Finding fun ways to play with your dog is essential for forming strong bonds and keeping them in good shape, so they stay healthy and happy. One of the best ways to do this is ensuring they get plenty of regular physical exercise, with daily walking, running, agility or hiking, alongside mental stimulation and games. One of these games that some dogs seem to enjoy is chasing bubbles. Two critical questions about bubbles, however, are whether dogs can eat them and whether bubbles are safe.
Eating a few bubbles won’t harm your dog in most cases, but it really depends on the soap or ingredient used to make them. Some products say they’re safe for pets, but all pets are different, and some may still negatively react to the bubbles made with a particular product. If your dog eats too many bubbles, it could result in an upset stomach, drooling, vomiting, and diarrhea. In other words, choose bubble products wisely and don’t let your pup eat too many of them, even if the product is labeled as “safe.”
Knowing your dog can usually eat a few bubbles without adverse reactions and that some of these products have been made specifically safe for kids and dogs alike, you likely have more questions about this activity. Can you make your own bubble mixture at home, and are bubbles a good way to encourage your dog to exercise? Read on to learn more about bubble-based fun with your favorite canine.
Why Let Your Dog Play With Bubbles?
Some dogs tend to be sedentary if they aren’t given opportunities to run around and move their bodies. Bubbles are a fun way to get them going, get their blood flowing, and keep them in good shape, but this game should not be a substitute for proper physical and mental exercise. A few possible benefits of using bubbles as an activity for dogs include the following:
Can You Make Bubble Mix for Your Dog?
Several products on the market are made for bubble play with your dog, but you can easily and quickly make your own. When you do, you’ll know exactly which ingredients are in the mix, which helps prevent your dog from having adverse reactions. To make your own bubble mix at home, follow the step-by-step instructions below.
- Put 2 cups of water in a glass jar with a sealable lid. A mason jar or used food jar works well.
- Add a very small amount (less than a teaspoon) of natural, biodegradable dish soap approved for pets. Many types of dish soap can be irritant to your dog’s skin and eyes and should not be swallowed. Check with your vet before choosing a specific product. Some soaps contain essential oils, such as pine oil, and, depending on the amount swallowed, could cause mouth irritation, drooling or signs of an upset stomach. Small amount of dish soap in the bubble is unlikely to cause serious side effects, but if your dog is swallowing large amounts of bubbles, it is best to consider a safer game or limit it to just a few minutes at a time.
- Add 1–2 teaspoons or less of vegetable glycerin. You can find this at a craft store like Michaels.
- Add 1 teaspoon of flavoring, like natural bone broth or peanut butter.
- Mix the bubble mixture well.
- Bend some coat hanger wire into a small circle with a handle, or use a paper clip.
- Blow bubbles for your dog, and have a great time!
The vegetable glycerin in step three is used so that the bubbles you make last longer. If you don’t want to use vegetable glycerin, you can also use a very small amount (half of a teaspoon or less) of sugar or corn syrup. Be sure to avoid anything with the synthetic sweetener xylitol, which is highly toxic to dogs. Store the bubble mix safely—out of your dog’s reach at all times.
Are All Bubbles for Dogs Non-Toxic?
Bubbles are considered minimally toxic, which means that, in most cases, they have a low toxicity level. In other words, no bubbles are 100% safe, no matter what the labeling on the product might say. There is always a risk when it comes to products that contain detergent or soap.
Some bubble-making products, for example, can cause your dog to have an upset stomach if they eat too much. If your dog was to ingest some bubble solution accidentally, you need to contact your vet immediately, as the chemicals could cause burns in their mouth and on their gums.
If you have small children, it’s best to keep a close eye on them if you allow them to play with your dog using bubbles. If your dog likes the taste of bubbles, it would also be a good idea to put the bubble mixture out of their reach when you’re done playing so that they can’t chew the packaging open to get to the tasty bubble mixture inside.
Lastly, while you and your dog are playing with bubbles, look for any signs that they might be having a reaction and if you see anything abnormal, stop playing with the bubbles immediately and give your vet a call.
Are Bubbles Made for Children OK for Dogs?
When children play with bubbles, they usually don’t eat them or put them in their mouths. Some bubble products made for children may have minimally toxic ingredients; however, those ingredients might still make your puppy or adult dog sick if they eat the bubbles, especially if they drink the solution.
That’s why, if you want to play with your dog using bubbles, it’s better to either make the bubble mix yourself or buy one that’s listed as safe for dogs and use them sparingly. Be aware, however, that even a bubble-making product that’s considered “safe” can still upset your dog’s stomach or cause other side effects if they eat too many bubbles or drink the bubble mix.
What Signs Will a Dog Have if They React Negatively to Bubbles?
If your dog has a negative reaction to swallowing bubbles or accidentally drinking the bubble mixture, there are several signs that you will likely see, including:
If you suspect your dog may have eaten the bubble mix or is exhibiting any of these signs, contact your vet urgently and take the bubble product with you so your vet can see all the ingredients and check their safety.
What to Do if Your Dog Has an Adverse Reaction to Bubbles
If your dog has a negative reaction to eating bubbles or drinks a large amount of bubble mixture, you should call your veterinarian immediately and ask for their advice. In some cases, your vet will advise you on what to do at home, but sometimes, they may want you to bring your dog in for an exam if they are having a severe reaction or drank a lot of bubble mixture.
Why Do Dogs Love Playing with Bubbles?
If you’re a dog lover, you already know that dogs love running around, chewing, and playing with their ball and many other soft toys. There are many activities, however, that make a dog more excited than playing with bubbles. Why do most dogs like playing with bubbles so much?
The answer has to do with a dog’s innate prey drive instincts. When a dog sees something small running by, their natural tendency is to chase after it, which is why dogs like playing fetch with balls and frisbees. Bubbles are even better because they don’t run away but instead float in the air, sometimes just out of reach. That allows dogs to easily “catch” bubbles and eat them, which is highly entertaining and gives them the satisfaction of “capturing” their “prey.” But be careful that your dog is not jumping excessively or awkwardly, as some dogs may be more prone to injuring their back during this kind of exercise.
Of course, the average dog has the maturity of a toddler, and, as such, most will love chasing bubbles because it’s so darned fun! Bubbles, at least to a dog, are relatively easy to catch. In other words, dogs like playing with bubbles because it’s instinctual and because chasing bubbles is a blast!
Eating a few bubbles is usually no problem for a dog as long as the bubble mix is safe for pets and your dog doesn’t eat too many. As with anything in life, too much of a good thing can be a problem, and the same goes for bubbles. Still, the benefits, in most cases, outweigh the risks when it comes to bubbles, which are a fantastic way to get your dog moving and their energy flowing. Plus, blowing and chasing bubbles with your dog is fun for the entire family!
Still, make sure your dog is not swallowing too many bubbles, and if they exhibit any worrying signs or swallow the bubble mix, contact your vet straight away.
We hope today’s information on whether dogs can eat bubbles has answered all your questions and given you the insight you were searching for. One thing is certain; dogs genuinely enjoy playing with bubbles! If you’re looking for a fun activity to enjoy with your dog and the rest of your family, few things are more fun than bubbles!