My Dog Ate Charcoal: What Should I Do Now? (4 Tips)

Dogs don’t run out of ways to surprise us, and they can even go far as to eating things we can’t imagine they would. As always, our pets may eat whatever it sees. Thus, those things would still be the ones found in our homes. If you’re reading this article, your dog may have eaten charcoal, and it’s not that surprising.

So, you may ask: my dog ate charcoal: what should I do now? Charcoal isn’t likely enough to put your pet in danger. However, it can still make your dog sick. The first thing you need to do is observe your pet for adverse reactions and symptoms after eating the coal. If your dog seems alright, you don’t need to do anything further. Now, if your dog shows some severe signs, it would be best to contact a vet.

The thing about charcoals is that they don’t contain anything toxic that can put your pet at risk. Still, it can cause an upset stomach if ingested. If your dog swallowed a whole piece, it could cause a blockage.

In this article, we’ll tackle everything you need to know about this matter. This way, you’ll understand what the proper response should be to keep your pet safe.

Without further ado, let’s get into it!

What should I do if my dog ate charcoal?

Dogs that have eaten charcoal would show no signs at all. Thus, it can be challenging to know if your dog ate some or not.

Nevertheless, a dog that ate charcoal isn’t likely to suffer from severe symptoms.

Of course, as pet owners, we want to ensure our pet’s safety, and that we need to ensure that nothing is wrong with them. Here are four simple tips you can do if your dog ate such an item.

Observe your dog.

You need to observe your dog and look for any signs of pain or reaction after eating charcoal.

Some symptoms would mean danger, and if such happens, you may need to call or take your pet to the nearest vet.

Charcoals aren’t likely to cause severe symptoms. Still, it’s not something you should take lightly. Always keep in mind that all circumstances vary.

Thus, while a piece of coal may be nothing for some dogs, it can be grave for others.

If your pet seems alright and doesn’t show any signs of severe symptoms, you may proceed with the next one.

Clean the area and remove the remnants.

The last thing you’ll want is for your pet to eat more charcoal. Thus, you should remove any remnants from the area.

Dogs usually find such things in kitchens and cooking areas. More likely, they may find it lying around after you cook as they look for scraps of food around.

Wherever the charcoal came from, make sure the area is secure and no more remnants of this thing.

Understand what happened.

Charcoals are harmless for dogs. However, it can turn into quite a danger if ingested in large quantities.

For this reason, understanding the situation will give you an idea of how you should deal with it.

It would be best to take note of every detail you can gather regarding the incident.

Here are a few questions that you need to answer and understand from the scene.

  • How much charcoal did your pet eat?
  • How long has it been since it happened? (the sooner you knew, the better)
  • Did your dog consume other items aside from the charcoal?

Getting such information would make you understand how worse the incident is.

Moreover, it will help you report what happened if you visit the vet and ask about what happened.

Take your pet to your vet.

Charcoals may not pose that much of a threat. However, nothing beats the assurance coming from your vet.

An immediate call to your vet upon learning about the situation would give you an expert’s advice on what to do.

As long as you give every piece of information you can gather, it will help diagnose your pet’s condition.

Moreover, your vet will give you some directions on what to do and what to observe with your dog.

Even if your dog shows no adverse reaction upon taking the coal, a visit to the vet will help you ensure it is alright.

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What happens if a dog eats a piece of charcoal?

A dog that ate charcoal may not be at risk. However, it is still enough to make its stomach upset.

Larger coals, if eaten whole, can cause intestinal blockage. Such a complication can be enough to put its life in danger.

Another thing to consider is if the charcoal has some gas or other chemical substance in it.

While the coal may not be toxic, chemicals mixed with it may put your pet in danger.

For this reason, it would be best always to keep all kinds of charcoal out of your pet’s reach.


Is charcoal toxic to dogs?

Charcoal of any kind isn’t usually toxic to dogs. Of course, it can make your pet sick. However, it’s not poisonous to put your pet in danger.

Charcoals simply come from wood, but their residues may contain chemicals and minerals. Among these are potassium, sulfur oxides, lighter fluids, petroleum, and sodium nitrates.

