Is Silica Gel Harmful to Dogs?


Quick Answer

While toxic, the consumption of small amounts of silica gel tends to cause only minor indigestion in dogs, so veterinarian attention, while prudent, is not likely to be necessary. However, the consumption of multiple packets may lead to gastrointestinal obstruction. Small dog breeds and cats are especially prone to this reaction, owing more to the packets themselves than the silica gel inside.

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Full Answer

Gastrointestinal obstruction is particularly common among dogs because they eat or chew so much of what they encounter — especially as puppies. The obstruction may be within the stomach or intestines, hindering the absorption of nutrients and the natural flow of digestion.

The condition often manifests as vomiting, diarrhea, signs of pain or distress, lethargy and decreased appetite. If these symptoms arise, it is strongly advised to seek attention from a vet.

Dog owners should never make a dog vomit at home in an attempt to clear the obstruction. Doing so risks choking the dog or causing aspiration pneumonia. If the cause of the obstruction is not known for certain to be silica packets, vomiting may also cause a more dangerous substance to enter the esophagus and mouth. In any case, vet-administered emetics are safer and more comfortable than other methods.

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