I love my AirPods and I’m sure the millions of AirPods users around the world will agree with me. I love the way they look, sound and the way it is marketed.
What if your dog loves your AirPods too? Or should I say love them enough to want to eat your AirPods?
You might think I’m crazy but it has happened before. There are dog owners whose dogs ate their AirPods.
A dog eating AirPods can be a matter of life and death. If you have a small-sized dog or a puppy, the AirPods can get can become a choking or blockage hazard. There’s a possibility of bigger dogs being able to pass out the AirPods in their stool.
Let’s take a closer look at what can happen if your dog swallows a foreign body like AirPods and what you should do about it.
What Are AirPods?
I doubt there are many people who have never heard of AirPods. But for the benefit of those who haven’t, here’s a brief overview.
AirPods were released in December 2016 and they are the wireless version of the Apple earbuds that you get when you buy an iPhone.
The AirPods come in a small charging case that you can place them in. There is also a higher-tier version called AirPods pro that has better sound quality and noise cancellation.
What Can Happen If My Dog Ate My AirPods?
I’m sure many pet owners are thinking this won’t happen to them. But it has happened to my neighbor and it can happen to you.
Although the probability of something serious happening is slim, there will be some cases where it can turn into a life-threatening situation.
Here are some possible scenarios.
Are AirPods Toxic If Swallowed?
There are no prizes for guessing the AirPods aren’t made solely from biodegradable materials. The main materials used are plastic, rubber and some metals for the wiring.
Your dog’s body isn’t able to break down or digest these materials which can cause some adverse reactions like vomiting and diarrhea.
Metals like nickel, aluminum and copper are also used for some parts of the AirPods. Although the amount of metal isn’t high enough to affect most dogs, a dog whose body is highly sensitive to any of these metals can experience metal toxicity.
These symptoms can include:
- Lack of coordination
A Choking Hazard
Airpods are rather small objects but if a puppy or smaller breed dog swallows the AirPods whole, they can get stuck in the upper respiratory tract and choke the dog.
Signs of choking in a dog:
- Difficulty breathing
- Pawing at mouth
- Excessive salivation
If you notice that your dog is choking, do a quick check of its mouth and throat to see if there if the earbuds are stuck there.
Here is a good video detailing the necessary steps to help a dog that is choking
Even if the AirPods were able to pass through your dog’s esophagus safely, there is still a risk of them getting stuck in your dog’s digestive system.
When this happens, it can cause an intestinal blockage. Then again, the risk gets bigger for smaller dogs as their intestinal tract is a lot narrower than a much bigger dog.
An intestinal blockage in dogs is a very serious problem. If the AirPods get stuck at some point in the dog’s digestive system, it will prevent food will passing through normally to the rest of the digestive tract.
When this happens, it can cause bloating in your dog.
Canine bloating is a serious matter and can be fatal if the condition isn’t treated early. Canine bloating can cause your dog’s stomach to flip upon itself.
This can cause your dog to go into systemic shock and die.
Some symptoms of canine bloating:
- Stomach pain
- Abdominal area pain to the touch
- Lack of appetite
- Swollen stomach
If you notice that your dog has a swollen stomach, get it to the vet immediately. The only procedure that can save your dog is emergency surgery.
If you have a dog that is fond of playing with squeaky toys, you need to be careful. A squeaky toy can be bad for dogs if they are strong enough to tear it open and swallow the squeaking device by accident.
Damage To The Digestive Tract
Another dangerous thing that can happen is if the dog swallows the AirPods into small pieces. In general, dogs eat their food whole without chewing but they can still break the AirPods into smaller pieces with their sharp teeth.
When this happens, the smaller pieces can have sharp edges that can pierce or lacerate the dog’s throat and stomach.
It will result in internal bleeding and cause a lot of pain for the dog.
Earbud Batteries Can Be Corrosive
AirPods contain a small lithium-ion battery in them which allows the earbuds to hold their charge for a few hours.
