Can Dogs Eat Playdough

By diets4dogs on
Can Dogs Eat Playdough

Can Dogs Eat Playdough

No, dogs should not eat playdough. It contains high amounts of salt, which can be dangerous for dogs when ingested. Additionally, the playdough can cause blockages in the digestive system due to its doughy and malleable texture. If your dog consumes playdough, seek veterinary care immediately.

Can Dogs Eat Playdough?

While playdough may seem like a harmless and fun toy for children, it can pose a serious threat to our canine friends if ingested. In this article, we’ll go in-depth about playdough and explain why it’s not something your dog should eat, as well as providing helpful tips on how to prevent accidents and what to do if your furry friend does take a bite.

What is playdough made of?

Playdough is a popular modeling compound typically crafted from flour, water, salt, heat-sensitive coloring agents, and a binder such as oil or wax. The salt in playdough serves as a natural preservative, but this high concentration creates the primary hazard for dogs.

The dangers of salt for dogs

Although salt is a necessary component of a dog’s diet, excessive amounts can lead to salt poisoning or hypernatremia. Ingesting salt-laden playdough can cause a rapid increase in sodium levels in a dog’s body, leading to symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, and even seizures. Furthermore, elevated salt levels can also cause your dog to experience increased body temperature, swelling or fluid retention, and, in severe cases, damage to the nervous system or even death.

Playdough’s troublesome texture

The doughy, malleable consistency of playdough can create further problems when ingested by dogs. If a dog consumes a sizeable amount of playdough, it may clump together in their digestive tract, leading to a gastrointestinal blockage. Symptoms of blockages typically include vomiting, constipation, or refusal to eat.

Recognizing if your dog has ingested playdough

If you suspect your dog has eaten playdough, look out for symptoms like excessive thirst, stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea, and general weakness or lethargy. It’s crucial to act quickly and get your dog to a veterinarian as soon as possible, as early intervention is key to the successful treatment of salt poisoning and potential blockages. In some cases, your vet might need to perform blood tests or imaging to assess the situation accurately and determine the best course of treatment.

Preventing a playdough disaster

To prevent accidents involving playdough, always supervise both your children and your pets during playtime. Store the playdough in a secure location where your dog can’t access it, and be vigilant about cleaning up any fallen bits while your children are playing.

Incorporating healthy and dog-safe ‘dog food’

Like humans, dogs have dietary needs and preferences, but that doesn’t mean they should eat whatever they can get their paws on. By providing a balanced diet formulated specifically for dogs, you can help keep your canine companion healthy and satisfied. Consider giving your dog high-quality commercial dog food or, if you prefer, consult a veterinarian for recommendations on preparing home-cooked meals designed for their nutritional needs.


In conclusion, playdough is unsafe for dogs and can cause serious health problems if ingested. It’s essential to supervise your dog and keep playdough out of their reach. Instead, focus on providing your four-legged friend with a healthy, balanced diet tailored to their specific requirements. Using these tips, you can ensure your canine companion remains safe, happy, and healthy!

Alternative chew toys for your dog

Chewing is a natural behavior for dogs, and to satisfy their need to chew, it’s essential to provide them with safe and appropriate options. Here are a few dog-safe chew toys and treats that can help keep your canine friend entertained and away from playdough:

  • Rubber chew toys: Durable, non-toxic rubber toys like KONGs are fantastic to keep your dog occupied, providing both mental stimulation and a chewing outlet. Many rubber toys can be stuffed with treats or dog-safe peanut butter for extra incentive.
  • Nylon bones: These bones are typically designed to imitate the texture of real bones and can withstand even the most powerful chewers. Make sure to always provide a size-appropriate bone for your dog to avoid potential choking hazards.
  • Dental chews: These specially designed dog treats help to clean your dog’s teeth while they chew, promoting oral health and keeping them entertained at the same time.

Training your dog to avoid playdough

Besides providing alternative chew toys and safe entertainment options, it’s crucial to train your dog to avoid hazardous items like playdough. Teach your dog the “leave it” command, which will instruct your dog to leave the object alone and back away. Regularly practice this command with various items, reinforcing the behavior with praise and treats when done correctly.

Steps to teach the “leave it” command:

  1. Fill one hand with treats and keep it closed. Let your dog sniff your closed hand.
  2. Once your dog stops sniffing, say “leave it” and open your hand. If your dog tries to take the treat, close your fist and repeat the process.
  3. When your dog leaves the treat alone after hearing the “leave it” command, give them a different treat as a reward. This helps your dog understand the reward comes from obeying the command and not from the item they left alone.
  4. Gradually challenge your dog by increasing the difficulty, placing the treat on the floor with your hand nearby, and finally leaving the treat on the floor without your hand present. Always reward your dog for leaving the treat alone.

By training your dog to avoid potentially dangerous objects, dog-proofing your home, and providing adequate chew toys and healthy, dog-safe meals, you’ll create a secure and enjoyable environment for your furry companion.

FAQ – Playdough and Dogs

Here are some frequently asked questions regarding playdough and its effects on our furry companions. This FAQ section aims to answer common queries and provide helpful information to keep your pet safe and healthy.

1. How much playdough is toxic to a dog?

The toxic amount of playdough ingested depends on the size of the dog, along with the specific ingredients and salt content of the playdough. Even small amounts can be harmful, so it’s best to avoid any exposure to playdough and consult a veterinarian immediately if your dog ingests any.

2. How long after ingesting playdough should I seek veterinary care?

It’s essential to seek veterinary care as soon as possible if your dog has ingested playdough, as early intervention is critical in managing salt poisoning and gastrointestinal blockages.

3. Can homemade playdough be less harmful to dogs?

While homemade playdough may have different ingredients, it’s still not safe for dogs to eat. Ingesting any playdough, homemade or store-bought, can pose health risks to your pet.

4. Can dogs eat non-toxic playdough?

Even if labeled as non-toxic for humans, playdough should not be ingested by dogs. The high salt content remains an issue in these variants, and they could still lead to gastrointestinal blockages.

5. How can I tell if my dog has eaten playdough?

Common signs of playdough ingestion include excessive thirst, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, and general weakness. If you notice any of these symptoms, consult a veterinarian immediately.

6. How do vets treat a dog who has ingested playdough?

Depending on the severity of the situation, a veterinarian may administer fluids, induce vomiting, or perform surgery to remove the playdough from your dog’s digestive tract. Additionally, blood tests and imaging may be used to assess the extent of the issue.

7. Can dogs eat edible dough made for humans?

While some edible dough made for humans may not contain large amounts of salt, it might still contain ingredients that could be harmful to dogs. It’s best to stick to dog-specific treats and food to avoid complications.

8. If my dog only licked playdough, should they be fine?

If your dog only licked playdough and didn’t ingest it, they should be fine. However, always monitor your dog for any adverse symptoms, and consult a veterinarian if you have concerns.

9. Can cats have the same problem if they eat playdough?

Yes, cats can also suffer from salt poisoning and gastrointestinal blockages if they ingest playdough. Keep playdough away from both dogs and cats, and ensure a pet-safe environment.

10. Is playdough toxic to other pets in general?

Playdough can pose a threat to a variety of pets due to its high salt content and potential to cause gastrointestinal blockages. Always keep playdough out of reach of all pets, and provide them with appropriate toys and treats.

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