The Dangers of Gel in Diapers for Dogs: Is It Toxic if Eaten?

Dogs have a habit of chewing or licking things that they’re not supposed to. Sometimes it’s not a big deal and other times it can be life-threatening. One common question people ask is” Is the gel in diapers toxic for dogs” since for some reason dogs seem to love to nibble on smelly diapers. The answer you’ll be happy to know is no, the gel in diapers is not toxic to dogs but it can still cause health issues if consumed in large quantities. 

is diaper gel toxic to dogs?

Ingesting a large amount of diaper gel is likely to irritate a dog’s mucous membranes and cause discomfort but it’s not likely to prove fatal unless consumed in large quantities which are not present in a single diaper. Nevertheless, it’s important to be on the side of caution and seek veterinary attention if you feel like your dog is acting unusual or displaying signs of sickness. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. 

What Is the Gel in Diapers Made Of?

The majority of the gel in diapers is made from sodium polyacrylate. Mainly due to its ability to absorb and retained large amounts of fluid. These qualities make it an effective material for absorbing urine and other bodily fluids. When the polymer comes into contact with liquid it will rapidly swell up and forms a gel-like substance. This is useful in keeping skin dry and reduces the risk of skin problems such as diaper rash. 

Are the Ingredients in Gel Dangerous for Dogs

Sodium polyacrylate the gel-like substance found in most disposable diapers is not toxic to dogs. But please bare in mind if your dog digests a large quantity of it, it will cause digestive problems most likely vomiting, and diarrhea, and can even have the potential to cause blockages if eating in large quantities (This is extremely unlikely). In the very rare and bizarre case, if your dog was able to eat the ridiculous amount it would require to cause a blockage then it could prove life-threatening and require surgical intervention. I would suggest this is nearly impossible. 

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In a more likely scenario, your dog could develop an allergic reaction. Symptoms include itching, redness, and swelling on the skin. Sodium polyacrylate is known for being a mild irritant to the skin, eyes, and respiratory tract. This can sometimes result in coughing, wheezing, and inflammation. 

The Risks of Choking and Obstruction

The risks of choking or obstruction from diaper gel are little to none, the substance is usually only present in small quantities. Although the gel does swell when it comes into contact with liquid it’s unlikely to cause any significant threat of obstruction unless consumed in an almost impossible amount. 

Conclusion

To conclude, sodium polyacrylate (The gel found in disposable diapers) is not inherently toxic to dogs. However, we always recommend being on the safe side so if you do have any worries or your dog is displaying symptoms of a blockage or allergic reaction it’s best to seek veterinary care immediately.
If you ever find yourself in a situation where you think your pet may have come into contact with something toxic, don’t panic! The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) is here to help you every step of the way. They’re available 24/7, 365 days a year to assist with any animal poison-related emergency. All you need to do is give them a call at (888) 426-4435. Please note, a consultation fee may be charged.