Dog Ate a Metal Zipper? What to Do Now?

Zack Keithy, our author, is a certified veterinarian technician (UC Blue Ash) for over 6 years (contact him here). The articles written here are based on his expertise and experience, combined with a review by our expert vet reviewers including Dr M. Tarantino. Learn more about us here.

Many dog owners have experienced the sight of their pets chewing on something they shouldn’t be. I know I have, and you never get used to it.

Has your dog eaten a metal zipper?

If so, you’re not alone, and it’s not uncommon for dogs to chew on metal objects, such as zippers, keys, and any other items, even eating their doggy pee pads, and it can be dangerous for them.

So, what if your dog ate a metal zipper?

Don’t panic and ask yourself a couple of questions first. What is the size of the zipper? Are there any sharp edges? Is your dog displaying any abnormal behavior or showing any signs of distress?

Knowing and observing these can help you make the right judgment call and if your dog needs to see a vet.

Read on to learn more in detail.

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Dear Dog Owner

Why Do Dogs Want to Eat a Metal Zipper?


Stress is one of the biggest reasons why dogs would want to chew on something.

If your dog is stressed, he or she may want to eat a metal zipper in order to calm themselves down and feel better.

Stress can come from many different things, including being left alone for long periods of time, being locked up in a crate while you’re at work or school, and being away from their owner or other pets they are bonded with.

Doggy says, you might like this too: Is Powerbait Poisonous To Dogs?


Boredom is another reason why dogs would want to eat a metal zipper.

If your dog is bored, he or she may look for something to do and if that something is chewing on your pants, then that’s what they will do!

The best way to avoid boredom is to make sure your dog has plenty of toys to play with and lots of time outside for socialization and exercise.

Doggy says, consider reading this too: Dog Ate String From a Rope Toy [What You Should Do]

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If your dog is missing certain nutrients in their diet, it may be more likely to chew on random objects, including zippers.

This could be because they are feeling hungry all the time or because the lack of nutrients is making them feel weak and tired.

The easiest way to avoid this problem is by feeding your dog a well-rounded diet that includes all the necessary vitamins and minerals.


Although the saying goes that curiosity killed the cat, dogs can be said to be equally guilty of that too.

This is especially true when the object is something your dog sees for the first time, like a zipper.

Dogs will often try to play with new objects by chewing on them, so it’s important to keep an eye on your dog while they are exploring.

Doggy says, you may like this too: Beagle Not Eating [Solutions]


Dogs go through a teething phase just like humans do.

However, this is an uncomfortable process for them and can cause your dog to chew on things more often than usual, so it’s important to provide them with toys that are specifically designed for puppies and small dogs that are teething.


Pica is a condition that causes dogs to eat non-food items such as rocks or dirt.

This can be dangerous and even life-threatening if the dog eats something toxic, so it’s important to keep such objects out of reach and make sure you know what your dog is chewing on if you see them doing it.

Doggy says, consider reading this too: Dog ate Band Aid/Elastoplast? [Solved]

What Do I Do if My Dog Eats a Metal Zipper?

what to do if my dog ate a metal zipper

First of all, do not panic and do not try to do anything that may further endanger your dog.

Some owners might be so overwhelmed and try to remove a stuck object like string, rope, or sharp object which can easily damage the esophagus.

Your first action should be to look around your dog’s surroundings and try to determine exactly what it swallowed.

In most cases, if it is a tiny object, say a quarter inch of a zipper, your dog should be fine and can pass it out naturally.

On the other hand, if you see that a large part of the zipper has gone missing, you would want to call your vet for further advice.

It is likely that he or she will ask you to bring your pooch in for an x-ray and thorough examination.

If the situation is not critical, you would want to observe your dog’s behavior and monitor for any changes and distress.

Doggy says, you might like this too: Dog Ate a Wine Cork [What Should You Do?]

Signs of Distress if Your Dog Ate Metal Zipper

Swallowing the wrong thing can lead to gastrointestinal problems and your dog will definitely show signs of it if it happens.

The first 24 hours will be most important, and you need to pay close attention to its poop and see if the object is passed out.

In most cases, the object should travel from mouth to tail within this time period.

