A Samoyed chewing on a stick in a yard.

Can A Dog’s Stomach Acid Dissolve Wood?

6 mins |

Dogs eat all sorts of things, like wood. We take this for granted, but can a dog’s stomach handle things like that? Can a dog’s stomach acid dissolve wood?

No, a dog’s stomach acid cannot dissolve wood. They shouldn’t eat it, and there are better things for them to chew on. These would be things like chewing toys and chewing bones.

Is It Safe For My Dog To Eat Wood?

A Samoyed dog chewing on a piece of wood.
Hopefully, this Samoyed doesn’t have to find out if a dog’s stomach acid can dissolve wood.

No, it is not safe for your dog to eat wood. There are a couple of reasons why.

The first reason is that wood isn’t meant to be eaten. If a dog eats a piece of wood, it won’t be able to digest it well, if at all (more on this below).

The second reason is that wood can break apart easily, especially in a dog’s powerful jaws. This can send splinters into their mouth or even down their throat. If this happens, contact a vet immediately.

Another reason is that some trees are toxic to dogs. Although it’s unlikely these trees are in your backyard or even your neighborhood, they still could be. Although it’s unlikely they’re at a park either, it’s also still possible.

For reference, the trees dogs need to avoid are buckeye trees, chinaberry trees, black walnut trees, Japanese yew trees, fruit trees, and other nut trees. Thankfully, they don’t need to avoid sycamore trees though.

How Long Until My Dog Gets Sick From Eating Wood?

This will depend on your dog’s breed, health, and how old they are. In most cases, it will be a few minutes to an hour or two.

What Will My Dog’s Symptoms Be?

Your dog will most likely experience some or all of the following symptoms after eating a piece of wood:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Vomiting
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Lack of energy

They could end up with more severe symptoms, such as collapse or seizures too.

How Does My Dog’s Stomach Acid Work?

A dog’s stomach acid will work much the same way that a human’s stomach acid works. The main difference is that a dog’s stomach acid is much stronger than a human’s. Does that mean a dog’s stomach acid can dissolve wood though?

Can A Dog’s Stomach Acid Dissolve Wood?

No, a dog’s stomach acid cannot dissolve wood. A dog’s stomach acid might soften the wood, but that depends on a lot of things such as what kind of wood it is and how old it is. In general, though, dogs’ stomachs are not designed to dissolve wood.

Is It Normal For My Dog To Eat Wood?

Yes, it’s normal for dogs to eat wood, or rather, to chew on it. Dogs like to chew on things, it’s just part of what makes them so lovable. There are a lot of reasons why they chew on things too.

They can chew because they’re bored, for example. They can also chew because their teeth hurt or they’re suffering from separation anxiety. Sometimes they just need to chew.

So, what can you do?

How Can I Stop My Dog From Eating Wood?

Our first suggestion is to figure out why your dog is trying to eat wood. Is it because they’re bored or dealing with separation anxiety? Figuring this out is the first and most important step to stopping them.

Even if you figure out the cause on your own, we recommend contacting your vet. Tell them what you know and let them give you some suggestions on what to do.

If it is something like boredom or separation anxiety though, there are easy solutions for that. Getting more toys for your dog and giving them more exercise helps with the boredom issue. Spending more time with your dog helps with the separation anxiety. If your dog just likes to chew, there are plenty of items you can give them to chew on.

What Are Some Things My Dog Can Eat Instead Of Wood?

Your two best options are chewing toys and chewing bones. We recommend getting a bit of both. If your dog doesn’t like them at first, try some different options. You might have to get them interested too by pretending to be excited about them yourself.

What Should I Do If My Dog Ate Wood?

Below are the steps you should take if you think or if you saw your dog eat wood.

1. Monitor Your Dog

Always keep an eye on your dog in situations like this one. The more you pay attention, the more you can help your dog. Plus, the more you pay attention, the more information you can give your vet.

2. Call The Vet

After your dog eats wood, call your vet as soon as possible. Don’t wait. Let them know exactly what happened and that you need to see them right away.

If, for some reason, your vet isn’t available, try an emergency vet. If you don’t know one, look at your vet’s site. Sometimes they have emergency vet numbers listed. You can also search for them through Google.

3. Do Not Induce Vomiting

Sometimes, inducing vomiting becomes necessary after a dog has swallowed something. This is true for lacrosse balls, alcohol, and chorizo. Even in those cases, only do so if it’s an emergency and if you have no other options.

Do not induce vomiting if your dog has eaten wood though. The problem is that wood is a sharp object. Forcing them to vomit it back up might cause the splinters to get stuck in their throat or worse. It’s best just to let the vet handle your dog, in this case.

In Conclusion: Can A Dog’s Stomach Acid Dissolve Wood?

So, now you know that when it comes to can a dog’s stomach acid dissolve wood, the answer is no. Hopefully, this never happens to you and your dog, but if it does, you also now know what to do.

Has your dog eaten anything unusual though? What happened when they did? We’d love to hear your stories in the comments below!