Dear Labby: My Dog Ate My Money! What Should I Do?

The dog holds in a mouth money $ 50

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Dear Labby,

After a recent trip to the bank, I left some cash on the kitchen table without thinking much of it and went to run some errands. When I got back, I found that the new dollar bills had been chewed up, and a few of them must have been swallowed. My Golden Retriever’s guilty face told me all I needed to know about who the culprit was. My dog ate my money! Is this harmful to my pup? What should I do? I could have used that cash to buy my dog some real food, but it seems he prefers a few more greens in his diet.

Sincerely,

Canine Acting Strangely Hungry

Dog dish full of money

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Dear Canine Acting Strangely Hungry,

Never underestimate what a Golden Retriever will eat–or any dog for that matter. You’ll be happy to know you’re not alone in having this problem. Dogs are known to eat money from time to time, along with the occasional homework assignment–despite what my fourth grade teacher believed. 

Most forms of non-coin cash are made of durable paper. United States dollars are not likely to interfere with your dog’s digestion and will likely come out in pretty similar condition to the way they went in, albeit much dirtier. Money can be full of germs and bacteria, but your pup will probably pass the dollars before any damage can be done. So don’t worry too much about your pup’s health. Unless he swallowed enough to cause a blockage, he’ll be fine. You can even take a trip to the vet if you’re still nervous.

Funny dog holds dollars in mouth, isolated white background

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If your dog swallows coinage, that’s a different story. Most coins can pass easily, but some contain zinc and can lead to zinc poisoning. Also, if your dog swallows a lot of coins, digestive trouble can occur. It’s best to head to the vet for an X-ray and some professional medical advice.

You may also be interested to know that there is a possibility that you can get your money back. You’ll have to do some unsavory sifting, but most banks will take damaged money so long as half of the bill is intact and the serial number is legible. The notes will be sent to the Federal Reserve and replaced.

Dog holding pile of paper currency in mouth

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If the money is badly damaged, you can send it to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing at the U.S. Department of the Treasury. For more information, visit their website at moneyfactory.gov and follow their instructions for sending in damaged bills to be replaced. The U.S. Treasury handles 30,000 claims and replaces more than $30 million of damaged money on average each year. No word on how much of that cash has taken a trip through a dog’s intestines, but it wouldn’t be the first time for them if you sent in some soiled bank notes.

So, C.A.S.H., maybe you can recover some of that dog food money and buy some real greens for your pup. Or maybe it’s better to just bite the bullet so you don’t have to sift through poop. I guess you have to just ask yourself what your comfort is worth. But in the future, maybe find a safer place to store your hard-earned greenbacks. All those dead Presidents will thank you.

Has your dog ever eaten your money? What did you do? Let us know in the comments below!

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