Household Chemicals Toxic To Dogs
Quicklinks To Information on Chemicals
Toxic to Dogs
If you believe your dog has ingested a a substance that is poisonous to dogs, call a poison control hotline such as the one offered by the ASPCA right away (888) 426-4435 ($65 charge) or the Animal Poison Control Center (800) 548-2423. If you have the package for the product, check the label for instructions. Do not induce vomiting unless suggested by a veterinary or hotline professional. Act fast to avoid causing permanent harm. If you see your dog suffering from seizures, is fading or losing consciousness or is having breathing difficulties, bring your dog directly to an emergency veterinary clinic. Chemical poisoning can be lethal, so always act on the side of caution and call a veterinarian immediately.
For additional detail on specific dog toxic poisons, click the links below:
- Ant Insecticides
- Dog Antifreeze Poisoning
(also for barbecue fluid, white spirit poisoning or ethylene glycol)
- Cleaning Products
- Fly and Mosquito
- Flea and Tick Products
- Lawn Insecticides
- Lead Poisoning
- Rat Poison
- Slug and Snail Poison
- Zinc poisoning
Common Household Chemicals Such As Rat Poison, Antifreeze and Mothballs (left to right) Are Toxic To Dogs
- lethargic behavior
- poor appetite
- decline in coordination
If you know what your dog ingested, check the label. Look for words such as danger or poison. Assume that product toxic to humans with also be toxic to dogs.
What the Chemical Label Words Mean:
Pesticide product labels are a good place to start when determining how to avoid poisoning from products such as lawn insecticides. The REI (restricted entry interval) lists how long you should wait before a dog should be allowed on the lawn. This includes the removal of any dog toes or other items that come in contact with your pet prior to treating lawn or plant areas.
Insecticides, Household and Automotive Chemicals
The insecticide Bendiocarb kills ants, crickets and fleas. Manufacturers are currently reducing or phasing it out. It causes excessive salvation, chest discomfort and muscle tremors. The insecticide Avermectin B1, used to kill fire ants, is toxic to dogs. Related symptoms are tremors and lethargy.
(antifreeze) is one of the most dangerous things your dog could ingest.
Dogs are attracted to its sweet smell and taste. A tablespoon of
antifreeze could kill (approximately 5) or it can cause severe symptoms
in a small dog. Antifreeze
dog poison treatment within hours of ingesting the poison includes
induced vomiting to empty the stomach. Charcoal is giving to the dog to
absorb antifreeze that is in the intestines. A medication is used which
can prevent the dog's liver from converting the antifreeze into toxins
that can harm the dog. Similar steps are taken for white spirit
or barbecue light fluid poisoning.
If dog kidney failure has already started, treatment is still possible with more aggressive approaches such as canine kidney dialysis. Dialysis can remove toxins which can give the dog's kidney an opportunity to repair themselves. A dog kidney transplant can also be used in chronic cases.
The prognosis for dogs treated within 12
hours after ingesting anti-freeze is good. The prognosis is grave after
Antifreeze Dog Poison Symptoms:
- increased water consumption
- increase in urination, with less urine each time
- CALL - If you suspect dog antifreeze poisoning call an emergency veterinary clinic, your veterinarian or if you can't reach someone immediately call the ASPCA 24 hour poison hot line at (888) 426-4435.
- INDUCE VOMITING - Vomiting will get as much antifreeze out of your dogs system as possible.
- RACE TO VET - your vet will give your dog 4-methylpyrazole or ethanol to keep the antifreeze from breaking down into toxins.
Antifreeze dog poison problems can be avoided by picking up the poison from leaking cars and by storing the product in sealed containers. Better yet, buy a pet safe antifreeze made from propylene glycol such as the Sierra shown on the right.
Dog Antifreeze Poisoning Prevention
Don't Use This
Cleaning products can cause burning in your dogs mouth, eyes, nose, stomach and skin. Dangerous products that are toxic to dogs include:
- Dish washing Gel and Detergents
- Drain Openers
- Laundry Detergents
- Oven Cleaner
- Toilet Bowl Cleaner
Organophosphates when used in lawn insecticides can be dangerous to dogs and could cause tremors and seizures. According to the ASPCA, this represents approximately 20% of calls to their poison hot line.
