recovery process. 

Also, if your dog faces salt poisoning, he may get put into a pet hospital for several days to receive oxygen, electrolytes, and IV fluid therapy for treatment. Your pup may also get certain medications to decrease inflammation or alleviate nausea. 

If you believe your dog has salt poisoning, call your veterinarian as soon as possible. Your dog may need to get to a pet hospital immediately. Yet, if your pup isn’t exhibiting symptoms, then your vet may only give him a type of medication to help your pup vomit up the Play-Doh. 

Siberian Husky at vet hospital
Siberian Husky confined at a vet hospital.

The Final Word

Now, you should know exactly how poisonous Play-Doh can get for canines. If the pup ingested a small amount of homemade Play-Doh (such as the size of a quarter), the dog should not get very sick. However, if the dog had more Play-Doh than that, your pup could get quite ill.

As such, keep Play-Doh out of your dog’s presence. Otherwise, you will need to immediately call your veterinarian and get your dog to a pet hospital. The vet should quickly help treat your dog.

Before you know it, your pooch will get back to playing fetch and licking your face.