My Dog Ate Dishwasher Detergent! What do I do?

Guilty Dog Face

Dogs have a funny way of keeping us on our toes. Between getting into the trash, chewing the leg of the couch, or even eating dishwasher detergent, it pays to be vigilant in making sure your home is as pet safe as possible. Dog poisoning can come from many common household cleaning products such as dishwasher detergent pods, which is why they should always be kept out of reach from your four-legged buddy.

Here is what to do if your dog ate dishwasher detergent, whether in pod form, or any other form.

  • First, be sure your dog has ingested the pod or detergent and has not spit it out or picked it up and carried it elsewhere. This step may sound silly, but it can save you time, stress, and money in the long run.
  • Once you have confirmed your dog ate dishwasher detergent, call your vet immediately. They will be able to help you determine whether or not you need to come into the vet’s office or if you need to put your dog under a watch period.
  • NEVER try to induce vomiting on your own. This can be more harmful than helpful if not done properly.
  • If it is a late hour and you are close to The Animal Hospital of Sussex County you can call our emergency line for help here: (973) 579-1155. If you cannot get to our office because you are not at home, you can contact the ASPCA Animal Poison Control helpline to find services closer to you and to get over the phone assistance.

What are the symptoms my dog may have from eating dishwasher detergent?

This may vary based on the ingredients of the dishwasher detergent ingested.

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Burns of the mouth, esophagus, and stomach
  • Body shaking
  • Trouble breathing
  • Excessive Drooling
  • Lethargy

What can I do to prevent my dog eat dishwashing detergent?

  • Keep all cleaning products on a top shelf, away from the reach of your dog.
  • Use child safety locks on your cabinets that contain potentially poisonous items. This is especially helpful for owners of adventurous dogs who enjoy opening doors and finding new scents.
  • Keep all cleaning products in a room that the dog is not allowed in or is locked.

Dishwasher pods are especially dangerous to dogs because they are a concentrated formula, meaning they are smaller but more potent. The level of toxicity will vary by detergent type and your dog’s reaction will vary by size – but all potential poison situations should be handled extremely quickly. Be sure to call us to set a course of action to make sure your dog is not at risk of an extreme reaction.


Our Certifications

AAHA: The Animal Hospital of Sussex County is a certified hospital in the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA). To achieve this distinction, our hospital has passed regular comprehensive inspections of our facilities, medical equipment, veterinary practice methods and management. If you are traveling or relocating anywhere, finding an AAHA hospital will ensure the best medical care for your pet. The AAHA is recognized as the world’s leading association of small animal practitioners.

AAFP: We are also a cat friendly practice, certified by the American Association of Feline Practitioners. This means that the Animal Hospital of Sussex County is specifically set up to decrease stress and provide a more calming environment for your cat. Our staff has also been trained in feline-friendly handling and understanding cat behavior in order to increase the quality of care for your cat.

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