My Dog Ate Chapstick! What Should I Do?
His He In Danger, Or Will It Have Nasty Side Effects?
Well, It Depends On The Product…
In This Guide We Will Take A Look At Identifying The Risks, And What To Do When Your Dog Eats Chapstick.
No matter how hard we try, sometimes our dogs get ahold of things that aren’t meant for them.
This can be as harmless as stealing a raw steak from the kitchen table, or as serious as breaking into the medicine cabinet.
But with certain items though, it’s not as clear cut.
With all the weird and wonderful stuff dogs will eat, you’ll often find yourself wondering if the latest thing you’re dog’s gotten ahold of is okay for it.
Judging by the amount of people asking for help online after their dogs have eaten chapstick, this is a widespread problem.
So, what would if a dog ate chapstick? Is it safe? Is chapstick toxic for dogs?
We’ll look into these questions in a little more detail in today’s article, ‘my dog ate chapstick’.
My dog ate chapstick
Chapstick can be really useful to us humans, especially in cold and dry parts of the world.
By creating a barrier on our lips, this product stops them losing moisture and becoming cracked.
Despite it’s obvious usefulness, we all know that we shouldn’t eat chapstick ourselves.
Unfortunately our dogs don’t know any better, and will sometimes munch random things down on site.
It doesn’t help that chapsticks are usually flavored, which could be even more enticing to a pooch.
To a dog, chapstick with a flavor might smell like a tasty treat.
So, will chapstick hurt a dog? Is chapstick poisonous to dogs?
Is chapstick toxic for dogs?
”My dog ate chapstick! Is it poisonous?”
Is chapstick toxic to dogs?
As with many things, the answer to this question is dependent on the individual product.
Any brand is likely to upset a dogs stomach, due to a large amount of unfamiliar ingredients.
An extremely common ingredient in household items is xylitol.
This a sweetener that’s used in lieu of sugar in health oriented products. This ingredient is harmless to humans, but causes severe issues in dogs.
Dogs suffering from xylitol poisoning become hypoglycemic very quickly, often leading to organ failure and death.
A lip balm containing xylitol would most likely contain enough to be lethal to a small puppy or toy breed, seeing as a single piece of chewing gum can kill a small dog.
Check the packaging now, and if it contained xylitol go straight to the vet.
So, what happens if a dog eats chapstick that doesn’t have xylitol?
Let’s check the product list further.
Essential oils are regularly present in chapstick, and these can also cause their own concerns.
These naturally derived remedies are full of a variety of potentially dangerous chemicals.
In chapsticks that don’t contain toxic materials, the packaging can be an even bigger concern.
My dog at chapstick, packaging and all!
A plastic tube could easily become lodged in your dog’s esophagus or intestines, restricting airways or causing a blockage.
When a dog eats chapstick, he will likely be unaware of the danger and swallow the tube.
Choking is a huge risk to dogs, and immediate action is required to prevent the worst.
A choking dog may appear distressed, drool constantly, and gag as the object causes discomfort in his throat.
You will sometimes be able to remove the obstruction with a pair of tweezers, but it’s inadvisable to use your hands.
This is often made more difficult as the dog will be distressed and non-cooperative.
If your dog ate chapstick tube, the situation might seem humorous in hindsight, but in the moment it’s an emergency.
If the packaging has been eaten, you aren’t in the clear just because the dog isn’t choking.
The plastic will still have a maze of intestines to pass through, and an obstruction here can turn into an emergency very quickly.
If your dog has eaten plastic packaging, like what we find chapsticks in, it’s important to get to the vet as soon as possible.
A vet will be able to locate the packaging and, if it’s causing a problem, can even surgically remove it.
Left to it’s own devices an intestinal blockage will cause copious vomiting, to the point of severe dehydration.
Plastic can also perforate or puncture the delicate lining of the intestines, causing internal bleeding and severe infections.
The first sign of intestinal blockage is the aforementioned vomiting, which can easily be written off as something else. For this reason it’s important to catch this early on, before it becomes more of a problem.
But first, let’s look at some popular brands of chapstick and how they might be dangerous to a dog.
We’ll look at Burt’s Bees brand of chapstick first. So, what should you do if your dog ate Burt’s Bees chapstick?
My dog ate Burt’s Bees chapstick
Burt’s bees pride themselves on creating products that are all natural.
You might be led to believe this makes them more likely to be safe, but this is not true.
A product being derived from natural sources doesn’t really mean anything meaningful about safety.
It’s important that we recognize this for what it is — marketing.
In fact many naturally occurring plants within walking distance of your home could harm your dog if he were inclined to eat them.
As such, there are a few ingredients in Burt’s Bees chapstick that might be cause for concern for your pooch.
