My Puppy Ate a Pencil! Should I Worry?

It’s my opinion when anybody becomes a pet owner, either canine or feline, they should start a journal. And they should write down all of the strange household items the pet indulges in for snacks.

The owners may then use the list for a comical comparison among other pet owners. But the real intention of the list would definitely be for tax purposes. You should get an automatic deduction for “items eaten by a dog.”

Just a few weeks ago, one of my cats ate one of the ‘buds’ off of my earbuds. They weren’t the cheap ones either. I should get a tax break. And the same cat pretends to be finicky about what she eats! I guess she only has a taste for ‘Beats” by Dre. Figures.

I have heard many different accounts of situations like these. Pets, especially puppies, are extremely curious and they love to chew. And swallow. And repeat.

Today we going to try and answer the ‘what to do’ part of an issue which involves a puppy and a pencil. And I am going to try to get my $60 back for my earbuds! I have a feeling I can’t use it as a deduction on my taxes.

What kind of pencil did the puppy eat?

A puppy who ingests a pencil is scary enough. You are in a panic as you call the vet. You want answers, not questions. But be ready for one. What kind of pencil did the puppy eat?

A standard wooden pencil? A plastic pencil? A mechanical pencil? A colored pencil? A pencil or a pencil eraser? Was it the metal band that connects the eraser to the pencil?

Geez. I didn’t know there were as many types of pencils! Your vet just needs to know in order to tell you what to do. Let’s say he ate a standard yellow number 2 pencil. The preferred pencil among elementary school students.

And tomorrow your kid is not going to tell his teacher the dog ate his homework. He will tell the new story of ‘my dog ate my pencil’ therefore no homework!

The vet’s prognosis

Now the vet has all the information he needs. A yellow number 2 pencil approximately 7 inches in length, chewed to bits.

If the vet is satisfied the puppy has chewed the pencil enough to swallow it, he should be able to pass it. OUCH!

If he is not thoroughly convinced the pencil was chewed into small bits, he might want to get an x-ray just to be sure. And it might not be a bad idea. Are you absolutely sure the puppy chewed it up small enough to be successfully passed through?

He may also be concerned about the eraser and the metal band. These items alone will more than likely because of a vet trip. Either way, you should feel a bit more at ease about the pencil eating pooch now.

Poop patrol

The vet will more than likely tell you the foreign material will pass without incident. He will probably also tell you to be on the lookout for the bits and pieces to show up in the poop.

The wooden pieces are sharp and jagged so may suggest feeding the puppy plenty of white bread. The bread will attach to the pieces to soften the edges to facilitate the poop.

If the pencil pieces haven’t shown up in the poop within 24 hours, he may also suggest coming to the clinic. There he can further treat the pup to remove the object(s).

If he is at all concerned about the possibility of the metal band, he will tell you to come on in.

Be aware of…

If the feels the pencil will pass, he will also tell you to look for the following symptoms during the wait:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Lethargic

Any of these symptoms could indicate the puppy is having a reaction to the toxic chemicals found in pencils. Pencil companies have changed their way of making pencils. They must all now comply with federal regulations regarding the toxicity of their products.

But your puppy’s digestive tract just knows there is something wrong. And it responds accordingly.

If your vet isn’t very concerned about the pencil snack, he will want to see the pup if these symptoms start.

Lead poisoning

Most pet owners would be worried about lead poisoning. The average pencil today, contains no lead. The use of a solid form of graphite, a carbon-based product.

The Government outlawed the use of common lead in pencils just as it outlawed the use of lead in paint. The eating of a pencil may cause certain conditions to occur. Lead poisoning just won’t be one of them.

Plastic mechanical pencil

If the puppy ate a plastic mechanical pencil, you may need to forego the phone call and go on to the vet. Today’s plastic mechanical pencils have a number of tiny parts inside them. These ‘parts’ will have ample opportunities to become lodged in the digestive tract.

Go straight to the vet once you realize the pencil was plastic and mechanical. It would be in the pup’s best interest, and yours!

The vet may give the puppy some medication to help dissolve the pieces. The vet may also recommend an overnight stay to monitor the puppy for 24 to 36 hours.

Colored pencils

If the pencil in question was a colored one, your chances of worry are the smallest. The materials used in making colored pencils usually no cause for concern if ingested. They are made up of clay, wax, and pigments.

It just might be safe to say a colored pencil is as close to all-natural as you will find…in a pencil!


So, basically, there is little cause for concern when your puppy eats a pencil. And now you know what signs to look for if it does cause a problem.

Just keep an eye on those pencils…and those earbuds!

1 thought on “My Puppy Ate a Pencil! Should I Worry?

  1. Kristina Greenwell

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