Dog Ate a Wine Cork [What Should You Do?]

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.

We all know that dogs have a reputation for being indiscriminate eaters, but there are some things they shouldn’t be eating (if only they knew better!).

Sometimes, an innocent act of dropping a wine or champagne cork can lead to a world of discomfort for your dog, and if this is happening to you, don’t panic.

This post will explain the reasons why this might happen and what you can do if your dog ate a wine cork.

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Why Would A Dog Eat a Wine Cork? 6 Main Reasons

Stress

One of the main causes of dogs wanting to chew on something is stress.

If your dog is anxious, he or she might try to calm themselves down and feel better by chewing or eating something such as a wine cork.

Being left alone for extended periods of time, being confined to a crate while you’re at work or school, and being separated from their owner are just a few of the many different situations that can cause stress in a pet.

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

Boredom

A dog needs to be stimulated both physically and mentally, without which will lead to boredom and undesirable behavior such as excessive chewing.

When your dog is bored, he or she might hunt for something to occupy themselves, and if that something is chewing on your jeans or picking up a stray wine work, then that’s what they’ll do!

Making sure your dog has plenty of toys to play with and lots of time outside for interaction and exercise is the greatest method to prevent boredom.

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

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Deficiency

Your dog may be more inclined to try eating random objects like wine corks if certain nutrients are missing from its diet.

This can be the case because they are constantly hungry or because their lack of nourishment makes them feel weak and exhausted.

The simplest method to prevent this issue is to provide your dog with a balanced food that contains all of the essential vitamins and minerals.

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

Curious

Your dog may have simply been curious about the wine corks.

Dogs are naturally inquisitive beings, and they can’t help but be drawn to new or interesting items that are placed in their environment.

This is why dogs will often chew on shoes, bags, and other articles of clothing left lying around.

It is your duty to ensure that nothing hazardous is within reach of your dog!

Doggy says, consider reading this too: Dog ate a popsicle stick

Teething

Your dog may have been teething and the corks could have been a source of comfort.

Many dogs will chew on objects in order to relieve their discomfort when their teeth are coming in, which is especially common in puppies with new teeth that haven’t yet come through the gums.

Accidents can happen when dogs chew on random objects, so it’s crucial to provide your dog with toys made especially for the purpose.

Pica

Although uncommon, there is still a possibility of your dog having Pica.

Dogs with the condition Pica often eat non-food objects like rocks or dirt.

If the dog consumes something toxic, it might be harmful or even fatal, therefore it’s crucial to keep such materials out of reach and be aware of what your dog is chewing on if you notice them doing it.

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What Are the Dangers of a Dog Swallowing a Wine Cork?

What Are the Dangers of a Dog Swallowing a Wine Cork

Inability to digest

The majority of dogs who eat foreign things do not actually digest them, to start with.

This is not exactly a huge problem as this means the object will be passed out in due time, but the main worry is how big it is.

The item can be too big to digest or it might have sharp ends which can pierce the digestive tract’s walls as it passes through.

Peritonitis, an infection of the abdominal cavity that can be exceedingly painful and dangerous if not treated right away, may result from this.

And the problem with a wine cork is that it might actually expand when inside the intestinal tract, causing more problems.

This can be especially dangerous in smaller dogs which have smaller intestinal tracts.

Toxins

An object offers a significant risk even if it does transit safely through your dog’s digestive system.

Even trace amounts of some metals, including copper or zinc (commonly found in pennies), can be hazardous to dogs.

If your dog’s body is unable to eliminate these poisonous compounds through vomiting or diarrhea, they will accumulate over time until their levels are high enough to seriously harm or kill your dog.

Choking

And last, choking is always a possibility.

This blocks the inflow of air and can rapidly escalate into something very serious.

Take your dog to the doctor right away if they swallow something large enough to cause an obstruction in their throat.

Otherwise, you might want to perform the Heimlich maneuver if your dog is struggling mightily.

Alcohol

It is very unlikely for the small amount of alcohol that is on the cork to be harmful to your dog’s stomach.

However, there are some risks involved.

It could cause their blood-alcohol level to rise, which could lead to them becoming dizzy or disoriented.

What about if your dog ate makeup wipes?

What Do I Do if My Dog Eats a Wine Cork?

Warning: If you saw or you think that your dog swallowed an entire wine cork, you should bring it to the vet right away. An object this big can easily cause intestinal obstruction which can be fatal if left untreated. The information below should be used only if you know that your dog ate a small piece of cork.

1. Assess the situation

While it is not always possible, the first thing you should do is determine the size of the wine cork your dog ate.

