Animals have access because these are often packed with shoes, electronics, vitamins, new clothes, food and many other products. They are designed to protect against spoilage and absorb any moisture to which the product may be exposed. The packets usually say “Do not eat”, or something similar. This warning label obviously causes alarm to an owner whose pet has ingested the packet or its granules. However, silica gel is chemically and biologically inert.
If a pet ingests silica gel granules or packets, there is little risk for danger. GI upset may occur, but usually mild, if at all. It is, however, important to discover the origin of the silica gel packet. If the packet came from a medication bottle, the packet may contain residue from the medication, and the risk from exposure to the drug should also be addressed by a veterinarian. Further, the packets can potentially cause an obstruction in the intestines, if the whole packet or many packets are ingested, particularly in small dogs.
Please call your veterinarian for instruction if your pet ingests any abnormal item.