My Dog Ate Memory Foam – Should I Be Worried?

If your dog ate memory foam, it’s important to call the vet as soon as possible. Most memory foams contain numerous poisonous chemicals that can be dangerous when ingested. Be prepared to tell the vet your dog’s size and approximately how much memory foam was consumed. 

Dogs are curious by nature. If something catches their attention, they will instantly feel the need to explore it. The easiest way for a dog to explore is by using its mouth. 

However, this can lead to them ingesting some particularly harmful items. If your dog ever ingests memory foam, here’s what to do.

Is Memory Foam Toxic?

Potentially. 

Depending on how it was made, memory foam can contain many dangerous chemicals if ingested. 

As with any time a dog eats something they shouldn’t, it is important to consider a few factors: what object they ingested, how much of it they ate, and the dog’s particularities (how large they are, if they have any pre-existing conditions, etc.). 

Why is Memory Foam Dangerous For Dogs to Ingest?

Many dog beds advertise being made with a memory foam material, which is supposed to be more comfortable and help dogs with joint pains. 

There are a variety of different materials that can be used to make memory foam mattresses. The most popular component is polyurethane; it accounts for most memory foam mattresses, especially the cheaper ones. 

It is made with highly reactive components and is a known carcinogen. Consuming polyurethane can cause skin problems and organ damage. 

Memory foam is inherently flammable, so most mattresses are treated with fire-retardant chemicals prior to distribution. These chemicals can become neurotoxins if ingested. 

Memory foam mattresses also have the potential of containing dust mites, allergens, and bacteria. These can all harm your dog if they ingest too much. 

To top it off, memory foam can be a choking hazard or potentially cause an internal blockage if your dog swallows too much. 

Alternatives to Memory Foam

There are more organic products on the market now more than ever. Organic dog beds are rising in popularity because owners are more aware of the negative side effects of having toxic materials readily available around their pets. 

If you are worried about your dog eating their memory foam mattress, consider dog beds made of cotton, recycled plastics, or natural latex compounds. 

It is never great when your dog eats something they shouldn’t, but if your dog has a habit of chewing things, make it a point to limit the potentially harmful objects they have access to. 

What to Do If Your Dog Ate Memory Foam

Call your vet immediately. Do not attempt any at-home treatment without your vet’s explicit instructions. Even if you think inducing vomiting is the right thing to do, wait for their direction. 

If your dog ate the memory foam from their mattress, they might have also swallowed the zipper from the mattress cover. A sharp metallic object can cause even more damage coming up through their esophagus than it caused coming down. 

Try to determine how much memory foam your dog ingested. This helps to determine how severe their potential reaction might be and how urgently they require treatment. 

Heed your veterinarian’s advice and do not make any of your own decisions, especially if you are a new or inexperienced pet owner. 

Commonly Ingested Items That Pose A Danger to Dogs

Memory foam isn’t the only dangerous item around the house. As a dog owner, you should be aware of the following things that could be a risk if consumed by your dog.

Xylitol

This artificial sweetener is commonly found in sugar-free products as well as certain brands of peanut butter. 

It can lead to seizures, liver failure, and brain damage. Peanut butter is a delicious treat for dogs, but if you are going to give it to them, check the ingredients first. 

Try offering them organic peanut butter with no additives. Also, while peanut butter is a fan favorite treat, it should be used sparingly. Many peanut butters are made with salt, and too much salt can cause sodium ion poisoning in dogs. 

Alcohol and Medications

Dogs experience alcohol poisoning just the same as humans, the only difference is that it takes a lot less alcohol to do damage. Something as innocuous as lapping up a spilled beer can leave your pup feeling nauseous, confused, and lethargic. 

Too much alcohol can cause liver damage. Similarly, certain medications have the potential to do a lot of harm—both long-term and immediate—to your dog’s organ functions. 

Chocolate, Coffee, and Caffeine

The three C’s. These all contain methylxanthines which can cause a variety of problems, such as vomiting and diarrhea, abnormal heart rhythm, seizures, or even death. 

Similarly, chocolate varies in toxicity depending on the kind. White chocolate is the least dangerous, with milk, dark, and baking chocolate in anteceding order. 

Clothing

Socks, bras, and underwear are commonly thieved items that pose a major choking hazard to your dog. 

If your dog manages to successfully swallow one of these items, it can cause an internal blockage. These blockages can be painful and might even require surgery to remove them. 

Undercooked Meat or Eggs

While dogs can naturally digest raw or undercooked meats, they can also contain salmonella or E.coli, making them very sick. 

Jewelry and Children’s Toys

Anything bright and shiny will catch your dog’s attention. 

They will be drawn to it and want to study this new object. In addition to being toxic or potential choking hazards, if these items are particularly sharp or coarse, they can cause damage to your dog’s esophagus or internal organs. 

Bones

Bones from food—ribs, chicken, drumsticks, etc.—can splinter once swallowed by your dog. They can puncture organs and cause internal bleeding. 

Rawhide bones are also treated with lye and bleach to sanitize them and create white coloring. These chemicals can have adverse reactions to your dog’s body if too much is ingested. 

Some Human Foods

Onions, garlic, and chives can induce red blood cell damage and gastrointestinal problems. 

Grapes and raisins contain an unidentified toxic substance that can cause kidney failure. 

The pit of certain fruits, such as a cherry or a peach, usually contains cyanide, which is incredibly toxic. 

Certain nuts can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and pancreatitis. Macadamia nuts are the most dangerous, with the potential to cause hyperthermia. 

Keeping Your Curious Dog Safe

Watch your dogs for signs of distress. If your dog has eaten something dangerous, they will usually exhibit at least one of the following symptoms: 

  • Vomiting
  • Painful and/or swollen abdomen
  • Lethargy
  • Lack of appetite
  • Diarrhea or constipation

Contact your vet immediately at the first sign of these symptoms. 

Monitor what they have access to. If something would pose a danger to your dog, make sure it is out of their reach. 

Keep medication, toys, and clothing stored in the proper places, areas that your dog does not have access to. 

Make sure food scraps are adequately disposed of. Keep an eye on potentially dangerous items so that if they go missing, you can be tipped off to the fact that your pup might be getting into them instead of waiting to catch them in the act. 

There is No Substitute For Proper Training

It is important for your dog’s safety and your own peace of mind that your dog knows its limits and boundaries. 

You need to dedicate time and effort to consistently training your pup. If you notice they seem to test your limits more than usual, then you should reevaluate your previous training practices and implement more rules around the house. 

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