Is bubble playing safe for pets?
My dog loves to play with bubbles, but she catches them with her mouth. It’s a new game for us and
I’m wondering if this is safe to play often?I buy the bubbles that children play with. The container says non-toxic and I dilute the solution with water. What can go wrong?
There are many occasions when our pets may be interested in inedible products that are designed for the entertainment of humans. Their curious nature may lead to physical inquisition with the nose, paws or tongue.
In general, my clinical practice experience leads me to state that if a product claims it is safe for human children, then it is likely also safe for our pets. Still, this is not always the case; therefore, it’s best to use common sense when allowing your dog to play with any liquid or solid substance that is marketed for people. Invariably, the product will be sniffed, licked or otherwise ingested.
According to several scientists “Soaps are water-soluble sodium or potassium salts of fatty acids. Soaps are made from fats and oils, or their fatty acids, by treating them chemically with a strong alkali.” So, soap contains chemical ingredients that can potentially cause at least some clinical signs of illness if enough is consumed, or if susceptible body parts come into contact with a significant enough quantity.
Clinical signs of illness from ingesting or coming into contact with soap include:
- Ptyalism (salivating) — If a soap bubble enters your pooch’s mouth, your dog may start to salivate as a means of the body striving to clear the soap from contacting the gums, tongue and other mouth structures.
- Lachrymation (tearing) — If soap bubbles get in your dog’s eyes, she may experience irritation. Just like she would produce saliva to remove soap bubbles from her mouth, tears will form to flush irritants from her eyes.
- Digestive tract changes — If enough soap bubbles — or a healthy swig of the concentrate — are consumed, then your dog could exhibit digestive tract changes, such as vomiting, diarrhea or decreased appetite (anorexia). In general, it is best to prevent a significant number of bubbles, or any consumption of the concentrate, from occurring.
- Nasal discharge and sneezing — If a soap bubble is inhaled, the mucosal surfaces covering the nasal cavity can become irritated, and discharge from one or both nostrils and/or sneezing may occur.
- Nail Damage — If a soap touches the nail of the dog it usually it turns a bit foggy. You can reverse the effects by polishing your dog nails.
In general, it’s not likely that your dog will suffer any significant toxicity from ingesting soap bubbles. However, despite the low likelihood of toxic effect, it’s still best to minimize consumption of the concentrate and prevent contact with other sensitive surfaces (like her eyes).
I hope that you and your pooch have many fun play sessions with soap bubbles in your collective futures.