Dogs, especially smaller ones, find hair ties fun to play with, and they are attracted by the familiar smell of their pet parents’ scalp oils on the ties, said Dr. Brett Levitzke, medical director of the Veterinary Emergency Referral Group in New York City. Your dog might be able to pass a hair tie or two in his stool uneventfully, but if he eats several, they can get stuck in his gut, causing vomiting, decreased appetite and painful abdomen. “We’ve seen dogs with upwards of 50 hair ties in their stomach,” he said.
If you see your dog swallow a hair tie, call your vet, as an endoscopy (a non-surgical procedure to examine the gastro-intestinal tract and potentially remove swallowed objects) or surgery may be required. For prevention, keep hair ties in closed drawers.