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Are Gel Balls Toxic to Animals?

Gel balls, also known as Orbeez, are known for their non-toxic composition. Though they are now popular as gel blaster ammo, gel balls were originally created as an environment-friendly way to improve water retention in the soil. This brings up the question – would ingesting gellets prove dangerous to cats, dogs, and other pets?

Well, if it’s toxicity you are worried about, you may rest assured that these hydrogel beads are completely devoid of any dangerous chemicals. However, they certainly aren’t meant to be eaten, and can cause serious issues depending on the quantity ingested. If you’re a pet owner who loves playing with powerful gel blasters, reading this blog can potentially save your pet’s life.  

Can A Dog Eat Gel Balls?

Technically, yes…dogs can eat gel blaster balls, either by chewing them or simply swallowing them down. The balls are small, soft, and slippery enough that dogs don’t usually have any issues gobbling them down.

However, just because a dog can eat gellets, this doesn’t mean it should. While it’s true that the gel balls are non-toxic, they aren’t meant to be eaten and can cause problems if ingested by a dog. 

Here’s why you should NEVER let a dog eat Orbeez:

  • The hydrogel beads are designed to grow in size by absorbing fluids, and it’s not just limited to water. They will start absorbing gastric juices once ingested, which means they won’t be shrinking back. 
  • A single gellet might not pose much of a problem and would likely pass through the digestive tract undigested. However, in case your dog consumes several of these gel beads, there’s a strong chance of developing a gastrointestinal blockage. This risk is especially high in case the dog swallows the Orbeez rather than chewing them. 
  • In some of the smaller breeds of dogs, even an individual gel blaster ball can pose a choking hazard if swallowed whole. 
  • If consumed in larger quantities, the Orbeez would take up a lot of space in your dog’s stomach. These gel balls carry zero nutritional value and would simply be taking up the space for actual food. This will prevent your beloved pet from eating as usual, and in turn, deny it the necessary nutrition. 

To sum it up, gellets are bad for dogs even though they are not toxic. Though the chances are quite low, your dog can still potentially die from ingesting gel beads. This is why I always make sure my dog is well-fed before any activity.

Orbeez gel balls

Are Gel Blaster Balls Toxic To All Animals And Birds?

The non-toxic nature of gel balls isn’t limited to humans and dogs alone. One of the best things about gel blasting is that the gellets are designed to be safe for the environment, which means they are non-toxic for all animals and birds

Gellets are made from a superabsorbent polymer (SAP) material, which is cross-linked with different non-toxic chemicals to increase its ability to absorb water. While all the components of the SAP structure are safe in terms of toxicity, they cannot be digested. Just like dogs, other animals and birds are vulnerable to choking and intestinal blockage upon ingesting gellets too. The smaller the creature, the more dangerous it is for them to eat Orbeez. 

What to Do If Your Dog Or Cat Eats Orbeez?

You now know that you should be careful to make sure that your pets don’t ingest any Orbeez, but what if they do? Let’s face it – despite every precaution, stuff happens. Well, it’s recommended to rush your cat or dog to the vet immediately, especially if it swallowed a gellet whole or ate several of them. 

While the situation might not look as dangerous if your pet isn’t choking or showing any other symptoms of discomfort, it’s best not to take any chances. Though the gel beads are usually excreted with the stool, a vet might decide to induce vomiting if deemed necessary. 

How to Prevent Your Dog From Eating Gel Balls?

There’s only one way to make sure that your dog doesn’t eat gellets, and it’s pretty simple. All you have to do is keep the expandable water toys out of its reach. This might sound a bit obvious, but as long as you leave them lying around your dog, there’s a good chance that it might decide to taste a few. Below are some tips on keeping your dog from eating Orbeez. 

  • Store away your gellets somewhere secure at all times. 
  • When soaking your gel beads in a bowl, place it somewhere out of the dog’s sight and reach. 
  • Don’t keep your dog around while playing with gel blasters. Besides the danger of ingesting gellets, it might also get hit accidentally by stray shots. 
  • While handling Orbeez around your dog, be careful not to spill any.
  • Once you are done playing, remember to clean the area properly and not leave any gel balls lying around. Allow your dog back in the area where you played only after it’s thoroughly cleaned. 
Labrador retreiver

Tips for Using Gel Blaster Guns with Your Pet Around

As a pet owner, ensuring the safety of your pet should be your top priority. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t get to play with gel blasters. It’s all about being careful, and here are a few tips on using them with a pet around. 

  • As mentioned earlier, don’t let your pet into the area where you’re going to play. It’s better still to simply lock your pet inside your home where it’s safe, or leave it with someone else. After all, you never know when it might excitedly run into the middle of the game and get it by gellets – or eat up a few. 
  • If it’s not possible to lock away your pet completely, make sure to be very careful while playing. This might be hard to do while engaged in a thrilling Orby war, but try to keep an eye on your cat or dog to make sure it doesn’t get too close or eat any gellets. 
  • Gel blasting is a fun activity if it has adjustable muzzle velocity and you might like to tone down the FPS to safer levels. This way, your pet won’t get hurt as much even if it gets hit.    

Final Thoughts

So, that’s pretty much it – keep your pet away from your gellets, and you’re good to go. Despite these gel beads not being poisonous, you definitely wouldn’t want your cat, dog, or any other pet for that matter to try and eat even one.

If it’s already too late and your pet has ingested gellets, don’t panic – just take your dog to the vet’s clinic or call a vet quickly. As long as the situation is handled properly with necessary professional intervention, it should turn out to be fine. 

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