My Dog Ate a Tampon- Now What Do I Do?

Dog Ate a Tampon

Most pet owners wonder, what are the potential dangers if their dog ate a tampon? What to do if their dog ate a tampon? Which symptoms they should look for? Or how to avoid such incidents? In this guide, I’m going to discuss all of your concerns.

It’s one of the most common experiences for most pet parents when their fluffball eats a tampon. Most don’t know what to do when their dogs eat tampons either from a bag or a trashcan. It’s unknown why a dog eats a such type of hygiene product. It can be due to blood odor or the way cotton feels in the dog’s mouth.

Some dogs can easily pass the eaten tampon without any difficulty. But it can be an alarming situation for other dogs. Due to cotton, they may experience:

  • Chocking
  • Intestinal blockage
  • Life-threatening lacerations
  • Ultimately death

You must take quick actions to help your pup recover easily. First of all, talk to your vet for advice to follow. If the situation gets worse for a medical checkup.

In this article, I will discuss all the complications & symptoms your pet may experience. What you can do to make a big difference in your dog’s well-being? Precautions measures to prevent such incidents. Read on to learn more.

What Are the Potential Dangers When a Dog Ate a Tampon?

It is common for dogs to explore different things including your trashcan. If they get their hand on tampons or other hygiene products they are likely to swallow them.

The blood will not harm your pet but string & cotton in tampons pose serious threats to your pet. Here I have listed all the complications which your pet can experience.

Internal Cuts & Tears

Dog’s digestive system is very critical and ensures your pet’s health and you’ll want it to be in a good state. But tampons can damage your pet’s digestive system through internal cuts and tears.

Tampons are soft on the outside. But if your pet ate a wrapped tampon, it will cause internal cuts and tears due to the plastic around it.


The shape and size of the tampon pose the threat of choking your pet. It will block your pet’s lung airflow. In this condition your dog will be coughing or gasping for air and will not be able to clear its airway.

Immediately go to a vet to take care of this situation before it’s too late.

Digestive Blockage

Swallowing a tampon can also lead to digestive blockage. This condition will prevent fluids or food to pass through the digestive system, disabling the proper functioning of the stomach.

Blocking can also obstruct the blood flow in different parts of the digestive system like

  • esophagus
  • Stomach
  • Intestine

This condition is excruciatingly painful & may require surgical treatment.

Factors of Potential Dangers

It is not necessary that all the dogs will get sick and need a medical checkup. Some dogs will pass the tampon without any problem. But sadly, most dogs will suffer from severe consequences after swallowing a tampon.

The likely potential dangers depend on different factors including:

Number of Tampons

A single tampon can easily pass through the dog’s intestine compared to a half-dozen. Due to this, determining the number of tampons your dog swallowed is essential. 

If you don’t know how many tampons were in the trashcan, count the remaining tampons in the box to get a rough idea.

Dog’s Digestive Tract Content

The relative amount of fats, water & fiber in your pet’s digestive tract can affect the speed of tampon passing through the digestive system.

The longer it takes to get out, the more damage it will cause.

Your Dog’s Size

Small dogs have a small intestinal tract and it will be difficult for them to pass down tampons. So they are more prone to these complications.

The intestinal tracts of large dogs are also large. They are often able to pass the tampons or other items easily.

For instance: tampon eating by a pug is extremely dangerous than by a Dane.

Which Tampon Is More Dangerous, Used or Unused?

A dog can eat a used or unused tampon but in both cases an immediate medical checkup is compulsory. The former case is less dangerous. You can’t afford a tampon to linger in your dog’s body.

Unused Tampon

Eating an unused tampon is potentially more lethal compared to a used tampon. The unused tampon will expand in the dog’s stomach when in contact with stomach acid and saliva, leading to more blockage.

An unused tampon inside a cardboard or plastic applicator can also cause lacerations & digestive tract damage.

Used Tampon

Compared to new tampons, used tampons mostly don’t cause intestinal obstruction. Because the cotton is already soaked in the blood it does not allows it to distend.

Symptoms of Tampon Eating

You shouldn’t be more worried if your pet swallowed a used tampon. But you must look for any of these symptoms that indicate serious trouble.

