Can a Hairball Kill a Dog? [Ultimate Guide]

Hairballs are usually associated with cats, but it’s true that dogs that groom themselves regularly can also suffer from hairballs. While an unpleasant experience for both dog and owner it’s unlikely for hairballs to cause life-threatening health risks to your dogs. Although a hairball could technically kill a dog, it’s extremely unlikely.

dog hairballs

However, if a large number of hairballs accumulate in the stomach and are not regurgitated or passed through the digestive system, they may become lodged in the intestines and create an obstruction known as a “trichobezoar.” This blockage can cause serious issues like dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, and more—and has even been known to kill.

Hairballs or Trichobezoar is a condition that occurs in many animals including dogs.

Dog Hairball Blockage Treatment

The first step of hairball blockage treatment for dogs is a thorough physical examination. The vet will assess your dog’s condition including taking the usual vital checks such as temperature while checking for any signs of tenderness or masses. Depending on the results of these exams, treatments will most likely involve gastric lavage (stomach washing) or an endoscopy to directly remove the hairballs from the stomach lining. Alternatively, medication can be provided to help coax it through the digestive tract. In extreme cases, surgery may be necessary if the blockage is too large for the dog to pass naturally.

It’s essential that you attempt to treat a hairball blockage quickly and effectively as possible. If you believe that your pet is suffering from a blockage, seek medical attention from a veterinarian ASAP. With the correct treatment and attention, most pets will make a full recovery.

Home Remedies for Dog Hairballs


Like with anything prevention is better than a cure. The number one way to stop your dog from getting hairballs is to ensure that you regularly brush your pup to make sure you remove any dead or loose fur from their coat. This will prevent your dog from ingesting it later during self-grooming.

Dietary Supplements for Hair Health

Dietary supplements such as omega fatty acids can help maintain your dog’s coat and keep it shiny and healthy. Keeping your dog’s coat healthy will reduce the chances of developing hairballs. Suggestions include adding a tablespoon of olive oil or coconut oil to your dog’s food once daily. You can check here for a list of different ways to keep your dog’s hair as healthy as possible.

Digestive Supplements

You can try giving your dog supplements that promote healthy digestion and regular bowel movements. Common examples include raw pumpkin seeds because they are high in fiber. A teaspoon of apple cider vinegar can also be added to your dog’s water. Vinegar helps to stimulate the digestive system and break down fur before it becomes a problem.


Finally, you can try giving your dog an occasional laxative (Ones that are specifically created for dogs) such as lactulose, psyllium, or even husk powder to help move hair through their digestive tract. I think also it’s important to speak with your veterinarian first before deciding to go forward which any of these methods as they can occasionally come with negative side effects. You can talk to a qualified veterinarian online quickly and easily these days so try not to make too many decisions without detailed guidance.

What Do Dog Hairballs Look Like?

Dog hairballs look like small clumps of matted fur. They can range in the size from a couple of millimeters to several inches. The color of the hairball depends on the color of the dog’s fur. In some cases, they may have streaks of different colored fur due to the variety of coat colors present in certain breeds.

dog hairball example

Dogs’ hairballs will often have a foul odor as they contain bacteria and particles that collect on your pet’s fur. Additionally, they are usually surrounded by saliva or mucus which adds to the unpleasant smell. As such it’s essential to dispose of these promptly.

Dog Hairballs – Things to Remember

It’s crucial to keep in mind that just because your dog has a hairball, it doesn’t indicate they are definitely experiencing a blockage. Dogs frequently vomit up little amounts of fur without experiencing any digestive problems. As a result, don’t be afraid to talk to a veterinarian if you’re concerned about your dog and its hairballs.

In conclusion, dog hairballs can be an unpleasant sight and a smelly issue to deal with. It’s essential to remember that you should try and prevent these from occurring as much as possible. If your pup is suffering from Hairball blockage it’s necessary to seek medical attention immediately. With the right treatment, most pets will make a full recovery.