A beach outing can be fun for the whole family and that includes your pet too! Basking in the warm sun, taking in the fresh ocean breeze, and playing in the sand are all incredibly enjoyable activities.
Although beaches are supposed to be sanctuaries of fun and relaxation, they are not devoid of potential hazards. But should you be worried about random objects on the beach such as seashells and what they could do to your pet dog? Learn the answer to that question and other relevant queries by reading on.
What Happens if a Dog Eats Seashells?
If a dog sees something interesting on the ground and it vaguely smells like food, chances are they will try to eat it. They may do that out of instinct or just because they want to eat something. Some dogs are just wired that way.
For instance, your pet dog may decide that a seashell they found resting on a mound of sand will make for a good snack. After a cursory sniff, your dog may chow down on that seashell before you can do anything to stop them.
So, what are the potential outcomes of that scenario? Let’s discuss them in greater detail below.
Your Dog Turns Out Fine
An important thing to note about seashells is that they are mainly made out of minerals. Your dog’s digestive system may be able to process many of the minerals found in the seashell they just ate.
Because of that, it’s possible that your dog will be able to digest most of the seashell. Some bits of it may still end up in their poop, but most of the seashell could just be absorbed by their body.
Consider this as the ideal outcome of your dog eating a seashell.
Your Dog Cuts Their Mouth on the Seashell
There’s a chance that your dog may not be able to eat the seashell at all. Some seashells are smooth and rounded while others have jagged edges that can make them very dangerous.
If your dog happens to bite a seashell with jagged edges, chances are they will drop it immediately. Unfortunately, they may still get a cut near or inside their mouth from biting the seashell.
Your Dog Chokes on the Seashell
Dogs typically aren’t deterred by large pieces of food. If they want to eat something, they will chow down no matter how big it is. That could be an issue if the seashell they want to eat is too big.
That seashell could get lodged inside your dog’s mouth and obstruct their breathing. You will need to get it out as soon as possible or your dog will suffocate.
The Seashell Damages Your Dog’s Internal Organs
The worst-case scenario involves the seashell damaging your pet’s internal organs. The jagged edges of the seashell could end up wounding your dog from the inside. If that happens, your dog could also start to suffer from internal bleeding.
Even a smooth shell could become dangerous if your dog manages to break it down into smaller pieces. The pieces of the seashell may become sharp as they are broken down. They can do some serious damage to your dog’s body if that happens.
What to Do if My Dog Eats Seashells?
Your dog might have eaten some seashells while you were distracted. That is a worrisome development, but you cannot afford to panic. Instead, you must take immediate action so your dog can pass the seashells safely.
Detailed in this section are the things you need to do if your dog ate some seashells.
Step 1: Pick Up Some Food for Your Dog
Since your dog has already eaten the seashells, your goal now is to have them pass those objects safely. To do that, you will need to start feeding your dog specific items.
Head to your nearest grocery and pick up some white bread along with a can of plain pumpkin puree. Make sure the pumpkin puree is plain because artificial sweeteners can also mess with your pet’s body.
The white bread is supposed to serve as a cushion for the seashells. Hopefully, the white bread can prevent the sharp edges of the seashells from making contact with your dog’s internal organs.
Meanwhile, the pumpkin puree is supposed to help your dog poop out the remnants of the seashells. To be more specific, the fiber content of the pumpkin puree will be key to getting your pet’s digestive system moving.
Step 2: Combine the White Bread and Pumpkin Puree
Next, you will have to combine the white bread with the pumpkin puree. Tear the white bread into small pieces so it can be integrated into the pumpkin puree properly.
Step 3: Feed Your Dog
Try to feed your dog the mixture of the pumpkin puree and the white bread as soon as possible. After the first meal, you can revert to your dog’s regular feeding schedule but continue feeding them the pumpkin and bread mixture.
Step 4: Monitor Your Dog
You will now have to wait and see how your dog reacts to the treatment method. If they look fine, that probably means that the seashells did not harm them.
Your dog may also become lethargic and start vomiting after eating seashells. If that happens, that means the seashells have indeed injured them. Taking further action will be necessary if the situation turns out that way.
Step 5: Take Your Dog to the Veterinarian
There’s nothing more you can do if your dog is still in visible discomfort after you fed them the white bread and pumpkin puree. Your only option at that point is to take them to the veterinarian.
How to Prevent My Dog from Eating Seashells?
The best way to prevent your pet from eating seashells is by leaning on their training. To do this, reward your dog whenever it does not eat Seashells but it normally would or Use a command to tell your dog to drop the seashell they have in their mouth.
You can also use treats to stop your dog from eating the seashell. Offer them a treat in exchange for the seashell and see if they accept.
It would also be an option to put a muzzle on your dog when near the sea.