Here are some common signs you need to look out for and contact your vet if you see any of them:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Excessive licking of gum and lips
  • Drooling
  • Straining to defecate (with no results) or soft/moist stool (indicating diarrhea)
  • Unable to pass gas or flatulence
  • Lethargy
  • Painful abdomen
  • Watery eyes
  • Coughing
  • Tremors

Dangers Posed by a Dog Eating Metal Objects

The dangers posed by a dog eating metal objects are numerous and potentially fatal.

In the first place, many dogs who ingest foreign objects do not actually digest them.

The object may be too large to break down, or it may be sharp enough to puncture the walls of the digestive tract as they pass through.

This can lead to peritonitis, which is an infection of the abdominal cavity that can be extremely painful and fatal if not treated quickly.

Even if the object does pass safely through your dog’s digestive tract, it still poses considerable risk.

Some metals such as copper or zinc (often from pennies) are toxic to dogs when ingested in even small amounts.

If your dog’s body cannot flush these toxic substances out through vomiting or diarrhea, they will build up over time until they reach levels that cause serious illness or death.

Lastly, there is always a choking risk.

If your dog swallows something small enough that it goes down their throat without obstruction but too big for them to cough up on their own, then you should take them to the vet immediately.

Knowing how to perform the Heimlich maneuver on your dog can potentially save its life too.

The faster the item is removed from your dog’s throat, the less likely it will be to suffer serious injury.

How to Prevent Your Dog From Eating a Metal Zipper?


If you know your dog has an eating/chewing problem like this, it is best to keep it under supervision until it has learned not to do so.

Preventing it from accessing such objects would help greatly too.

Some dog owners would use crate training to inculcate good behavior in their dogs.


Training a dog is an essential part of being a dog owner.

You can’t just let the dog do whatever it wants and expect it to be well-behaved.

Dogs are very intelligent animals that need proper training in order for them to learn how to behave properly with humans and other dogs.

If you want your dog to be healthy, happy, and safe, then you should consider training as soon as possible.

Chew toys

Chew toys are an essential part of dog ownership.

Dogs need to chew on something, and if they don’t have anything to chew on, then they will chew on furniture or other household items.

This is why it’s important to give them something that they can chew on safely, such as a frozen raw bone or a Kong toy.

Anti-chew spray

There are many different types of anti-chew sprays that you can purchase, but they all work in the same way.

They are designed to discourage your dog from chewing on things that they shouldn’t be chewing on by making them taste bad.

You should use this only as a last resort if nothing else works and not as a form of punishment for misbehaving.

More physical activities

A common cause of chewing is boredom.

If your dog has nothing to do, then it will find something to do.

This can be problematic because it could lead them to chew on items that they are not supposed to.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How soon will a dog show signs of a blockage?

It is hard to predict how long it will take for symptoms to appear, but it could be as soon as a few hours later and within 24 hours. If you notice your dog acting abnormally, then it is best to get them checked by a veterinarian as soon as possible.

How long does it take a dog to pass an object?

It typically takes your dog between 10 and 24 hours for something they ingest to pass through their complete digestive system. However, certain things can take weeks or even months.

Will a dog still poop if they have a blockage?

It depends on how severe the blockage is. If there is only a partial obstruction and your dog has not yet passed it, then it will likely have diarrhea. If it is severe or complete, then they will not be able to produce feces.

In Conclusion: Dog Ate a Metal Zipper

It can be quite distressing to you as a dog owner when you see your dog eating random objects, especially those can that harm it severely.

In the case of a metal zipper, just be sure to keep a close eye on your doggy and watch out for signs of discomfort within 24 hours.

If you know that it has swallowed a large part of the zipper, send it to the vet right away.

Browse around to learn more dog care stuff such as what to do if you stepped on your puppy’s paw, if crating a dog can stunt its growth, why is your puppy lunging at your face, and many more.

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Zack Keithy
Zack Keithy

Hey, I'm Zack, the Chief Editor here. I was formerly a Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT) for a good 6 years before moving on to greener pastures. Right now, I am still heavily involved in dog parenting duties, and it is my desire to share all our knowledge with fellow dog owners out there! Connect with me on LinkedIn, or read more about Canine Care Central!

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