Thus, while charcoal itself isn’t toxic, the components in it that your dog can eat can be lethal.

For this reason, it’s always best to understand the situation and determine if the coal your dog ate has some added chemicals.

Why do dogs eat charcoal?

It’s quite uncertain why dogs would eat charcoal, though they eat almost anything they see.

Still, one thing to note is that charcoal relates to cooking. Further, we can agree on the fact that grilling on top of coals is quite tempting.

If grilling smells good for us, how much more will it be for our pets. If your dog sees you grilling, it may consider both the meat and the charcoal as edible.

Since they usually smell similar due to the smoke, your pet may eat it out for this reason.

For this reason, it would always be best to keep charcoal out of your pet’s reach. Although it’s not that toxic, coals can still make your dog sick.

Can activated charcoal hurt a dog?

Activated charcoal is quite famous for being a treatment, not only for us but even for our dogs.

Of course, all circumstances vary from each other. Thus, activated charcoal may cause complications such as vomiting in some dogs.

However, the usual case is that a dog that eats activated charcoal hardly ever shows any side effects.

Other effects can happen aside from vomiting. This type of coal can induce eye irritations, diarrhea, constipation, and black feces.

If misused, activated charcoal can lead to severe symptoms. Thus, it would always be best to proceed with caution every time you use such an item.

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Is charcoal edible for dogs?

While charcoal isn’t toxic, it’s not something we can consider edible for dogs. Of course, other coals like activated charcoal work as a treatment for intoxication.

When we speak of charcoal, it is more of treatment rather than food you can offer.

While it’s the first line of treatment for intoxication, it’s not ideal for you to give your dog such if it feels alright.

Still, if your pet ate charcoal, it won’t cause that much of an issue. Nevertheless, it’s essential to prepare in case your pet starts showing symptoms.

Are charcoal dog treats safe?

Charcoal dog treats are safe as long as you use activated charcoal designed for dogs. Such an item is available in local pet stores and even online.

Activated charcoal for dogs can serve as treats and is safe for them to eat once or even twice a day.

By eating such, your pet will prevent a doggie odor and bad breath. Of course, usage of this item should always be in moderation.

Moreover, it would be best to get the approval of your vet before giving your pet some.

All in all, activated charcoals would do well as a treat for your dog, and it should be perfectly safe for your pet.

How to prevent dogs from eating charcoal?

A dog eating charcoal isn’t new. However, it should be a lesson to prevent it from happening again.

Here are some of the things you can do to prevent your pet from eating ant traps again.

Place charcoals somewhere unreachable.

The first thing you need is to consider a place where you will store your coal. It would be ideal for putting it somewhere your dog can’t see and reach.

When grilling with charcoal, it would be best not to let your pet see you. It’s essential to do your grill somewhere your pet can’t reach.

This way, you can be sure your pet won’t get its hands on such a poison again.

Divert your dog’s attention.

Another thing you can do is to divert your dog’s attention away from the charcoal. You can do this by giving your pet an interactive toy.

Moreover, it would be best to allow your pet to play in areas without coals lying around.

For instance, if you’re using coals in a particular place, it would be best to restrict your pet from accessing the area.

This way, you’ll avoid having your pet running around and reencountering charcoals.

Introduce such toys with your guidance, and leave them with your pet only as long as you think it’s alright. It may take a few days or weeks, depending on the output of your dog.

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Charcoal is a useful item that almost every household keeps. Since this thing relates to cooking, it’s no wonder why many pets take it as food as well.

The thing about charcoal is that it’s not a poisonous item for our pets. Thus, the response to such incidents isn’t much. Nevertheless, charcoals can still make our pets sick. For this reason, it would help you avoid such incidents by keeping your coals out of your pet’s reach.

As always, the best way to solve such issues is by preventing them from happening. Thus, always keep your coals out of your dog’s reach.

If you plan to give it to your pet as a treatment for intoxication, avoid giving too much and always ask your vet’s approval beforehand.


Image credits – Canva

[1] Science Direct’s Article on Charcoal

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