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Help! My Dog Ate a Bloody Tampon

Hand dangling tampon by string on pink background

The curiosity of a dog can make him/her do a lot of silly things. Although dogs can swallow several of the oddest items, their obsession with bloody tampons is extremely perplexing. The fact that tampon-eating can be life-threatening for your canine companions makes things even worse.

Why Do Dogs Eat Tampons?

From compulsive behavior disorders to medical diagnosis, there are a lot of different theories to explain this disgusting habit. It is possible that your dog ingests a bloody tampon accidentally but if it happens regularly, there could be an underlying cause. Some of them are discussed below.


The canine who experiences long spells of loneliness at home can get bored. The lack of physical activity urges them to channel their energy towards negative habits. They start exploring and ingesting foreign objects that are present in their surroundings.

Pica Syndrome

Jack Russell Terrier chewing unknown object in grass

This syndrome refers to the habit of eating odd, non-digestive items. It is quite common for puppies to swallow indigestible objects as they are curious to explore the environment. However, if this habit sticks with your dog after puppyhood, it is very much possible that your canine friend is suffering from the Pica Syndrome.

Needs Attention

When a dog is not given sufficient attention by the parent, stress and frustration build up. In order to express that, the canine may start eating things that have the parent’s scent. Unfortunately, used tampons fulfill this criterion perfectly.

Symptoms that Indicate Tampon Ingestion

German Shepherd with head down laying on wood floor

Generally, there is nothing much to worry about if your dog ate a bloody tampon. Having said that, you must keep them under observation and look closely for the following dangerous symptoms. This is because these signs indicate that there is a blockage in the digestive tract of your dog.

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Dry heaving
  • Abdominal pain
  • Lethargy
  • Disinterest in food
  • Unusual body postures

If you notice any of these symptoms, contact your vet immediately and seek his/her advice.

If your dog eats a tampon, you should always call your vet or the pet poison control line at: (888) 426-4435

My Dog Ate Used Tampons. What Should I Do?

Firstly, you need to stay calm and figure out the number of tampons your dog has consumed. If the canine ate only a single tampon, it will most likely pass through your pup’s system, safely. On the other hand, eating a large number of tampons can create serious complications for your pet. You can also try to pull the tampon out if the string is stuck to your dog’s teeth.

After that, it is important to monitor your dog’s symptoms for the next couple of days. If your dog shows any signs of danger, it is highly recommended to visit the vet. The very first thing that the vet will try to do is to determine the location of the used tampon.

He/she will begin by looking inside your dog’s mouth. If the tampon isn’t there, endoscopy might be needed to find the tampon. An endoscope is a very thin tube with a tiny camera at its end that sends images to a screen. In case this technique also fails, an X-ray could be done to locate the tampon.

If the tampon is NOT too far along the digestive tract, the vet may use an emetic to induce vomiting. Otherwise, surgery might be needed to remove the ingested tampon.

Dogs often eat things they should not, but what do you do if your dog eats an ink pen? Check out our post My Dog Ate A Pen to learn more.

Why Tampons are Dangerous for Dogs?

box of Tampax tampons spilled onto white surface

Some people believe that it is the blood on the tampon that is harmful to the dogs. Owing to the carnivorous nature of dogs, blood is NOT the major concern. Instead, it is the tampon itself. The composition of tampons contains a lot of materials that are dangerous for your dogs. Some of them are:

  • Artificial Fibers
  • Dioxin
  • Alcohol
  • Aluminum

The basic purpose of tampons is to absorb liquids. When a dog swallows a tampon, it soaks the gastric juices from the canine’s digestive tract and swells in size. Consequently, the possibility of intestinal obstructions increases many times. Similarly, the string of the tampon can cause serious damage to the lining of the digestive tract.

How Can You Prevent Your Dog from Eating Bloody Tampons?

Hand pointing finger at Boxer dog on white background

As tampons are used regularly, you need to come up with an effective solution to keep your dog safe. Keeping your dog away from the trash bin will probably give the best results. You can achieve this goal by implementing the following guidelines.   

Healthy Diet

You must ensure that the diet of your dog covers all his/her nutritional needs. This is because nutritional deficiency is one of the biggest reasons that urge dogs to explore their surroundings. Trash cans are the primary targets of such dogs as they try to find eating stuff.  

Sufficient Exercise

dog running down grass path with stick in its mouth

It is important to understand the exercise needs of your pet and give him/her sufficient physical activity. If a dog is happy and tired, it is very unlikely for the canine to roam around. Therefore, your companion will NOT indulge in dangerous activities, like examining the trash can.

Dog Proof Trash Can

Another possible solution to prevent your dog from eating bloody tampons is to use dog proof trash cans. These cans will make it difficult for your canine companion to access their content, even if he/she reaches them.

My Dog Ate a Tampon and Pooped it Out/Threw it up

sign with dog pooping with red circle and crossbar

We know that it can be extremely dangerous for dogs if tampon sticks in their gastrointestinal tract. Therefore, it is a great relief if your dog expels the tampon (either in the form of poop or vomit).

However, the dog may have eaten multiple tampons so you should keep monitoring your pet for a couple of days. If the canine shows any signs of illness (like diarrhea or constipation), you should immediately contact your vet.

You can also use some canned pumpkin puree to ensure that there is no tampon in your dog’s digestive tract. It will encourage the canine to poop again that may remove any other tampon(s).    

My Dog Ate a Tampon Applicator

Tampon with applicator on wood table

The tampon applicator is not as dangerous as the tampon itself. Generally, these applicators are made from thin plastic that passes through the digestive tract without causing an obstruction. If you find out about the accident within two hours of ingestion, you can try to induce vomiting. Usually, two tablespoons of Hydrogen Peroxide are used for this purpose.

Having said that, if you observe any worrying symptoms in your dog, consulting the vet is the best option.

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