Help! My Pet Ate Ribbon!

Here’s why swallowing a ribbon requires a trip to the vet 🚨

dog ate ribbon

Ribbon looks festive wrapped around your holiday gifts. But if you have pets, you might want to hold off on using it to glam up your gifts.

While it’s not toxic, it’s still really dangerous if your pet swallows it.

We spoke with Dr. Julian Rivera, a veterinarian at West Village Veterinary Hospital in New York City, about what you should know if your dog or cat ate ribbon by accident.

Why does my pet want to eat ribbon?

Well, he doesn’t want to eat it. He knows ribbon isn’t food. But your pet does probably want to play with it.

Both dogs and cats are drawn to the sparkly, stringy qualities of ribbon, but your cat’s more inclined to get his paws on it.

“It does have the same appeal as shiny and wriggly cat toys,” Dr. Rivera told The Dodo.

The problem with letting your pet play with ribbon is that he might wind up chewing on it, and accidentally swallowing it.

What should I do if I think my dog or cat ate ribbon?

If your cat or dog swallows ribbon, you should take him to the vet RIGHT AWAY.

According to Dr. Rivera, ingesting something like a string is called a linear foreign body, and it can be life-threatening.

Basically, while the ribbon is attempting to make its way through your pet’s digestive system, it can really damage his intestines.

“It can have the effect of wire through cheese, but in your pet’s GI tract,” he explained. That’s nooooot good.

He’ll likely need surgery, and damage can happen pretty quickly, which is why you need to get him to the vet ASAP. (This definitely isn’t a “wait and see” situation.)

To dodge this scary situation altogether, Dr. Rivera recommends keeping ribbon — and other similar materials like tinsel — out of your house if you have pets.

“It's best to avoid mixing cats [and dogs] and stringy toys that may be ingested,” he said.