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Can Dogs Eat Charcoal?

Can dogs eat charcoal

Dogs are adorable, but undoubtedly, they sometimes put them at risk by consuming unnecessary things. We are pretty sure you might be aware of your dog’s eating habits and sometimes face difficulties as well. Well, here we are discussing the consumption of charcoal.

Some people reported that their dogs ate charcoal. Do understand that it is common for dogs to eat charcoal because it is used to prepare some delicious food items. Sometimes dogs misunderstand charcoal to be the same as meat and wish to try it to get the taste of meat.

But in reality, it is problematic for them. This is happening because of “Pica.” It is a habit in animals that stimulates them to eat non-food substances. Dogs are quite addicted to eating non-edible objects. They try to eat non-edible things regardless of whether they are living or not.

If your dog has eaten charcoal, do not ignore it and reach out to the veterinary doctor because neglecting it may cost your pup’s life.

Well, keep reading here because we are discussing this condition in detail to analyze what steps you are supposed to take in this case and how to keep your dog safe.

Can Dogs Eat Charcoal?

First of all, it is important to understand that charcoal is not poisonous for dogs, but it is not safe either. You cannot think of feeding charcoal to dogs at all because it is responsible for causing some other health issues in dogs.

If somehow your dog has consumed hot charcoal, it will burn the gums, esophagus, mouth, and tongue. This condition is extremely painful for dogs.

However, these days, to ignite charcoal, most people use fire accelerants like lighter fluids, which are toxic to dogs and, in some cases, cause death as well.

Furthermore, it is made with partially burned wood and is indigestible to dogs. There is a possibility of small pieces of charcoal moving through the gut of the dog, but one cannot expect the same scenario with larger pieces, and it calls for an emergency.

Things to do if your dog ate charcoal

If you notice your dog eating charcoal, you have to take effective measures quickly. This includes:

Stop your dog right away

Firstly, you need to stop your dog from accessing and eating more charcoal. Then, you can simply clean the surroundings or take your pet away with you to the surroundings where there is no charcoal.

Feed your dog with water

After eating charcoal, it is not advisable to give the dog anything solid to eat. But water is fine, and you can feed them with one to two gallons of water.

Check their mouths

This may sound a bit tricky, but you need to check their mouth and analyze how much charcoal they have eaten. If they have just eaten a very small quantity, you will notice it in their mouth. But if they have consumed large pieces, it will get stuck in their throat, and their body activity will show it.

Approach the doctor

If you notice any change in your dog’s behavior within 2 to 3 hours, or you have a doubt that they have consumed a good quantity of charcoal, do not delay in approaching the veterinary doctor. Let the doctor know about the entire episode so that they can conclude where to start. 

Monitor your dog

After having a conversation with the veterinary doctor, keep a close eye on your dog and monitor them for the next 48 hours. There is a possibility that you will notice some signs related to gastrointestinal issues. In that case, you need to approach the doctor again. If you have not approached the doctor previously, in that case, too, it is mandatory to pay attention closely.

Signs to notice in dogs if they have eaten charcoal

Some possible signs will help you realize whether your dog is doing fine or not after eating charcoal. But first of all, it is important to notice whether they have eaten it or not. The possible signs indicating it includes:

Behavioral changes

The first sign you will notice is the change in their behavior. You notice that they are not being themselves and have started behaving annoyingly.

Choking hazards

If your dog has consumed a large piece of charcoal, issues of choking hazards are present, and you will be able to notice them with their activities.

Gastrointestinal issues

Gastrointestinal issues do not develop immediately, but within 24 to 48 hours, you will be able to notice that. Sometimes it makes the dog extremely weak, and they start vomiting every time they try to eat or drink something.

Skin irritation

If the dog has consumed the charcoal loaded with light fuel, skin irritation is really very common with it. Furthermore, they will also experience sores in their mouths and have difficulty breathing.

Intestinal issues

In some dogs, the chances of intestinal issues are also there. Consumption of charcoal has a major impact on the intestine and leads to different intestinal problems.

Is it safe to feed a dog with activated charcoal?

First, understand that activated charcoal and charcoal are not the same. Activated charcoal is given to pets when they have eaten something toxic.

Activated charcoal is processed charcoal that has been treated with oxygen as well. As a result, all the impurities have been removed, making it absorbent. Consumption of activated charcoal is considered when dogs have consumed some toxins because it successfully binds the toxins and also removes the impurities from your dog’s digestive system.

What we learned from all this

Charcoal is not an edible item for dogs. If your dog has consumed charcoal, monitor them and see whether they are doing fine or not. If you notice even the slightest change in their behavior or in their habits, reach out to the veterinary doctor immediately. Moreover, be prepared to deal with gastrointestinal issues as well because charcoal consumption is responsible for it.

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Anuja Saxena

I am a dog lover who spent her childhood in the company of a friendly Labrador Retriever. I believe that pets make our lives more enjoyable and stress-free. So, here I am, attempting to share my experiences and knowledge to improve the lives of pets and pet owners.