Last week a buddy of mine returned home after a training session with one of his springers. He let out the dog, which promptly ran inside the garage. Temporarily out of sight, the dog buried its head inside a gym bag and managed to consume a rather large number of paintballs. Unaware that anything was out of the ordinary, my friend kenneled the dog.
A few hours later, the dog—a field champion and beloved pet—was found dead.
My friend told me a sobering piece of information of which all dog owners should be aware: Many paintball packages are labeled “nontoxic,” when in fact their contents can prove harmful, even fatal to dogs. In a five-year period, at least 44 dogs were harmed by paintballs. That isn’t exactly a staggering number, but enough people enjoy paintball that it’s worth understanding the potentially tragic effects paintballs can have on dogs.