That’s good if you are using it on the go but bad news if your dog has eaten them.
These lithium-ion batteries can interact with the fluids in the dog’s throat and stomach acids which causes an electrical current that can burn your dog’s digestive tract.
Definitely not something that you want happening to your canine companion.
What Should I Do If My Dog Ate My AirPods?
The first thing that you need to do is get your dog to the vet right away. The smaller your dog, the more dangerous it can be for the dog.
In the event that you live far away from the closest vet, contact your vet to see what can be done in the interim to help your dog.
Your vet may suggest the following methods:
Get Your Dog To Vomit
Inducing vomiting in your dog can be a good way to expel the ingested Airpods. However, this should only be done less than sixty minutes after your dog has eaten the earbuds and with your vet’s approval.
Any longer and it would have moved out of the dog’s stomach and into its intestines.
The best way to get your dog to vomit is to use 3% hydrogen peroxide. This should be kept in your dog’s first aid box for incidents like this. Hydrogen peroxide works by agitating your dog’s stomach and can get your dog vomiting in less than 15 minutes.
This bout of vomiting can last for 45 minutes, allowing your dog to expel nearly 50% of what it has ingested.
Do not induce vomiting in dogs that have the following symptoms:
- Difficulty breathing
- Having seizures
- Ingested a sharp or corrosive object
Make sure to only give your dog 3% hydrogen peroxide anything stronger can harm your dog. The quickest way to give your dog the solution is with a syringe or dropper. Follow the dosage given by the vet and not more.
Stick by your dog while it’s vomiting and collect the vomit samples for the vet to take a look. There are some dogs that will attempt to re-ingest the vomit so please keep an eye on your dog.
Inducing vomiting in dogs might not always be the best solution as some objects can cause more harm when regurgitated by the dog.
There is a possibility that your dog might vomit on its own. Otherwise, it is very important to only do it if given the green light by your vet.
Get Your Dog To Poo
If your vet feels that inducing your dog to vomit is too risky given the nature of the foreign object or too much time has elapsed, the next best alternative is to get your dog to poop it out.
Adding some fiber to your dog’s food can help add some bulk in the intestines and let the dog pass out the AirPods.
You can add some fresh pumpkin or psyllium husk to your dog’s meal to help with its bowel movements.
Using a wet wipe and gently rubbing around the opening of your dog’s anus can also encourage it to poo. This was what their mothers would do with their tongues to get their pups to poo.
If you have a suitable enema solution for dogs and know how to give your dog an enema, it can also help get the Airpods out the ‘backdoor’ sooner than later.
Make sure the check your dog’s poop for signs of the Airpods to ascertain that it is totally out of your dog’s body.
Why Would My Dog Eat My Earbuds?
Most dogs won’t wake up in the morning thinking how delicious your earbuds are. Some dogs have a bad habit of ingesting foreign bodies out of curiosity.
This is something that can be trained and should be done to prevent any unfortunate incidents.
There are also some dogs that have a behavioral condition called Pica. These dogs have a strong desire to eat inedible items like plastic, metal, glass, rock, soil, fabric, etc.
As you can see, it is a very dangerous situation for a dog to be in.
Unfortunately, the root cause of Pica has yet to be found. Some doctors say that it could be due to malnutrition or an inherited disorder. This is something that you will need to speak to your vet about on how to go about managing Pica in your dog.
Does Apple Care Cover My Dog Eating AirPods?
Interestingly enough, there have been a number of people that have asked this question before on the Apple forums.
And the answer is always no as Apple sees it as intentional damage.
You will still need to purchase a new pair if your dog decides to have your existing AirPods as a snack.
As a dog owner myself, I understand how challenging it can be to stop our dogs from ingesting something that can be dangerous to them.
As pet parents, we should strive to keep our homes as dog safe as possible and that means keeping such small items away from our dogs.
In the event that your dog really does eat your AirPods, please get it to the vet right away for an x-ray.