My Dog Ate My Wallet!

Here’s something that may surprise you as much as it surprised me. It just so happens that, should your dog eat your money- paper money that is- the United States government will replace it. Yep, you read that correctly. That’s the part that’s the really good news. The not so good news is that, if your dog actually swallows those bills, you will have to retrieve the mutilated end product and clean it up a bit before sending it off to Uncle Sam for reimbursement.

Mutilated currency

Every year the United States Treasury Department reimburses more than 30 million dollars in response to approximately 30,000 mutilated currency claims. In order to qualify as “mutilated,” a bill must be less than one half of its original size and/or require special examination to determine its value.

In addition to damage caused by pets, the most common causes of mutilated currency include flooding, fire, insects, chemicals, and explosions. By the way, paper money is quite harmless to dogs when it is eaten, and it isn’t fully digested within the intestinal tract. In other words, it comes out resembling how it appeared when it was swallowed.

How to receive reimbursement

So, if your dog snatches your wallet and eats his grocery money, here are the steps to follow:

  • Retrieve the remains of your money from your dog’s “bank deposit.”
  • Clean up these remains to the best of your ability.
  • Package this cleaned up end product and mail it to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing in Washington DC.
  • Include a letter stating the estimated value of the currency and an explanation of how the currency became mutilated- “My dog at my wallet!”

Voila! Just like that, problem solved. Way to go United States Government! Wow, how refreshing is it to be able to say that!

What’s the craziest thing your dog ever ate?

Best wishes for the holidays,

Nancy Kay, DVM

Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Author of Speaking for Spot: Be the Advocate Your Dog Needs to Live a Happy, Healthy, Longer Life
Author of Your Dog’s Best Health: A Dozen Reasonable Things to Expect From Your Vet
Recipient, Leo K. Bustad Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year Award
Recipient, American Animal Hospital Association Animal Welfare and Humane Ethics Award
Recipient, Dog Writers Association of America Award for Best Blog
Recipient, Eukanuba Canine Health Award
Recipient, AKC Club Publication Excellence Award
Become a Fan of Speaking for Spot on Facebook

Please visit to read excerpts from Speaking for Spot and Your Dog’s Best Health.   There you will also find “Advocacy Aids”- helpful health forms you can download and use for your own dog, and a collection of published articles on advocating for your pet’s health. Speaking for Spot and Your Dog’s Best Health are available at,, local bookstores, and your favorite online book seller.


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12 Comments on “My Dog Ate My Wallet!

  1. PS to my story…

    My young girl has a taste for money to the point that I considered training her to sniff it out in exchange for treats. She prefers large denomination bills (her fave is $20 bills) but has also eaten a roll of Forever stamps (~$50 worth of stamps). She’s probably made bank around several hundred dollars.

  2. My dobe/weim mix swallowed an adult rabbit whole. He didn’t kill it. He found it dead and feared I would take it from him, so he swallowed it. I gave him peroxide and sure enough, he brought it up, BUT wanted to eat it again.
    As a vet tech I experience many foreign bodies in dogs (corn cobs, underwear, tampons, hair bands, toys, etc.) but my all time favorite was a dog that swallowed a 21 inch choker collar with 7 tags attached. Peroxide was used and the dog brought it up. I cleaned it and returned it to the owner. She then asked “did you find any money?” My reply, “finders keepers, losers weepers”. It seems the dog had also eaten a $5 bill.

  3. One year during the holidays I put a baking sheet full of yeast rolls on the hearth to hasten their rising. Busy in the kitchen, I failed to see my Beagle/Lab chowing down on them– the 60# dog ate the entire trayful! I discovered the baking sheet empty and Sweet Pea peacefully sleeping in front of the fire, her belly swollen as her feast continued to rise inside her. A call to the vet and some Pepto Bismol tablets saved the day for Sweet Pea, but we had dinner without any yeast rolls. This same dog has also survived eating a live mole and 3 Crystal Burgers right out of the bag. leaving the little boxes licked clean and undisturbed!

  4. Oh my dog who knew? Thank you for this fun factoid, because based on our Wyatt’s track record, we may need to take advantage of that reimbursement some day. Thus far in his 8 years, Wyatt has eaten:

    1 Road Flare
    A half pair of denim shorts
    2 wash cloths
    1 hand towel
    2 bandannas
    An entire dog treat bag, belt and all
    And of course, numerous food items including most recently:
    1 protein bar
    2 Thanksgiving pies
    6 submarine sandwich loaves

    Thankfully he’s only needed one $5500 extraction surgery (for the hand towel). Everything else has passed through his cast iron gut without too much drama.

