The very thing that makes disposable diapers so useful–their super-absorbency–can make them deadly to pets. While nobody goes around giving diapers to their dog as a chew toy, animals do have a gift for rifling through the trash, and one thing they can find there are diapers. KKTV in Colorado interviewed one family whose dog died after eating some of the absorbent material in a diaper.
The dog was kind of listless one evening, and they found her dead on the floor the following morning. What had happened? There was fluffy material around that looked like wall insulation, but there were no walls torn open where the dog could have eaten insulation. Finally, they discovered the answer: there was part of a diaper along with some dog vomit under a piece of furniture.
Material that absorbs liquid expands when it does so, since that’s how the laws of physics work. What seems to have happened here is that the dog shredded a diaper and ate some of the dry absorbent material inside. It came into contact with liquids in her digestive system and expanded, causing internal injuries.
“Don’t let dogs eat diapers” might seem like common sense, but pet owners that KKTV interviewed were surprised that there is no specific warning explaining the dangers of ingesting a diaper on the package. It’s not just diapers for babies, either: tampons, for example, are made out of different material but are also designed to expand when they come in contact with liquid, and can cause internal injuries.
11 CFA Investigation: Diapers Can Be Deadly For Pets [KKTV]

Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Consumerist.