My Dog Ate Charcoal What Should I Do?

By Kim •  Updated: 03/04/20 •  3 min read
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Our canine fur babies sometimes make amazing choices as to what they decide to eat. Has your dog ever eaten charcoal, such as a briquette made for the grill? Or has he perhaps stolen a cold piece of charcoal from the grill? Then you’ve come to the right place!

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Is Charcoal Toxic for Dogs?

Charcoal isn’t usually toxic for dogs. It may make him sick, but the good news is that charcoal isn’t poisonous.

Can My Dog Be Lactose Intolerant?
Can My Dog Be Lactose Intolerant?

There are many reasons your dog may have chosen to each charcoal, but he should be OK. The main issue will be if he swallowed a whole briquette. The briquette will not be digested and could become lodged in your pup’s intestines, causing an intestinal blockage. This can be an emergency health issue.

The only time charcoal is toxic to our canine companions is if it has lighter fluid on it. Then this could be a problem. If you believe your fur baby’s eaten charcoal coated with lighter fluid, then call the vet immediately.

Your Dog Could Develop an Upset Stomach After Eating Charcoal

While charcoal isn’t usually toxic, it can bring on an upset stomach in your dog. Symptoms may include:

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If your dog has vomited after eating the charcoal, check to see if it looks like most of the coal came back out.

If you notice your pup’s become constipated, seems not able to have a bowel movement, and seems to have a painful, swollen abdomen, then he may have a bowel obstruction. You need to call the vet ASAP as this is a medical emergency.

Other Health Issues with Charcoal

Eating charcoal can cause some other health issues for dogs. If the charcoal is full of fat from meat that’s been grilled, your fur baby could develop pancreatitis, which is inflammation of the pancreas. You’ll notice some of the symptoms already listed above. If you believe your dog has this problem, be sure to call the vet as soon as possible.

Another possible issue that could develop is kidney trouble, if the charcoal was covered with lighter fluid or was the quick-lighting type. These contain petroleum distillates that can cause kidney failure. Your fur baby may be drinking more than normal and need to urinate more often. If you notice these symptoms, be sure to call your vet immediately.

Your fur baby may want that charcoal because it smells like meat. If he eats it, chances are he’ll be OK. If you’re worried, call the vet and get their advice right away.

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Kim

Kim is a talented author, who loves animals especially dogs. She engaged in writing books and articles relating to animals a decade ago. Kim resides in Chicago with her husband and son. The family is the proud owner of a dog and a parrot (Jack and Lily). Kim wanted more than these two pets, but her husband put his foot down... She often visits elementary schools to talk to the kids about what she learned about pets and how they could learn from them.

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