My Dog Ate Chapstick – What to Do?

What is Chapstick?

A Chapstick can be in short term, described as a product that helps treat chapped lips. The product came to existence in the early 1880s. A Chapstick is also known as a lip balm. The Chapstick has been both appreciated and criticized by different people. Both parties cite their reasons and philosophies for the same.
The people who appreciate the Chapstick have the obvious philosophy –
A Chapstick moisturizes your skin. It even makes you look better and presentable. Chapped or non-moisturized lips are no fun. There are other methods prevalent in the market for moisturizing lips, but unfortunately, this is the easiest available.

Contents of a Chapstick

The main purpose of a Chapstick is to moisturize and protect the skin. Thus, it is obvious that they contain white petroleum. The amount of white petroleum in Chapstick can go up to 45%. The ingredients include camphor, menthol, phenol. They even contain petroleum and beeswax. While camphor is toxic to dogs, other ingredients are not of that harm to dogs. It has been said that the ingestion of even a small dose of camphor is enough to make anyone feel toxic. It can irritate one’s central nervous system. Sometimes ingestion of even a small amount of camphor leads to vomiting.

Other substances are acetyl alcohol, isopropyl myristate, lanolin, light mineral oil, oleyl alcohol, paraffin, and so on. There are even some ingredients added to provide fragrance to a Chapstick. More than 90% of the ingredients used to create this type of fragrance in today’s world are made from toxins or sensitizers. Due to all these ingredients present in a Chapstick, it is advised to keep them at a temperature in the range of 20 to 25°C. A Chapstick can even cause problems to humans if swollen. If your child accidentally swallows a Chapstick, then make sure you take them to any doctor. You can even contact any Poison Control Centre near you.

Is Chapstick toxic to dogs?

This depends on the quantity that your dog ate and the symptoms that it shows. If you find that your dog has eaten a small quantity of Chapstick (or a lip balm) than that does not show any problems on your dog in most cases. Even if your dog ate Chapstick with only a few plastics, there are almost no chances of your dog getting ill. In most cases, it comes out when our dog goes to the bathroom.

However, a lip balm or Chapstick’s tube has the power to register into your dog’s intestine or in worst cases, his esophagus. This, in most cases, would happen only if your dog has eaten more amounts of plastic along with Chapstick. If this has happened, then the tube could block the airway of your dog. This plastic tube can also block the movement of other things inside his body. If a tube has stuck in your dog’s organs, then there is a chance that your dog would choke. He could even vomit more if this has happened. If your dog is not behaving as he does normally, then you cannot ignore this. Just call your veterinarian as soon as possible if you see all these symptoms.

Can dogs eat Chapstick?

Chapstick is generally not harmful to dogs. But the problem lies within the packing. The packing is made of plastic and is enough to trouble your furry friend. This plastic can settle into your dog’s esophagus or intestine. However, some ingredients in the Chapstick itself may create problems for your dog’s health. Essential oils and Zinc oxide are some of those. These substances can create the following problems for your dog:

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Skin problems: Some of the chapsticks contain zinc oxide. These can damage your dog’s red blood cells. They can even cause skin problems like rashes, redness, and many more.

The good news is that there are certain products available in markets these days. These products do not cause any harm to your pets. Instead, they will help you show care to your dog by giving them these. These products even have different flavors and tastes. So now, you can select a flavor as per your dog’s likings.

My dog ate chapstick with covering, what harm will it do?

In most cases, if the chapstick is consumed alone than it does not affect the dog much. But if it is consumed with plastic covering than sometimes, they can create troubles for your dog. The plastic covering, if consumed in a small proportion does not cause many problems. Most of the time, if the quantity or the amount of plastic is less, it comes out the next day in the bathroom. But if your dog starts behaving abnormally than you might need to contact your veterinarian.