One of these concerns is peppermint oil.
My dog ate chapstick with peppermint oil
Peppermint oil contains chemicals like limonene and menthol that can cause gastrointestinal distress, and at higher doses toxicity.
It’s worth pointing out that, while a dog with an upset stomach is usually just inconvenient, severe upset can cause dehydration and, in severe cases, death.
Bee byproducts are one of the main hallmarks of Burt’s Bees’ products.
Most of the time these ingredients are harmless to dogs.
With this being said it’s unlikely your dog will have been exposed to the unique proteins in these substances before, so an allergy may have gone unnoticed.
Severe allergic reactions can be life threatening and come on suddenly.
All in all, while there are certainly worse things your dog could eat, Burts Bees chapstick still poses it’s own risk to dog.
As with any other remedy meant for humans, accidental ingestion by a dog should be taken seriously.
Take your dog to the vet if he eats this chapstick to avoid the worst case scenario.
So, what should I do if my dog ate my EOS chapstick?
Is EOS chapstick bad for dogs?
EOS or Evolution of Smooth are one of the most popular brands of lip balm in the world. Are their products bad for dogs, and if so how bad?
How should you approach it if your dog ate EOS chapstick?
EOS have a number of different products, and the safety of each one varies quite a lot.
All EOS chapsticks are made with beeswax, we’ve already been through the possible adverse effects of this ingredient.
EOS make medicated and un-medicated lip balms.
The medicated lip balms contain a substance called phenol, which is derived from coal.
Phenol is a highly toxic substance when consumed in large enough quantities, and it’s highly possible that an entire medicated lip balm could be fatal.
This amount of phenol would likely be harmful for us — in fact, some customers recently raised complaints about adverse reactions from the topical application of this lip balm.
Anything capable of inflicting damage on the outside is more of a concern on the inside.
With this being said we’re not supposed to eat entire tubes of chapstick, so there’s not usually any warning.
A dog eating a chapstick in any situation is good cause for a vet visit, but one containing phenol or xylitol must be treated as an emergency.
So what about the other type of EOS chapsticks? Unfortunately it’s not a huge amount better.
EOS’s un-medicated chapsticks contain limonene and linalool, both of which are poisonous to dogs.
These ingredients are usually derived from inconsistent sources like essential oils, so it’s hard to be certain how much a dog will have eaten.
To be safe, it might be best to go to the vet if your dog eats either of these chapsticks.
The plastic packaging is as ever a serious risk here as well, so if the whole thing has been consumed you should specify to your vet, “My dog ate a whole EOS chapstick.”
My dog ate chapstick, what do I do?
So what course of action should you take, if you find yourself in the nightmare “my dog ate my chapstick” situation?
It’s probably best to go for the better-safe-than-sorry approach when your dog eats something as unfamiliar as chapstick.
Most commercial chapsticks aren’t poisonous to dogs per se, but an entire stick could wreak havoc with their insides.
For this reason, it’s never a bad idea to get in touch with your vet if your dog eats something strange.
In fact, we strongly recommend that you do.
Every dog reacts differently, so what might be fine for one dog may make another very unwell.
When you go to the vet, bring along the packaging (if that hasn’t been eaten as well). This way they will be able to assess if any of the ingredients are a cause for concern.
They may be able to offer medication to counteract some of the toxic effects, or might begin monitoring the dog for any symptoms.
The earlier we contact professionals in this situation, the less risk there is for your beloved family pooch.
Packaging consumption is a veterinary emergency.
But even though the plastic might be the most immediate risk, you should still let your vet know the brand.
Telling them, “my dog ate my EOS chapstick” rather than “my dog ate chapstick” can be the difference in the early stages.
So, if you know your dog has eaten a chapstick tube, don’t wait for symptoms of a blockage.
The earlier this sort of thing is caught the better chance your dog has. It’s not worth the risk to assume it’ll be fine.
Common Toxicologic Issues in Small Animals S. N. Khan, S. B. Hooser
Genetic engineering of peppermint for improved essential oil composition and yield M. R. Wildung, R. B. Croteau
EOS lip balm caused blisters rash lawsuit claims CNBC 2016 M. Holohan
Phenol poisoning in three dogs T. L. Gieger et al
What to do if your dog is choking L. Levy-hirsch
Gastrointestinal Obstruction in Small Animals T. W. G. Gibson
The Labrador Site Founder
Pippa Mattinson is the best selling author of The Happy Puppy Handbook, the Labrador Handbook, Choosing The Perfect Puppy, and Total Recall.
She is also the founder of the Gundog Trust and the Dogsnet Online Training Program
Pippa's online training courses were launched in 2019 and you can find the latest course dates on the Dogsnet website