  • Vomiting or retching (dry-heaving)
  • Disinterest in food (anorexia)
  • Diarrhea
  • Difficulty with urinating
  • Unusual body postures
  • Constipation
  • Inability to lie down or sit
  • Panicked behavior
  • Intestinal disturbances
  • Lethargy
  • Abdominal pain/swelling
  • Nausea

Most of these symptoms indicate the obstruction of your dog’s digestive system or the enlargement of intestinal parts due to the tampon’s strings.

Immediately contact your vet if you notice any of these symptoms and follow his instructions.

Now, what to Do If Your Dog Ate a Tampon?

If your dog has eaten a tampon now it’s time for immediate actions to save your pet’s life. Try to remain cool & calm throughout this period. Your dog’s emotions are linked with you and can easily stressed out.

Here’s what you should do in this situation:

Talk to You Vet Immediately

The first step you’d take is immediately to call your vet and convey the situation.

If it’s the middle of the night or the weekend, and you can’t go to a vet. Call him, tell him when your pet ate a tampon, he’ll surely guide you on what to do. Whether you should wait and monitor your buddy at home or take your pet to an emergency vet.

Look for The Symptoms

If your vet asked you to stay at home and monitor your pup, look for the symptoms mentioned earlier or other changes. Vomiting, anorexia & constipation are the 1st signs of blockage but some dogs may experience diarrhea.

Note all the changes to give your vet much-needed information.

Visit Your Vet & What to Expect at Clinic

Visit your pet ASAP. The treatment your vet may receive depends upon how long it has been since your dog ate a tampon plus symptoms.

  • The 1st thing your vet will do is ask you questions about your pet’s behavior. Then the vet will perform a basic examination and check your dog’s vitals.
  • The vet will try to find out the location of the tampon by peeking in your dog’s mouth. Maybe the tampon strings are struck in your dog’s teeth, making the removal easier. If this isn’t the case your vet will use a tool to look down your buddy’s throat.
  • If all this proves fruitless, he will do an x-ray to determine the tampon’s location.
  • If your dog has swallowed a tampon within the last hour your vet may administer a drug to induce vomiting.
  • If the tampon has stuck farther in the digestive system. The vet will have to perform surgery to remove the blockage.

Precautious Measures to Prevent Tampon Eating

If your dog has already experienced this situation, you’ll surely don’t want him to repeat this incident. You’ll do everything to avoid a repeat of this.

Here are a few strategies (although not foolproof) to prevent your dog from eating tampons again.

Make a Habit to Close Your Bathroom Door

The first simple effective strategy is to keep your bathroom door shut. Make it a habit to shut your bathroom door all the time. 

This will prevent the dog’s access to used tampons.

Place the Tampons at Secure Place

Make sure that tampons are placed high up enough or in a secured place. So that your pet can’t reach them.

To make them inaccessible, you can place them in the closed medicine cabinet.

Use Pet-Proof Trashcan

Different pet-proof trashcans are available in the market. These have automatically closing lids which are difficult for pets to lift. Making it tough for dogs to stick their noses in the garbage.

Such as a “simpleton trash can”

Use Dog Repellent On Trashcan

Spraying dog repellent on trashcan’s rim to avoid tampon incident. For this, “Four Paws Keep Off Repellent” is a good choice.

Bag Used Tampons Before Disposing

The last important strategy is you should put used tampons in a zipped plastic bag before disposing of them. So if accidentally your pet gets into the trashcan, your pet is less likely to smell bagged used tampons. 


I’ve provided you with sharp and direct guidance on what to do if your fur baby ate a tampon. It is important to understand the potential dangers that tampon eating poses to your pet’s body. The Dog eating tampons is susceptible to death if proper and quick actions aren’t taken.

Consult your vet about the situation and follow his/her instructions to handle the situation. It takes a couple of days for signs to appear. Monitor your pet closely.

Do you’ve got a tampon-eating dog? Have devised any strategy to discourage this habit?

Simon Wilson

Simon Wilson

I'm Simon Wilson, and I love beagles. I've been living with and owning beagles for over 15 years now, and during that time I've learned a lot about myself and the beagles. I love to write about my beagle experiences, and I hope that by sharing my experiences, others may find use in my learnings and experiences. Read more about Simon Wilson