Your dog would start showing some symptoms if the covering is affecting him. Those symptoms include vomiting and choking. However, the problems that the plastic covering can cause to your furry child does not limit here. This plastic packing can affect even the appetite of your dog. Your dog’s diet would become less than before. He would also have constipation along with a swollen and painful abdomen.

However, consider taking help from your vet if you see that your dog has eaten a large proportion of plastic covering, even if your dog does not show all these symptoms.

How to stop dogs from eating chapsticks again?

Chapsticks are unhealthy for dogs when consumed in huge proportions. Despite many efforts, most of the dogs tend to eat chapsticks. The only option left is to prevent them from eating them. The best way prevalent is to not let your dog eat chapsticks altogether.
However, try to keep them at places where your dog cannot reach. This can be inside your wardrobe or on any other upper shelf that is out of reach for your dog. However, if you keep your lip balm in a purse, then make sure that your purse is not unzipped or open. Another way by which dogs get attracted to chapsticks or lip balms is by their scent. Try buying lip balms with scents that your dog does not prefer. Buying and unscented chapstick would be the best option.

Why do dogs love chapsticks?

Dogs normally have the habit to get into trouble or into situations that normally we don’t get into. It could be because of their curious nature to put their nose into everything they see. This just is the case with chapsticks and dogs. They love chewing onto a chapstick if they could get their hands on one. Maybe it could be the fragrance of the chapsticks or the color. 
Dogs generally get attracted to anything which smells good. Maybe the dog feels the chapstick smells better than his food. Also, the shape of the container in which the chapsticks come may seem like a toy to the dog. Chapsticks with the smell of cherry, cotton candy, etc may be enticing for the dog resulting in him chewing up the contents of a whole container. Once your pet gets a taste of chapsticks then remember they will always try to eat it whenever they see one.

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What if your dog accidentally ate chapsticks?

Your dog eating chapstick calls for a visit to the vet immediately. It depends on how much of the chapstick your dog has eaten and what contents have gone into the chapstick. But if your dog has eaten only the contents of the chapstick then you got to watch out for certain things. The first thing is how much of the chapstick your dog has eaten in contrary to his body weight and size. You should also watch out for his eating habits post chewing the chapstick. Sometimes because of the laxative content of the chapstick your dog may have diarrhea, vomiting. He may have coughing or may keep clearing his throat. Sometimes you may see a rash being formed or he keeps scratching at a certain place for a long time. Do call your vet and keep them informed about what your pet is up to. 

But if our dog has eaten the tube, packaging well as the whole contents of the chapstick then it calls for a serious health concern for your pet. This is because the plastic and the cardboard of the packaging could cause blockage or punctures. If this is the case immediately take your dog to the vet and get him a complete health check-up.

My dog ate chapstick that was natural or organic, will that be harmful to him?

Most of the brands are not as natural or organic as they claim to be. If the brand you use does not specify on its label about it being natural or organic then you can be sure that it contains some amount of toxic, synthetic, or chemical substance. We have seen these days that various tests done on so many cosmetics have revealed the presence of lead, mercury, and whatnot. 
Even if your chapstick label specifically mentions that it has natural or organic ingredients, do call your vet and inform them about this, and don’t forget to mention to your vet the number of ingredients that are mentioned on its label.

Dogs and their love for chapsticks go a long way. Your pup may realize that he has done something wrong but it is very very important that you point out to him that is a Big No to eating chapsticks from henceforth. Teach him by taking a plastic container shaped like that of a chapstick container and tell him “No” repeated several times so that he knows what a dreadful mistake he had done. Most probably the way you reacted to him after he ate the chapstick and his discomfort may make him hesitate the next time he sees a chapstick and thinks of chewing it. Another thing that you have to always remember is to keep your chapsticks away from the reach of your pet. Place it at a high place out of the reach of your dog. There are chances that your pet may try to eat the chapstick again despite you teaching him several times because of the enticing smell of the chapstick but always ensure that the chapstick is out of reach for him.