Dog Ate an Ink Pen [Colorful Chaos]

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.

Coming home to find your pup has turned into an artist with a pen can be both amusing and concerning.

Just picture this: a delightful afternoon turning into a Picasso-inspired disaster, with inky paw prints all over your pristine white carpet.

Ink can be harmful to dogs, so it’s essential to know what steps to take to keep your furry friend safe and handle the colorful mess they’ve created.

Read on as I cover the potential dangers if your dog ate an ink pen and how you can handle this situation like a pro.

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Is Pen Ink Poisonous to Dogs?

Is Pen Ink Poisonous to Dogs

No, pen ink is generally not poisonous to dogs, as most are made from non-toxic materials like water, pigments, and safe additives. 

So, if this is the type of pen that your furry pal played with, there is no reason to worry yet. 

However, there are certain pens with ink that may contain toxic chemicals.

I’m talking about those that are used for industrial or artistic purposes.

Check the product description to see if your pen’s ink contains xylene, toluene, or alcohol.

These complex-sounding chemicals may be harmful to dogs especially when ingested in large amounts. 

Besides toxins in the ink, the bigger problem is if your pet also decides to chew on the plastic casing of the pen. 

Doggy says, you might be interested in reading this too: My dog ate a dryer sheet

What Happens if My Dog Eats Plastic?

If your pet manages to break the plastic casing of a pen, you could have a situation on your hands.

Plastic is not digestible, and the seriousness of the situation depends on how much plastic they ingested. 

Small pieces may pass without causing issues, but larger pieces could pose a higher risk of digestive problems or blockage.

What Are the Symptoms of Ink Poisoning in Dogs?

Ink poisoning in dogs can lead to various symptoms, with some being milder than others. 

The severity of the symptoms will often depend on how much ink your pet managed to ingest and whether that ink contains toxins.

Mild symptoms may include vomiting, diarrhea, mouth irritation, and lack of appetite. 

These signs can indicate that your dog’s body is trying to expel the ingested ink and may not be life-threatening.

Lethargy, difficulty breathing, staggering, seizures, and loss of consciousness are the more serious symptoms you have to watch out for.

These can appear if your pet ingested toxic chemicals.

These signs can be alarming and suggest that the ink’s toxic components are affecting your dog’s central nervous system and respiratory functions.

What Are the Signs of Gastrointestinal Obstruction in Dogs?

Gastrointestinal obstruction in dogs can present a variety of signs, indicating that something may be blocking the normal flow of food and fluids through their digestive system.

Milder signs of gastrointestinal obstruction may include intermittent vomiting and diarrhea. 

Your dog might appear uncomfortable or restless and might have difficulty passing stool or gas.

Watch out for pacing or stretching as your poor pet tries to relieve that bloated feeling.

As the obstruction worsens, more severe symptoms may emerge.

These can include persistent and forceful vomiting, complete loss of appetite, abdominal pain, bloating, and dehydration. 

Your dog may also start becoming weak or reluctant to move. Some may exhibit difficulties controlling their limbs.

In some cases, your pet might try to eat more non-food items.

They may think this would dislodge the blockage. If this occurs, your pet may land in even bigger trouble.

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What Should I Do if My Dog Ate an Ink Pen?

If your furry friend got a hold of an ink pen and decided it was a chew toy, don’t panic, but take swift action. 

First, remove any remaining pen parts or ink from your dog’s mouth to prevent further ingestion. 

Check for any immediate signs of distress or unusual behavior. Give your pet lots of water too so they can flush out the ink from their body.

Call your veterinarian right away if any concerning symptoms arise.

They may recommend monitoring your dog for any symptoms or suggest bringing them in for a quick check-up.

When Should You Bring Your Dog to the Veterinarian?

If your pet ingests ink from a non-toxic pen, it’s best to wait and observe them for any symptoms. 

However, if the pen is known to have toxic chemicals or your pet starts showing signs of ink poisoning, bring them to the vet’s clinic as soon as possible for prompt evaluation and appropriate care.

How to Prevent Your Dog From Eating an Ink Pen?

