My Dog Ate Play-Doh, What Should I Do?

By John Martin - August 6, 2021

Play-Doh with molds

Play-Doh is a kind of modeling clay made for kids to mold for their crafting interests. It is mainly made from water, salt and flour.

Despite these natural ingredients, Play-Doh can be harmful to dogs. If your dogs ate Play-Doh, you should observe their symptoms, induce vomiting and take them to the vet in case they ate too much of it.

Let’s take a more detailed look at this issue to find out exactly what you can do.

Why Is Play-Doh Dangerous for Dogs?

Salt forms a major component of Play-Doh. Even though this particular brand has lesser salt quantities, it can still be significant for dogs due to their low tolerance for salt.

Too much salt consumption can be toxic for dogs. It can cause damage to their kidneys while also leading to nausea, vomiting, breathing issues, seizures and a lot more that could even lead to chronic problems.

These symptoms occur since sodium chloride in the clay can reduce the efficiency of your dog’s cells and tissues.

There are, however, several important factors that can determine how dangerous Play-Doh can be for your dog. Luckily, there are also several simple treatments that you can carry out provided that your dog did not eat too much of it.

Health Impacts

If your dog ate Play-Doh, you should look for several symptoms that may or may not show up. These health impacts could either be short term and disappear within a couple of days or they could have more dangerous implications.

Some immediate symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, trembling, reduced appetite, fatigue, lethargy, surplus urination, excess thirst and drowsiness, among others.

While some of these can die down easily, it is also possible for dogs to get salt poisoning if they have eaten a large quantity. This could harm the kidneys, lead to their failure, cause neurological damage and might even prove fatal.

In such a case, you might need to hospitalize your dog so that the salt levels can be reduced. This also includes hydrating your dog frequently.

Salt poisoning is more common with homemade playdough due to unbalanced salt levels but can also occur with Play-Doh.

In case you notice any of these issues with your dog, you should consult your veterinarian to determine the next steps for your dog’s well-being, whether that includes home treatment or hospitalization.

Also Read: How to Trim Dog Nails That Are Overgrown


The kind of impact that Play-Doh can have on your dog can depend on a few factors that we can go through here.

Kind of Play-Doh

Play-Doh itself is a brand that generally has comparatively lower levels of salt. If your dog eats this in small amounts, it is possible that the symptoms might either be negligible or minimal.

Too much of it can certainly be a cause for concern. If you are unsure about the symptoms, you should check the salt contents on the label of the Play-Doh jar and try to figure out how much of it your dog has eaten.

If the clay is homemade playdough, the salt quantity might be too much for your dog to handle, leading to more severe issues of salt poisoning. In this case, you should take your dog to the vet as soon as possible, especially if the symptoms are obvious.

Size of Dog

How small or large your dog is can also have an impact when it comes to how severe the symptoms might be. Larger dogs, for instance, might have an easier experience if they eat Play-Doh.

This is because there tends to be a difference in the digestive sensitivity of large and small dogs. Parts of their digestive system are more developed while some parts might be more sensitive to certain ingredients.

Usually, this difference calls for limiting certain kinds of food in dogs based on their size. Large dogs might be able to handle salt and flour slightly better than smaller dogs unless the quantity was too large.


Smaller quantities can lead to smaller health impacts while larger ones can lead to severe symptoms.

Further, if your dog is too small and has eaten a large quantity, the impact could be a bit more intense.

It is also possible that your dogs have worms inside their body, making them eat inedible things.

All of these factors can work together to determine what kind of symptoms your dog will show. However, even if the symptoms are not too intense, you should try to get the excess salt out of your dog’s system as soon as possible.

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What to Do

You can take the following steps to help your dogs out if they ate Play-Doh, regardless of the quantity they consumed.

Provide Water

Keeping your dog sufficiently hydrated is extremely important in case of excessive salt consumption.

One of the symptoms of such a situation is increased thirst, which is why you must provide plenty of cold water to your dog to reduce the process of fermentation in their body.

This can be a good way to dilute the salt content and bring back the regular water levels in the body. If this later leads to vomiting or diarrhea, that means that the body is trying to get rid of the salt in its own way.

This is a good starting point before you take your dog to the vet.

Observe Symptoms

The next step you should follow is to observe all the symptoms that occur with your dog. This could include vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, trembling, seizures or more.

Keep track of all these symptoms along with the time at which they occur so that you can determine how long it took for them to appear.

Generally, in the case of small quantities, the symptoms may come and go within a few hours or in a couple of days. If they last longer, you can call the vet.

If the symptoms are severe from the very beginning, you should immediately consult your vet.

Induce Vomiting

If your dog has eaten more than a small amount of Play-Doh, then vomiting is essential. If it does not naturally occur, you will need to induce it in them in order to get rid of the excess and toxic salt from the body.

For this step, it is better to consult the vet on how to do it. In most cases, you will need to go to the vet so that they can give your dog medicine or an injection to induce vomiting.

Go to the Vet

Severe or persistent symptoms require you to go to the vet immediately. If there are no symptoms but if your dog has eaten too much of the dough, you should still visit the vet.

The vet will possibly run some tests and diagnose the extent of salt poisoning in your dog’s body so that you can figure out the next steps that you can take.

In case the issue is not severe, your vet will recommend medicines along with a controlled diet for a few days.

However, if the poisoning is dangerous, the vet might suggest hospitalization so that they can carry out the necessary treatment.


There are a few simple ways to prevent this kind of occurrence in the first place:

  • If you make your playdough at home, you should minimize the amount of salt that you use.
  • You can keep your dog in another room or in their crate whenever kids in the house are playing with Play-Doh.
  • At all times, keep the Play-Doh away from your dog’s reach.

Also Read: Do Dog’s Ears Pop On Airplanes?

Final Remarks

To sum up, Play-Doh can be harmful to your dog due to the high salt content, especially if consumed in large quantities. If this happens, you should keep your dog hydrated and observe the symptoms, following which you can consult or visit the vet.

Make sure you keep your dog away from the Play-Doh as much as possible.