My Dog Ate Ashes Will He Get Sick? (Reviewed by Vet)

Reviewed By Rebecca MacMillan, BVetMed BSAVA PGCertSAM MRCVS •  Updated: 04/14/23 •  3 min read
Dog Severe Toxicity Level
The contents of the website, such as text, graphics, images, and other material contained on this site (“Content”) are for informational purposes only. The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding the medical condition of your pet. Never disregard professional advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website! Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase this item or service, we will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions remain our own.

Cooking outdoors on the grill smells wonderful, doesn’t it? Can’t you just smell that mouth-watering steak cooking, with the juices falling and sizzling on the charcoal below? Many of us love to fire up the grill and eat out in the backyard. It’s fun, plus foods just seem to taste better grilled!

Online Veterinary 24/7
Chat With A Veterinarian Online

Connect with a verified veterinarian in minutes. Licensed vets are available 24/7 to answer your questions. No need to worry about your furry family member.

But what happens if your dog eats some of the ashes?

Dog Ate Ashes

Why Would a Dog Eat Ashes?

That’s a good question and one that doesn’t have a clear answer. In some cases, dogs may suffer from pica, which is a condition that makes them eat non-food items. These may include anything from dirt and ashes to socks and rocks!

It is strongly recommended to contact a Pet Poison Helpline or your veterinarian.

Then there are other dogs who are simply attracted to the food smells that come from the charcoal. Remember those sizzling meat juices? That’s what your dog may be after.

But can ashes make your dog sick?

Eating Ashes Can Make Dogs Sick

Ashes aren’t just the leftovers of charcoal and food juices. They also contain toxins that can be dangerous for dogs including potassium, petroleum, borax, sulfur oxides, lighter fluids, and sodium nitrate.

In addition, if the ashes are still hot, they can cause burns in the dog’s mouth, esophagus, and stomach.

There’s also one more problem—if a dog eats enough ash, it’s entirely possible he could develop an intestinal blockage. This is a life-threatening medical emergency.

Symptoms of an Intestinal Blockage in Dogs

You may notice these symptoms if your dog has eaten ashes and has developed an intestinal blockage:

If your dog is showing any of these symptoms, then call the vet immediately. This is a medical emergency.

My Dog Ate Some Ash – What Should I Do?

If your dog has eaten only a very tiny amount of ash, he should be OK. He may have stomach upset that’s accompanied by vomiting and diarrhea, but these shouldn’t last too long. However, if you suspect he has burnt his mouth on hot ashes then call your vet.

Similarly, if your dog has eaten a large amount of ash, then call the vet immediately.

It’s possible the vet may ask to see your dog. At the vet’s, they will do a complete physical exam of your dog. They may also order lab work, as well as imaging tests. The imaging tests are needed so the vet can work out if a gastrointestinal obstruction is occurring.

Treatment will depend on where and how much ash may be in the dog’s stomach and/or intestines. If the vet finds a blockage, then your fur baby may require surgery. However, with prompt treatment, most dogs will go on to make a full recovery.

CheckedbyVets stamp

(Visited 8,061 times, 1 visits today)
Online Veterinary 24/7
Chat With A Veterinarian Online

Connect with a verified veterinarian in minutes. Licensed vets are available 24/7 to answer your questions. No need to worry about your furry family member.

Rebecca MacMillan, BVetMed BSAVA PGCertSAM MRCVS

This article has been reviewed and approved by an independent Veterinarian: Rebecca is a companion animal vet who has always had a passion for writing and client communication. Since her graduation from the Royal Veterinary college in 2009 she has gained a wealth of experience in first opinion small animal practice, in both clinical and managerial roles. She currently works in the South West and deals with a variety of routine and emergency appointments, but particularly enjoys medicine cases. Outside of work and writing, she enjoys spending time with her family, including her bouncy flat coated retriever George!

Keep Reading