Help! My dog ate saran wrap

Will your dog notice or will it remain untouched?

Eating leftover food is one thing but supposing that your dog will also eat any wrapping that it is in, such as saran wrap.

How dangerous could this be for your dog?

That is what I want to find out in today’s article.

My dog ate saran wrap. What should I do?

If your dog has just eaten a piece of saran wrap, then you need to keep a close eye on him. 

Most probably your dog won’t be harmed and won’t suffer any ill effects.

In a couple of days with any luck you will see a scrunched up piece of wrap or several bits of wrap in your dog’s stool. 

But there is a slim chance that the food wrap will get stuck somewhere on its journey through the dog’s body and cause more serious issues, which will require a visit to your vets.

And between the best and worst case scenario is a “not so bad” result.

This is probably where the dog tries to eat the cling film and can’t get it further than its mouth and so spits it out or vomits it back up.

But to find out just how much of a danger eating food wrap is for your dog, stay with me!

Why do dogs eat cling film?

Dogs are attracted to food wrap for two main reasons:

  • It is either wrapped around food (if they are lucky enough to come across some that is still in use) or 
  • It used to be wrapped around food but it still smells of that food

What is saran wrap?

Saran wrap is also known as plastic wrap, cling film, food wrap or cellophane wrapper. 

Its main use is to provide an airtight cover on containers, plates and bowls that contain food.

And by keeping them airtight, it helps keep the food fresher for longer.

Most often it is made from a chemical called PVC (polyvinyl chloride) 

Is plastic wrap toxic for dogs?

Plastic wrap isn’t toxic to dogs.

I mean a dog cannot digest cling film and so the best that you can hope for is that it moves smoothly through the digestive system and comes out in their stool! 

But just because it isn’t toxic, doesn’t mean that it doesn’t pose any other dangers for dogs.

Why else is cellophane wrapper dangerous for dogs?

One of the best qualities of cellophane wrap is that there is almost nothing to it.

It is thinner than paper with no hard edges and so if your dog eats a piece it will be nice to know that your dog’s insides won’t be cut or made to bleed.

But a major disadvantage of saran wrap is that because it is sticky it tends to try and roll into a ball shape.

And that could spell real trouble for your dog. 

If a section of saran wrap rolls into a ball, it could pose two risks- a choking hazard and a blocking hazard.

The choking hazard could be if the piece of food wrap “balls up” and gets caught in their throat. 

Hopefully your dog can get the saran wrap unblocked in the throat by coughing and retching.

But if this coughing continues for more than a few minutes, then phone your vet because the cling film is stuck and coughing alone won’t get it out. 

It becomes a blocking hazard if it gets caught further down in the dog’s digestive system. 

For instance, when it blocks the intestine. 

If there is something that will give most dog owners that sinking feeling it is when you have left the house or the kitchen and you realise that there is food left out.

The symptoms of a blocked intestine are things like:

  • Vomiting up partially digested food
  • Low energy 
  • Painful stomach and abdomen

And any of these symptoms should result in a phone call to your vets.

Three tips to stop your dog from eating saran wrap

[1] Perfect organisation

There is no getting away from it, one way to stop your dog from ever getting a piece of food wrap is to be totally organised 100% of the time.

Does this sound feasible? It will be very hard because of those times when we don’t have enough time, we are struggling to get everything done and it is really important to not leave the leftovers on the kitchen counter. 

Everything must be put away, out of reach. 

[2] Use alternatives

The next way to stop your dog from eating saran wrap, is to not use it in the first place!

Use another type of storage for your leftover food.

Most people tend to use plastic “Tupperware” containers.

It could be argued that using hard plastic containers present another danger to certain dogs- if you own a dog which is as likely to chew hard plastic as much food wrap.

But plastic containers, unlike saran wrap, are reusable and will shield more odours!

[3] Buy a kitchen bin or trash can with a lock

The kitchen counter isn’t the only place that food wrap is taken from.

Some dogs are so determined or so desperate that they will steal the plastic wrap from the kitchen trash can. 

I have yet to see a dog who can open a pedal bin but I have seen my dogs lift the lid on a kitchen bin.

Not to get any cling film but tissues which are covered in food waste and smell delicious. 

But if your dog indulges in this type of “trashy” behaviour, you might want to get yourself a trash can with a lockable lid.

These will stop even the most determined dog but you have to remember to lock it in the first place!

My dog ate saran wrap

If your dog has been scavenging and has ended up eating saran wrap then it is important that you keep a close eye on your dog.

Most likely, your dog will escape scot free and the worst thing that will happen could be a touch of diarrhea which comes from the food that was wrapped up.

If you are much more unfortunate, it could be that by eating the plastic wrap causes your dog to be much more unwell.

And that the saran wrap has blocked their intestine.

As their owner, you will know when your dog is “feeling under the weather”.

If they show any signs of lethargy, abdominal pain or they  are vomiting up partially digested food, please get your skates on and phone the vet.

Time is of the essence!s