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My dog ate incense | What can happen and what to do?

dog ate incense

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You can get used to “Scent therapy” as the sense of smell is the most archaic of all the senses that can trigger strong memories or change your mood. Incense is also a popular aromatic material in many houses to add a pleasant scent and aesthetic environment. Just because it is safe for you doesn’t mean it will be safe for your dog.

What if without your knowledge accidentally your dog ate incense? Obviously, you will be worried about your dog’s health. So in this article, you will find out how incense will influence your dog’s health and what necessary steps you must take if your dog ate incense.

What causes incense to be harmful to dogs?

Incense releases fragrant smoke when it is burned. An incense stick consists of 21% of herbal and wood powder, 35% of fragrance material, 11% of adhesive powder and 33% of bamboo stick (by weight). Herbal and wood powder, used in incense is made of Glycyrrhiza Uralensis Fisch, Cinnamomum Cassia Bl., Nardostachys Chinensis Bastal, etc. that are also used in Chinese traditional medicine.

Incense fume contains Particulate Matter (PM), gas products and many other organic compounds. CO, CO2, NO2, SO2 and other gases emitted from incense burning. Also, incense burning produces Benzene, Toluene, Xylene and Aldehydes.

Incense, containing these chemicals, is not seem good for a dog as dogs are often more sensitive to the dangerous effects of the toxic chemical and other scents than human being. The aromatic plant materials and oils used to create the scent in incense can be a reason for many problems of your dog.

What can happen if a dog ate incense?

Though incense is popular in many homes for aesthetic reasons, religious worship, aromatherapy, meditation and ceremony, it combines many of the worst qualities when it comes to harm for dogs. Because dogs have lungs that are more sensitive than humans. The chemicals of incense may have a greater effect on your dog than on you.

If your dog ate incense, it will cause your dog some distress such as diarrhea, vomiting, shaking, lack of coordination, coughing, sneezing, trouble breathing, lack of appetite, drinking more than usual, sluggishness and discomfort.

Your dog can show unusual behavior too. If the incense is on a wooden stick, it can be dangerously sharp for your dog’s esophagus, stomach and intestines. This can lead to obstruction and perforation. Your dog might need surgery to remove it. It is better to contact your dog’s veterinarian immediately.

What to do if a dog ate incense?

No dog owner wants to see their furry friend in any trouble. But accidentally dog poisonings happen like to eating incense. When that happens, here’s what you should do:

  • Put your dog in safe place: Get your dog away or get the incense away from your dog, so your dog can’t ingest any more of it. If you have any other pet, separate them. So, they can’t come in contact.
  • Don’t ever try to force a dog to puke without the advice from vets: Sometimes vomiting may cause esophageal irritation. So, things could end up being worse instead of getting better.
  • Visit a Veterinarian: Your dog may look normal but it is always good to err on the side of caution. Have a visit to a veterinarian even if it is not an emergency. Vet might give it IV fluids, induce vomiting.

To avoid above circumstances, keep the incense away from your dog. Keep it in a well-ventilated area or near an open window. Make sure the window is screened so your dog can’t jump out of it.

Conclusion

All dogs have different stomachs, different sensitivities to stomach issues and will respond differently to what they eat and how the influence will they get. In my opinion, if you have any doubt about your dog’s health after eating incense without any delay call your dog’s veterinarian.

Written by Beatrix Nanai

Beatrix Nanai was born in Budapest, Hungary. She graduated from the University of Veterinary Sciences, Hungary in 1998. There she completed a surgical internship. After 2001 she relocated to the USA and after passing ECFVG for foreign graduates, She completed a surgical externship at South Carolina Surgical Referral Services. In 2014 she obtained her second specialty board certification and became a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons. Has several peer-reviewed publications and written articles for The Pet Grooming.

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