My Puppy Ate A Pencil, What Should I Do?

Puppies are adventurous creatures and they use their paws and months to explore. At this time when they are familiarizing themselves with new things and the environment, they might end up eating many things that they shouldn’t.

My Puppy Ate A Pencil, What Should I Do?

If your puppy ate a pencil, the first step should be to take the remaining pencils away from him. Also, ensure that no pencils are remaining in his mouth. Try to analyze and know the number of pencils he ate and seek advice from your vet.  

Are Pencils Toxic to dogs?

My Puppy Ate A Pencil

Pencils are not toxic to dogs. In the early years, the pencils were toxic because they were made of lead which is toxic to dogs. Nowadays, pencils are made of graphite which has no effects on a dog if ingested. More so, the paint used to decorate the pencils is harmless as it is based on cellulose or nontoxic paint.

I know you will feel relieved to know that even if the colored pencils are harmless because the dyes used to give them colors are used in small amounts that can hardly cause harm to your dog. The only exception is only when your dog eats more than a packet of the pencil.

Are Charcoal Pencils Toxic For Dogs?

If you are sketching a drawing using a charcoal pencil only for your dog to eat it when you are unaware, you should not worry. Though charcoal is dangerous to dogs, if consumed in small quantities it can have small or no effects. In this case, your dog has eaten just a single pencil that contains a small amount of charcoal, it is just like when a dog eats an Oreo which contains just a small layer of creamy chocolate. So, there is a very little amount of charcoal in a pencil to hurt your dog.

My Puppy Ate Lead Pencil, Should I Be Worried?

If your dog happens to eat a lead pencil, you surely should be woried because it is toxic to dogs. Lead can cause digestion problems, behaviour changes and lethargy. Lead poisoning can be treated if detected early. If your dog has eate a lead pencil, take him to a vet.

Why Pencils could be Dangerous To Your Dog

 Pencils are made of wood, which can be harmful to dogs if eaten. Wood is not an organic substance and cannot be digested in a dog’s stomach and it will be excreted in the same form.

Dogs are ravenous eaters and they are most likely to chew the pencil in hurry and swallow it in large pieces. These pieces may have sharp edges, which can cause intestinal issues.  

The sharp edges are get stuck in the throat preventing the food from getting swallowed. It can also become lodged in the stomach or intestines, causing a blockage. GI obstruction is treated with surgery which is a painful and expensive process.

What Signs Should I Look For?

Even though we have mentioned that pencils are not toxic to dogs, there can be an exception if your dog ate excess pencils or swallowed a sharp-edged piece. Your dog can show the following signs if there was an adverse side effect that followed after eating the pencil.


If you feed your dog and he vomits immediately or after a few minutes is because the path for food is blocked and the food had to go up. Sometimes the piece of pencil blocking the passage can be softened by the food and come out in the process of vomiting. After puking, you should thoroughly inspect the vomit.

You should not force your dog to throw up because it can push the pencil further and in a worse position, wait for him to puke on his own.


You will notice that your dog will be unable to use the potty area as usual. This means he can strain to pee or poop because the pencil fragments are causing problems.

Lack Of Appetite

If your dog is not able to poop, that means he will not have the space to put food because he will be full. Also, it can be that the piece of the pencil is stuck in his throat making him unable to swallow the food. You can give him his favorite treat and if he won’t eat it, it’s time to phone a vet.

Abdominal Pain

You can notice that your dog is uncomfortable when you touch his tummy, it might be a sign that the pencil fragments have caused harm to his stomach.


If your dog has suffered internal bleeding as a result of swallowing the sharp pencil pieces, you can notice it in his vomit or poop. Internal bleeding is not easily detected but whenever you see dark stool it’s important you notify your vet.


If your puppy ate a pencil, through the guidance of this article you can know the appropriate thing to do. Even though pencils are not toxic to dogs, pencil fragments can cause him great harm. To avoid all the miseries associated with your puppy eating a pencil, it would be wise if you kept it away.

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