  5. Weirdest thing my Aussie ingested was the top of a silicone baking spatula. We’d thought she’d eaten it about a year before, but it couldn’t be found on the ultrasound or x-ray at the time (it’s about 1′ long), so elected to not do surgery as she wasn’t having symptoms. Fast forward to the following March when she eats a demineralized spare rib bone (unbeknownst to me), which got stuck partway on its ‘journey’. Thankfully the spatula decided to show up on the X-ray, and surgery was successful . The vet clinic thought this was *really* cool, and kept the spatula as a nifty exhibit – none the worse for wear. 100% recovery, and glad my vet got a bit of levity from it all 🙂

  6. My dog ate the silicon “spoonula” end of a small spatula; I thought it might be flexible enough to pass on through; but after a few days of observation….off to the vet..Good news is; Silicon shows up on an ex ray; second piece of good news was it was still rotating around in the stomach; Not so much fun for the dog was a yummy big breakfast which promptly came back up, complete with spoonula!

  7. Hahahahaha there is no “one craziest thing” my dogs have eaten. Here’s a partial list and some expensive stories. Hope you enjoy laughing at our expense…. they all ended well.

    Tuna in a can: Mama found my pantry in the basement, sniffed out which can was tuna, pulled the can off the shelf then bit holes in the can to get at the tuna inside. Empty.

    Jars of jam: Mama found the case of jam jars on a table, pulled it down to smash the jars, and ate the jam AND glass.

    Shoes and undies: Mama gnawed the heels of every expensive pair of dress shoes I had… and I had a lot of them. She also had a taste for only the priciest underpants (ie, mine, never hubby’s. If we turned our back on her at all (easy to do in this nuthouse), I could find my stuff under the bed (her special “lair”)…. ruined.

    Razors and vaseline: If Mama was supposed to be in the breed ring, some misfortune was bound to pre-occur. A jar of Vaseline is very hard to get out of coat pants… mark as absent. Safety razors are also apparently a treat.

    Barbie hands: Mama also like to eat Barbie hands, but only one hand per doll! My daughter had the largest collection of AmputeeBarbie® dolls in the USA. Feet were also delectable, with the same rule: one foot per doll then on to the next.

    Death by Chocolate: Mama found the bags of baking chocolate one year and ate 2 pounds of it. Hubs says “Come clean up this dog poop”… as soon as I walked into the room, I recognized the smell and knew it was not poop. Hello, ER vet! Again. (She survived just fine)

    Rising Pita dough: Sneezed while rolling and had an emergency run. Came back to find 7 loaves, not 8. Immediately poured peroxide into daughter of “She who eats anything” and called vet. He said take her to ER vet if nothing comes up in 15 minutes. At 15 minutes, I loaded her into the car and took off. At approximately 18 minutes and at 35 mph, the peroxide did its thing. Freezing cold night, and I am driving down the road throwing dog foamy dog dough yak out the window as fast it came and I couldn’t keep up with it. It was literally EVERYWHERE. You have no idea how copious and sticky 1 tiny loaf of pita dough actually is until it has had a SuperRise® in your dog’s tummy.

    Bags-o-flour: Numerous occurences with different dogs. You have no idea how sticky corn flour mixed with dog spit is.

    Pea Gravel: My dogs all have a “Don’t ask, don’t smell” policy: “If it is the same size as kibble, it’s kibble. Maybe.”

    Sink aerator: Small part fell out of my hand while removing it and young dog scarfed it up as soon as it hit the floor. “Don’t ask, don’t smell”… scarf it up before the other dogs can get to it and hope for the best.

  8. Glad dogs can run money through them safely. I am smiling from this tale.

  9. Dumbest thing one of my dogs ate was when my usually intelligent Border Collie ate an unused small SOS Pad he swiped from the kitchen counter. I didn’t know what had become of it until I found it the following day in his stool. He must have thought it was a toy and fortunately seemed no worse the wear for the experience.

  10. That happened to us a few years ago. We noticed hubby’s wallet on the floor and a trail of credit cards leading outside. The two dollar bills were still there, but a $50 was missing. For several days we inspected all “deposits” from the doggy perp, but came up empty. A while later, after it had rained, I spotted some pieces of bill in a pile of grass clippings and a thorough search yielded most of the pieces. After washing them, we taped them back together and turned it in to the bank for replacement.

    The dog was a rescue who we loved dearly. Before we found the pieces, we joked that she finally had some value with a $50 bill inside her 🙂 .

  11. Worst thing one of my dogs ate a couple of years ago was a small treat pouch complete with safety pin attached to it!! Good news is the pin was closed, bad news is he required surgery to retrieve it as it was starting to cut off blood flow. Best news is he recovered without incident ?

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