Dog Ate Glitter? [Shimmering Danger?]

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.

It’s happened to the best of us – your furry friend gets into something they shouldn’t and you’re left wondering what to do. If you’re here, chances are your pup got into some glitter, and you’re worried about what the consequences might be.

As a former vet tech and proud owner of multiple dogs, I’ve seen my fair share of pets getting into trouble, and I’m here to help.

First things first, if your dog ate glitter, don’t panic!

Glitter these days are generally made of plastic and when ingested in small amounts by a dog, it will tend to pass through harmlessly. The only time you need to be concerned is if your dog swallowed a large amount of it as they can cause some problems with their gastrointestinal tract.

In this post, I will share the reasons why this has happened and what you should do when faced with this situation.

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Dear Dog Owner

Why Did Your Dog Eat Glitter?

Why Did Your Dog Eat Glitter?

While dogs can be known for their curious nature and tendency to eat just about anything, there could be underlying reasons for their behavior.

We’ll explore some of the potential reasons why your pup might have ingested glitter and what you can do to prevent it from happening again in the future.

1. Curiosity

Let’s face it, dogs are curious little creatures. And if you happen to have some glitter lying around your house, it’s no surprise that your furry friend might take an interest in it. 

But just because your pup eats a bit of glitter doesn’t necessarily mean they find it appetizing. More often than not, they’re just plain old curious about what the shiny stuff is all about.

2. Mistaken it for food

Sometimes, dogs can mistake glitter for food, especially if it’s in small pieces or mixed in with other items. Dogs rely on their sense of smell to identify objects, and glitter can have a faint scent that might attract them. Plus, the shiny and colorful appearance of glitter can make it look like a tasty treat. 

3. Pica

Pica is a condition that can cause dogs to crave and eat non-food items like glitter, dirt, or rocks. No one knows for sure the reason for this condition, but usually, we see it more in younger dogs and those that have certain medical conditions. Assuming you see such behavior in your dog, it’s best to see a vet to get it treated early.

4. Boredom and anxiety

Just like us, dogs can get bored and anxious, and it can lead to some pretty destructive behavior. This might include chewing on or even swallowing things they shouldn’t, like glitter. To keep our dogs happy and healthy, you need to provide them with enough mental and physical stimulation, without which, they will turn to destructive behavior as a way of coping.

Doggy says, consider reading this too: Cocker spaniel not eating?

Can glitter be harmful to your dog?

Can glitter be harmful to your dog?

While the thought of your dog eating glitter may be concerning, the good news is that most glitter is not toxic to dogs. 

However, that doesn’t mean it’s entirely safe either. 

If your dog ingests a large amount of glitter, it could potentially cause an obstruction in its digestive system, which can be a severe and even life-threatening condition. 

It might not seem so but glitter can be sharp and cause damage to your dog’s mouth, throat, and intestines as it passes through its digestive tract. 

So, while glitter itself may not be toxic, it’s still essential to take any ingestion seriously and you gotta monitor your dog closely for any signs of discomfort or distress. 

If you see any symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, or lethargy, it’s important to seek veterinary care right away.

Consider reading this too: Boston Terrier not eating?

What to Do If Your Dog Eats Glitter?

Sometimes it can be hard to detect what our dogs eat, but if you do find your doggy’s mouth full of shiny stuff, here’s what you should do.

Stay calm and assess the situation

If your dog ingested a small amount of glitter, it’s likely they will pass it without any issues.

However, if they ingested a large amount or are showing any symptoms of distress, it’s best to seek veterinary care immediately.

Check the label of the glitter container

You need to know if the glitter is toxic. If it contains any toxic ingredients like lead or mercury, you must contact your veterinarian immediately.

Monitor your dog’s behavior

In many occasions, it takes time for any symptoms to appear. For the first 24 hours (minimum), watch for any signs of distress, such as vomiting, diarrhea, or lethargy.

These days, you can speak to an online vet and see what their advice is. Some might recommend bringing your dog in for an examination or inducing vomiting if the ingestion occurred within the last hour. The good thing is that this service is available 24/7 which means no time is lost.

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Wanna learn more dog care tips? Check this out: My Dog Sounds Like He Has a Hairball:  What Do I Do?  

Should you induce vomiting?

Although inducing vomiting might seem like a logical solution, you should know that it’s not always the best course of action. 

There are many risks involved in inducing vomiting, such as injuring your dog’s throat or exposing them to more pain. 

Furthermore, an unsuccessful attempt may lead to aspiration, which can cause vomit to enter the lungs and result in more severe health issues. 

Remember, when it comes to your dog’s health, it’s always better to err on the side of caution and seek professional help when needed.

Doggy says, consider reading this too: My dog ate a cricket

How to Prevent Your Dog From Eating Glitter?

Preventing your dog from eating glitter or pretty much anything non-food is extremely for their well-being. Here’s a few tips that works:

  • Keep all harmful materials, including glitter, out of your dog’s reach. This can be done by storing them in locked cabinets or drawers, or by placing them on high shelves that your dog cannot access.
  • Start obedience training early. By training your dog to follow basic commands like “leave it” or “drop it”, they can come in handy when you need to stop your dog from picking up things that may harm them, like glitter.
  • Keep a close eye on your dog, especially when they are in areas where harmful materials may be present. For example, if your dog is in a craft room or a children’s play area, you need to always have an eye on them too.
  • Provide your dog with plenty of toys and activities to keep them entertained and mentally stimulated. Boredom and anxiety can lead to destructive behavior, like eating non-food items like glitter.
  • Consider using non-toxic and biodegradable alternatives to glitter for crafts and decorations. You can find many safe options in the market.

Have you wondered, what if your dog ate chalk?

What Are Some Signs of Obstruction in a Dog’s Gastrointestinal Tract?

If your dog has eaten something he shouldn’t have, you might notice that he’s throwing up. 

Poor thing! 

The thing is, whatever he ate is causing a blockage in his tummy and made it hard for him to keep his food down. 

He might also lose his appetite and seem hungry but unable to eat because of the discomfort he’s feeling.

And sometimes, dogs with blockages have trouble pooping or end up with diarrhea. 

It’s definitely not a pleasant experience for your furry friend, so if you notice anything out of the ordinary, it’s always best to consult with your vet to get the right advice.

Doggy says, you might be keen to read this too: my dog ate wood chips and is throwing up, now what?

What to Give a Dog to Help Them Pass an Object?

Give your dog a big serving of dry food to help him pass the object quicker inside his digestive tract.

Canned pumpkin also helps to regulate your dog’s bowel movement.

Offer your dog lots of water to keep his digestive system hydrated to help soften the object to pass.


What happens if my dog ate tinsel?

If your dog eats tinsel, the long, thin strands can easily become tangled in their intestines, causing a blockage. This can lead to serious health issues, including vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and even death if not treated promptly. Keep tinsel and other small, potentially hazardous objects out of your dog’s reach to prevent them from ingesting them.

Is glitter bad for puppies?

Yes, glitter can be harmful to puppies if ingested, as it can cause gastrointestinal obstruction or irritation. It is important to keep all hazardous materials, including glitter, out of their reach and provide them with safe toys and interactive activities to prevent boredom and destructive behavior.

In Conclusion: What to Do if Your Dog Ate Glitter?

Remember, prevention is always the best solution when it comes to your dog’s health and safety.

Keeping glitter and other hazardous materials out of reach is definitely the best way to prevent such an incident from taking place.

That said, accidents can still happen, and if your dog does ingest glitter, it’s essential to act quickly and consider the option of sending your dog to the vet.

Check out other dog care tips here 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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