Our furry pals will gnaw on any new thing that they find. That’s just part of their curious nature. 

So, having pen-related accidents is not uncommon especially if you have a lot of these writing implements left unguarded.

That’s why it’s important that you take certain steps to make your canine companion’s environment safe. 

Safe storage

Store pens and other potential hazards in places where your dog cannot access them.

Use drawers, cabinets, or high shelves to keep these items out of their reach.

Positive reinforcement

Train your dog to avoid chewing on inappropriate objects by using positive reinforcement.

Whenever your pet leaves the pen alone or chooses to chew on their toys instead, reward them with treats, praise, or affection.

Provide chew toys

Keep your dog engaged and entertained with a variety of safe chew toys.

This helps redirect their natural chewing behavior away from potentially harmful objects like ink pens.

Regular health check-ups

You need to schedule regular visits with the vet. Health check-ups aren’t just for when your pet is sick. 

Not only will the vet ensure everything’s in order, but they can also keep an eye on any lingering symptoms from your pet’s accidental culinary adventures. 

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How Do You Get Ink Off a Dog?

After you’ve made sure your pet is safe, you can now shift your focus on getting the smeared ink off of your beloved furry pal. 

Removing ink from your dog’s fur can be tricky and it would definitely take some patience and a good cleaning solution. 

Start by acting quickly!

The sooner you notice the ink, the better. The longer the ink stays on their fur, the more challenging it can be to remove.

  • Always test the cleaning solution on a small area of your dog’s fur. Doing a test patch is just to make sure that the solution won’t cause any irritation. Just like humans, dogs can have different sensitivities to cleaning solutions, so it’s essential to be cautious.
  • When it comes to choosing a cleaning product, opt for pet-safe ink removers or mild cleaning solutions. 
  • Gently clean the ink-stained area with a soft cloth or cotton ball soaked in the cleaning solution.
  • Avoid rubbing vigorously, as this could irritate your dog’s skin. 
  • Rinse your pet’s fur thoroughly with water to remove any residue from the cleaning product.
  • Throughout the process, remember to offer treats and praise to keep your dog calm and positive.
  • If the ink stain is proving to be stubborn, try bringing your pet to a professional groomer. They’d be better equipped to handle this inky mishap.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why are plastic pens dangerous for dogs?

Plastic pens are dangerous for dogs because they are non-digestible and may cause gastrointestinal problems if swallowed. Larger pieces could lead to digestive blockages, while splintered plastic casing may cause internal wounds. Additionally, some ink may contain toxic chemicals, adding to the potential risks for your furry friend. 

Why do dogs eat plastic?

Some dogs are naturally curious and explore objects with their mouths, while others may chew on plastic items when they’re bored. Additionally, pica, a behavioral disorder where dogs eat non-food items, can also drive them to ingest plastic.

What types of ink are most harmful if my dog ingests a pen?

The most harmful types of ink, if your dog ingests a pen, are those containing chemicals like solvents, such as toluene and xylene. Additionally, some pen inks may contain alcohol, commonly ethanol or isopropanol, for quick-drying purposes. It’s essential to keep pens with these types of ink away from your furry friend to avoid potential health issues.

How long after my dog eats a pen should I wait before calling a vet?

If your dog eats a pen and shows no concerning symptoms or only ingested a small portion, there may not be an immediate need to call the vet. But a quick call to the vet may be in order if your pet starts throwing up, becomes easily fatigued, or appears distressed. 

Can a dog die from swallowing an ink pen?

Ingesting a small amount of non-toxic pen ink is unlikely to be fatal. If your dog consumes a large amount of toxic ink or plastic casing, it could lead to severe health issues or even be life-threatening.

In Conclusion: Dog Ate An Ink Pen

Remember, accidents happen, even with the most well-behaved pups.

But with a few handy tricks up your sleeve, you can quickly resolve the ink pen incident and get back to enjoying life with your furry friend.

So, stay pawsitive and keep those pens out of reach!

Hey! If you found this post useful, check out these dog care tips 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 Daily Dog Drama!

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