What to Do if Your Dog Swallows a Ribbon?

What to Do if Your Dog Swallows a Ribbon?

Every dog lover knows how important it is to keep the home puppy-safe, but with the holidays upon us, it can be difficult to balance the family festivities with the right level of caution.

One top Christmas culprit is ribbon. It can sure look pretty to hang ribbon from the ceilings and the fireplace, drape it delicately on the tree, and tie beautiful bows on the family presents. But while this delightful decoration might look great, it can be dangerous for the dogs of the house. In fact, vets warn against using ribbon to decorate homes with pets of any kind.

But why is ribbon such a hazard for your pup?

A lovely, long ribbon is a beautiful addition to the festive decor, but it is also a major choking hazard if your four-legged friend swallows it. And while dogs are likely to know that ribbon is not food, it can be a very tempting plaything as it sparkles and twists in the Christmas lights.

Vets call such items “linear foreign bodies”, and though we might think of them as delicate, they can be anything but for your pup! If it gets inside a dog’s digestive system, it can do great damage to internal organs, even tearing intestines.

So what to do if this happens?

Unfortunately, your dog might need surgery to extract a swallowed ribbon safely. Do not wait for nature to take its course, vets warn; the longer it’s in there, the more damage it can do. Get your pup to the vet straight away. But of course, better than that is to just keep ribbons and other stringy decorations away from pets in the first place.

Back to blog