Maybe someone caught it in the act, so knowing how much it ate can help you determine the steps to take next.

If you see crumbs of the wine cork scattered around, it is likely that your dog ate only a small piece, and you can breathe easy.

2. Do not attempt to force vomiting

Some common advice includes using hydrogen peroxide to induce your dog to vomit, but I disagree on it.

The only exception is if you deem your dog to be in extreme danger and need immediate relief, otherwise, I would ask a vet for advice first to be sure.

You should NOT attempt to force vomit as it is not safe for dogs in general, and especially not under these circumstances.

In fact, there is no need to do so because the object will pass naturally from your dog’s body on its own, probably in a couple of days.

3. Continue observing

Your dog’s behavior is a good indicator of whether or not it has ingested is giving it problems.

Monitor your dog closely for the next 24 hours and if you see any signs of discomfort in your dog or if he starts vomiting, it is best to take him to a vet immediately.

Read more about the possible signs of trouble in the next section.

Doggy says, you might be keen to read this too: Why does my dog only eat half of his food?

Signs of Distress if Your Dog Ate a Wine Cork

Your dog will undoubtedly display symptoms of gastrointestinal issues if they are caused by swallowing the incorrect item.

The first 24 hours will be crucial, so keep a close eye on its poop and check to see if the object has passed out.

The object should typically move within this time from mouth to tail.

In the event that you notice any of the following typical symptoms, you should call your veterinarian right away:

  • 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

What should you do if your dog ate glitter?

How to Prevent Your Dog From Eating a Wine Cork?

Supervision

If you know your dog has an eating/chewing problem, keep it under your supervision until it learns not to do so.

Preventing it from accessing such objects would also be extremely beneficial.

Consider using crate training which has been used by some dog owners to instill good behavior in their dogs, including us!

Obedience training

Training a dog is an important aspect of being a dog owner.

You can’t just let the dog do whatever it wants and expect it to behave properly.

Dogs are highly intelligent animals that require proper training to learn how to interact properly with humans and other dogs.

If you want your dog to be healthy, happy, and safe, you should start training him right away.

Chew toys

Chew toys are another good way to keep your dog occupied.

They can be a great source of entertainment and they can help relieve stress in the same way that people use stress balls.

This also makes them less likely to engage in destructive behavior such as destroying furniture or other valuable items in the house.

Chew toys are also great for keeping your dog’s teeth healthy and clean.

Anti-chew spray

There are numerous anti-chew sprays available for purchase, and they all work in a similar way.

They are intended to deter your dog from chewing on items that should not be chewed on by making them taste bad.

You should only use this as a last resort if all else fails, not as a form of punishment for misbehaving.

Key Benefits

  • Stops pets from licking and chewing skin, fur, bandages and wounds
  • The super bitter taste pets hate, thanks to the double-strength extreme bitter formulation
  • Kind to all sorts of fabric, fur and furniture— including drapes, shoes, electrical cords as well as paws, tails and pet’s itchy skin

Increase in physical activities and exercise

Physical activities are a great way to help your dog get rid of pent-up energy.

You should take them out for at least one long walk every day, and if possible, you could try taking them to the dog park so they can run around with other dogs in an environment that is safe for everyone.

Obviously, this will vary from dog to dog so you will have to find the right balance for yours.

Just remember, if you don’t provide your dog with enough physical activity, they can become bored and start chewing on things around the house to keep themselves busy.

What to Expect at an Emergency Vet Treatment?

The emergency vet will likely give your dog a thorough examination and take blood samples, as well as run tests to rule out any other possible problems.

The doctor will also recommend testing with an endoscopy — an X-ray procedure that involves inserting a fiber optic camera into the esophagus and stomach to take pictures of any damage.

And finally, the vet may also prescribe medication to help control nausea and vomiting until your dog’s appetite returns.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

When will a dog show signs of a blockage?

It is difficult to predict how long symptoms will take to appear, but they could appear as soon as a few hours later and within 24 hours. If you notice your dog acting strangely, you should take them to a veterinarian as soon as possible.

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

Anything your dog ingests normally requires between 10 and 24 hours for it to travel through their entire digestive system. In abnormal cases though, it can take weeks or even months.

In Conclusion: What to Do if Your Dog Ate a Wine Cork

If you find that your dog has eaten something wrong like a wine cork, the most important thing for you to do is to stay calm and observe what is going on.

Any information will be useful if you indeed need to speak to a vet.

In most cases, your dog should be able to pass out the offending object, so be sure to keep a close eye on it.

Want to learn more dog care tips? Check out these posts too:

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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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