A University of Colorado study indicated that higher levels of the insecticide 2,4 D were found in dogs that lived near treated lawns. A study published in 1995 in Environmental Research Journal shows a “statistically significant” increase in the risk of canine malignant lymphoma in dogs exposed to herbicides, particularly 2,4-D, commonly used on lawns and in “weed and feed” products.
Insecticides that use orthophosphates (Malation, dichlorvos) and those that use carbamates (Carbaryl, Aldicarb, Diazinon, Methiocarb) are shown to inhibit cholinesterase in a Harvard Study. This has been shown to cause aggressive behavior in dogs. A Purdue University studies demonstrated that gardens and lawns treated with pesticide have a higher incidence of transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder (bladder cancer).
The insecticide Rotenone
can cause weight loss and vomiting.
- old paint or furniture
- construction dust
- old flooring made with lead (linoleum)
- fishing weights
Symptoms of lead poisoning in dogs include vomiting, diarrhea, anemia (less than normal blood cells). Call your veterinarian who will administer a medication for removing lead from your dog's body.
Mothballs that contain the chemicals naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene are dangerous to dogs. Symptoms associated with ingesting mothballs with naphthalene include vomiting, diarrhea, anemia, weakness and collapse. Symptoms with paradichlorobenzene include liver damage, staggering or seizures.
Call your veterinarian and read the ingredients to him or her from the mothball box. Your veterinarian will induce vomiting, administer activated charcoal or intravenous fluids.
The same thing that attracts rats to poison, the taste, is the what causes dogs to ingest rat poison. This type of poison, such as Warfarin can cause dangerous internal bleeding (called an anticoagulant rodenticide). Ingredients and related brands that are toxic to dogs and that can cause canine rodenticide poisoning include:
- coumatetralyl (brands include Racumin, Stunt, Ratryl, Cumakil)
- bromadiolone (brands: Maki, Coumarin, Tomcat, Sarakat Bromabait)
- difenacoum (brands: Neokil, Sakarat D, Sorexa Gel, Neosorexa
Symptoms associated with a dog that eats rat poison include:
- sore joints
- bloody vomit
- blood in the feces
If your dog ate rat poison call your veterinarian immediately to
fatal internal bleeding. Do not wait for symptoms as it might be too
Poison made to kill slugs and snails is harmful to dogs. Products contain the chemical metaldehyde, which tastes good to dogs. Many poisons contain sugar to attract the sails and slugs which also attracts dogs.
Brands of Slug Poison Toxic to Dogs:
- Certis Deal 5
As little as 1 teaspoon can cause dog symptoms such as tremors, twitching and seizures. Other symptoms are:
- excessive salivation
- sudden death
If you suspect this problem call your veterinarian who will use charcoal to absorb the toxin and possibly induce vomiting.
Overdoses from flea and tick products can be toxic to dogs. IF you apply too much of these products could cause severe itching. There are several studies which support this conclusion:
- Bladder cancer in dogs risk is "significantly increased by
topical insecticide use"
Some dog flea control products use orthophosphates, which interfere with the nervous system. Look for ingredients such as Tetrachlorvinphos and Dichlorvos. (avoid these chemicals!!!) If you notice an unusual amount of itching then immediately bathe your dog with a mild canine shampoo lathering and rinsing multiple times. Call your veterinarian if you see seizures, excessive drooling or body tremors. Your veterinarian will provide activated charcoal to absorb any toxins and administer fluids if needed.
Call your poison control center immediately. Your veterinarian will treat your dog for chemical burns. Do not induce vomiting in case cleaning products are caustic
Zinc poisoning is caused by eating objects toxic to dogs such as:
- post 1982 U.S. pennies
- nuts and bolts
- calamine lotion (check label)
- shampoo (check label)
- cabinet hardware
- Zinc oxide ointment
- fishing weights
As little as ingesting 2 pennies can cause poisoning and even death
so act fast! Symptoms associated with zinc poisoning in dogs include
vomiting and anemia (reduced number of red blood cells), red or orange
colored urine, lack of appetite. Treatment for
zinc poisoning is to remove the eaten objects from your dogs digestive
References for Chemicals and Insecticides Toxic to Dogs:Insecticides That Are Dog Toxic (PDF Download, MSU Extension)
Dog Toxic Household Poisons (PDF Download)