My Dog Ate Metal. What Should I Do? 

Having a pet comes with its fair share of unexpected surprises. It’s important to be aware of what your pet is getting into around the house, especially if they’re notorious for gobbling up anything in sight – like metal! Unfortunately, some dogs may inadvertently swallow pieces of metal that can cause a variety of health issues. By understanding any potential problems, you can take preventative steps to avoid any accidents. You’ll be able to effectively protect your furry friend from any harm so both of you have peace of mind. 

Why Eating Metal Can Be Dangerous 

Metal pieces such as pennies, hardware, nuts, and bolts may contain the metal, zinc, which is also an essential mineral. Zinc is an essential mineral for both animals and humans, but in excessive amounts, toxicity can occur. While ingesting certain metal pieces may not cause any problems, others may pose a risk of zinc poisoning. Zinc can be broken down in the stomach, leading to stomach discomfort and absorption into the bloodstream. This can result in the destruction of red blood cells, as well as kidney and heart failure, and liver damage. A large or sharp metal piece can cause an obstruction and damage to the intestinal tract potentially, requiring surgery for removal. To ensure their dog’s safety, owners should keep zinc-containing items out of their reach and promptly seek veterinary help if they suspect their dog has ingested an item containing high levels of zinc. 

Symptoms of Zinc Poisoning 

Zinc poisoning can cause severe symptoms in dogs. Potential clinical signs of poisoning include: 

  • Weakness 
  • Pale gums 
  • Vomiting 
  • Increased breathing 
  • Increased heart rate 
  • Discolored urine 
  • Lack of appetite 
  • Collapse 


Call your veterinarian and Pet Poison Helpline at (855) 764-7661 for first aid advice if your dog has ingested an item containing zinc, like a penny. Seeking prompt treatment is key when combating zinc poisoning. Take your pup to the veterinary clinic so your veterinarian can perform an x-ray right away. Immediate Removal of the metal piece is essential before destruction to the red blood cells can occur. Critical damage of the cells can lead to severe anemia. If treatment is not sought out in a timely manner, death can follow. If you have further questions or concerns regarding dogs eating metal, call Pet Poison Helpline today.