Dog’s are very curious animals, and if they are hungry they will put anything in their mouth that intrigues them. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for dogs to eat or chew on batteries. The most common types of batteries eaten by dogs are alkaline batteries.
These are the most commonly used batteries in a home, and they include AA and AAA batteries. In today’s article, I will cover everything you should do if your dog ate a battery.
What happens if a dog swallows a battery?
Alkaline batteries generate energy from zinc metal and manganese dioxide. If a dog swallows a battery, these chemicals can burn their esophagus as well as the lining of their stomach. This can have devastating effects to their health, and can even lead to death.
Some household batteries can also include potassium hydroxide, which can cause damage to their intestines and cause ulcers. A dog might also choke on a battery if it does not properly pass through their esophagus.
Lithium batteries are the most dangerous for your dog to swallow. Within in hour, it can cause your dog to choke or even cause paralysis.
What to do if your dog eats a battery?
If your dog eats a battery, you should call a local veterinarian/animal hospital immediately. If they aren’t available, you can call a poison hotline. They will probably tell you to bring your dog in, and also advise you of any other important steps to take. You should NOT try to make your dog throw up the battery. This can cause the chemicals from the battery to spread even more across their esophagus. Additionally, trying to make your dog vomit the battery out might cause them to choke.
How to treat a dog that ate a battery?
Your vet might recommend that you flush your dog’s mouth with water. However, you should only do this if instructed by your vet. Once you arrive at the vet, they will likely do an x-ray to see the position of the battery. They will probably have to perform a surgery to remove the battery.
Afterwards, your vet will likely give you medication for your dog’s digestive system, as well as pain relievers. They might also suggest a light bland diet for the following weeks to help your dog’s digestive system heal.
Will my dog survive if they eat a battery?
If you are able to get your dog to the vet in a timely manner, they will likely survive. If you are unable to get to a vet, there is still a chance your dog can survive. If it is a smaller battery that isn’t punctured (which means the chemicals aren’t released), there is a high chance of survival if it passes through your dog’s stool.
Regardless, you should closely monitor your dog and try to get them to a vet as soon as possible.
My dog chewed a battery but didn’t swallow
If your dog chewed a battery but didn’t swallow it, there is a good chance they will be alright. The first thing you should do after removing the battery from their mouth is to inspect the battery. You should look to see if their teeth punctured the battery. If there are no holes or liquid coming out of the battery, your dog should be fine.
However, if there are punctures in the battery, this means your dog might have ingested some harmful chemicals. You should call your vet immediately and follow any steps or advice they offer.
You should keep a very close eye on your dog after they chewed the battery. If your dog develops any of the following symptoms, you should take them to a vet immediately:
- Excessive drooling or foaming at the mouth
- Choking or trouble breathing
- Loss of appetite
- Seizures or tremors
- Abnormal colored gums or teeth
To learn more, you should check out this guide on poisoning in dogs.
The best course of action you can take is to decrease the chances of your dog eating a battery. You should make sure all appliances with batteries (remotes, speakers, battery powered toys, etc) are out of reach from your dog. You should not leave anything with batteries on the floor where your dog can easily get a hold of them.
It is also a good rule of thumb to keep your dog well fed so that they are less inclined to eat a battery. I also suggest you make sure they have enough toys so they don’t get bored and try to play with batteries. Lastly, you should do periodic sweeps of your yard to make sure there are no batteries or other harmful objects around.