Are Magic Erasers Toxic To Dogs? (Understanding The Risks)

Are Magic Erasers Toxic To Dogs

I have to admit that my mom was a pretty resourceful woman when it came to getting us to do house chores when we were kids.

I was tasked with scrubbing the kitchen counters and tables with the magic eraser. My mom convincingly told me that the harder I scrubbed with the magic eraser, it would turn magical and grant me a wish.

We both know how that turned out.

The magic eraser can quickly turn into a health hazard for your dog if it gets curious enough to eat it. Dogs are notorious when it comes to eating the weirdest things.

Are magic erasers toxic to dogs?

A magic eraser by itself isn’t considered toxic to dogs when ingested. But it can become a high-risk choking or blockage hazard in your dog ate a large enough piece. It is best to keep such items away from dogs as they can easily swallow them without much thought.

In this article, we will take a look at the potential risks involved when your dog faces when it eats a magic eraser.

What Is A Magic Eraser?

When it comes to the magic eraser, the original brand is from Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, the guy on the cover with a shiny bald head.

The manufacturer claims that this scrubbing pad is able to get rid of almost every stain, mold or whatever gross thing that’s stuck on some surface at home.

What makes it special is that no detergents or cleaning supplies are required when using the magic eraser. You just have to wet it and scrub away.

There isn’t some hocus pocus that makes this sponge so effective at what it does but rather the material that it is made of.

Melamine foam.

This material is made out of melamine resin which is a polymer that can be molded with heat. It becomes a porous and powerful abrasive for removing stains.

Are Magic Erasers Toxic For Dogs?

The main ingredient of the magic eraser is melamine which is non-toxic to dogs on the surface. But you definitely do not want to use it on your dog’s sensitive skin as it can be rather abrasive.

While it is good to know that magic erasers aren’t toxic to your dog on the surface, they can pose a couple of health issues if ingested.

Choking Hazard

A magic eraser can become a choking hazard for your dog when ingested. The scrubbing pad isn’t something that goes down easily when swallowed.

Melamine foam is dry and rough which makes it cling to your dog’s mouth and throat. The same issue can happen with your dog if it were to ingest a pack of cotton wool.

My worry is more for dog owners with small-sized dogs and puppies.

Even if the dog tears the magic eraser into smaller pieces and eats them, the risk of choking is still there as compared to a much bigger dog.

Kidney Failure

Melamine has been known to cause kidney issues in both humans and animals when ingested.

When combined with cyanuric acid, which is a chemical compound that can also be found in melamine, can lead to the production of nitrogen crystals.

These crystals can accumulate to form kidney stones which can interfere with the production of urine. This can cause eventually cause kidney failure and even death in serious cases.

In 2008, there was a milk manufacturing scandal in China that involved the illegal use of melamine.

There were a few companies that were adding melamine to their milk products to artificially inflate the protein values.

More than 300,000 kids were affected by the contaminated milk.

There have also been some studies that have been trying to prove the carcinogenic effects of melamine but results have been inconclusive thus far.

Intestinal Obstruction

dog cross section

When your dog eats a magic eraser, it might be able to get past the esophagus and into the stomach.

Magic erasers are made out of a material that isn’t biodegradable. This means that your dog’s stomach acid won’t be able easily to break down the scrubbing pad.

Your dog’s body will then attempt to pass it out in its stools by moving out of the digestive system and into the dog’s digestive tract.

There is a risk of the magic eraser getting stuck somewhere along your pet’s digestive tract if it is too large to smoothly pass through the intestines.

How Dangerous Is A Blockage In A Dog’s Gastrointestinal Tract?

A gastrointestinal blockage in your dog can quickly turn life-threatening.

An intestinal obstruction is one of those health problems that can easily go undetected if you do not keep an eye out for the symptoms.

A blockage causes two major issues.

Your dog won’t be able to absorb the food that it has as eaten as the magic eraser is preventing the food from entering your dog’s intestines.

Secondly, your dog won’t be able to eliminate its waste past the blockage as everything else is stuck in the area above it.

This will cause an accumulation of food and waste resulting in a major bloat in your dog’s stomach which can be fatal.

When canine bloating happens, your dog’s stomach can fold onto itself and cut off blood supply to its digestive system.

You might even find your dog stretching its neck and looking up to try and relieve the discomfort in its stomach.

What Should You Do If Your Dog Ate a Magic Eraser?

Personally, I tend to err on the side of caution when my dog does or ate something that it shouldn’t have.

The first thing that I always do is to call my vet for advice. They will be able to let you know if it is better to bring your dog to the vet immediately for medical treatment.

Some vets might even ask you to get your dog to puke out the magic eraser. Induced vomiting is done by giving your dog some hydrogen peroxide (3%).

Once the hydrogen peroxide kicks in,  your dog will puke up hard white chunks of undigested magic eraser.

It should only be done under the supervision of the vet as some foreign objects can do more harm when regurgitated.

I would strongly advise you to learn the Heimlich maneuver for dogs in case your dog is choking on the magic eraser and you need to ‘unchoke’ your dog right away.

Symptoms of a dog choking include:

  • Looking distressed
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Pawing at mouth
  • Salivating
  • Seizures

You will need to perform the Heimlich maneuver on your dog right away when you notice these signs.

Assuming that your dog is able to swallow the magic eraser safely, you still need to be on the lookout for a potential intestinal blockage over the next few days.

Symptoms of a blockage will include:

  • Restlessness
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Bloated abdominal

Make it a point to check your dog’s poo for signs of the magic eraser. The more pieces of it you find in your dog’s bowel movements, the better.

You can try adding some fresh pumpkin or psyllium husk to your dog’s food to firm up its stool to make passing out the magic eraser a lot easier.

I know I sound like a broken record by saying this again but an obstruction in your dog’s digestive system can be fatal.

Your dog needs to be brought to the vet for a surgical procedure to remove the obstruction.

How Can You Prevent Your Dog From Eating A Magic Eraser Again?

dog getting scolded

The best way to prevent your dog from eating a magic eraser is to keep it out of its sight and reach.

If you have ever heard of the saying “Out of sight, out of mind”, it works well with dogs.

One lesson I’ve learned the hard way is to not even leave the most mundane of stuff lying around the house especially if it’s small enough for your dog to ingest easily.

There was once when my dog ate a piece of chalk that my little niece brought along for her coloring book. Needless to say, that caused me some anxiousness but thankfully my dog was fine.

Keep dangerous items and cleaning supplies under lock and key or in places that are high up and hard to reach.

When throwing away such items in the bin, have a bin lock from preventing your dog from opening the lid and rummaging through the trash.

Why Would A Dog Eat A Magic Eraser?

As dog owners, we all know that dogs can eat the darndest things at times. I have heard stories from my vet about the craziest things dogs have eaten and I still find it hard to believe.

Dogs are just as curious as cats when it comes to the world around them.

They investigate foreign objects with their powerful scent of smell and mouth.

If your dog smells something that it thinks it’s food or curious about, there’s a high chance that it is gonna try and take a bite.

There’s a medical condition that can cause your dog to have a strong desire to eat foreign objects. This issue is called Pica and it can be dangerous for your pooch.

Dogs with Pica are always eating foreign objects such as plastic, metal, fabric, glass, etc. These items can cause a lot of internal damage to your dog’s body.

Doctors are still baffled about the exact cause of Pica but suspect that it could be due to malnutrition or a genetic disorder.

Unfortunately, Pica cannot be cured but can only be managed with your vet’s help.

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