Dangers of My Dog Eating Insulation

Insulation keeps your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter, but it isn't meant for consumption by your pooch. If Fido's been snacking on your home's insulation, he could develop a dangerous intestinal blockage or experience other health problems. Prevent issues by keeping your canine companion away from this potentially harmful material that surrounds your home.

Worker filling walls with insulation material
Worker installing fiberglass insulation
credit: Wavebreakmedia Ltd/Wavebreak Media/Getty Images

Home Insulation and Dogs

You'll find insulation in many parts of your home, such as your walls, roof, ceilings and attic. Insulating materials include fiberglass, polystyrene, cotton, rock wool, polyurethane foam, polyisocyanurate foam, vermiculite, perlite and cellulose. Older homes may contain asbestos-based insulation, a known carcinogen, or insulation that contains toxic lead. Worse yet, many insulating materials are treated with toxic chemicals to make them last longer and discourage pests like rodents from eating them. These toxins can make your pup sick if ingested. While your pooch shouldn't be able to access the insulation in your home, he could encounter it during a home renovation or if he's particularly destructive or curious.

Dangers of Dogs Eating Insulation

The main danger from insulation is the possibility of causing an intestinal blockage for your pooch. Once ingested, these materials can become stuck in your pup's digestive tract, creating a medical emergency that requires a trip to the vet. Materials like fiberglass can perforate the intestines when ingested; it is literally made up of tiny glass fibers. These fibers are sharp when broken and can damage your pup's intestines and stomach. If you suspect your dog has eaten any type of insulation or if you find pieces of it in his feces, get him to the vet right away.

Treatment for Pups Who've Eaten Insulation

Your vet will X-ray your dog to determine if any insulating material is stuck along his digestive tract. If possible, bring the vet a sample of the insulating material your dog has ingested. This will help her determine its level of toxicity and assist her in looking for any internal damage caused. Some internal blockages require surgical removal. Your vet may use an endoscope, which contains a camera, to look in your pup's tummy and intestines to look for internal damage or the intestinal blockage. She may even be able to remove the blockage using the endoscope. Once it's removed, your vet will treat any poisoning symptoms based on the insulating material ingested.

Don't Let Fido Eat the Insulation in the First Place

Most dogs won't eat insulation, but some do because they are curious or hungry, or because they suffer from pica. Pica is a condition in which a dog likes to eat inedible things due to a medical condition or a behavioral issue. At any rate, prevent your pooch from coming in contact with insulation in any form. Keep your pet from accessing any areas of your home being renovated. Patch up any holes in your home that your dog could dig at and use to get to the insulation in your walls or ceilings. Keep all building materials in an area of your home that your dog can't access, like a garage. Don't use household insulation in dog houses.