Dishwashers are common appliances in our homes. They’re great for getting dishes clean and saving you time and effort. There’s no longer a need to stand in front of a dishpan of hot water cleaning dishes! While the dishwasher is an amazing machine, what happens if a dog eats dishwasher detergent?
Has your dog eaten dishwasher detergent? Are you worried the dishwasher detergent will make your dog sick? If so, you’ve come to the right place. We understand it can be scary when your dog eats something like this.
We’ve put together information about dishwasher detergent and whether it can make a dog sick. Let’s get started!
What is Dishwasher Detergent?
Dishwasher detergent is used in a dishwasher to get dishes clean. There are different types of dishwasher detergent, including liquid and tablets. These are the most common forms of dishwasher detergent.
Dishwashers need detergents that work to clean the dishes. The ingredients in these products work to make water wetter by reducing surface tension. This helps remove food particles from dishes. In addition, dishwasher detergents make the water soft so that the detergent can be more effective. Detergent must also remove grease and oil while suppressing foam. Dishwasher detergent also helps water “sheet” off surfaces of dishes to keep water spots to a minimum.
Dishwasher detergents typically include the following ingredients:
- Surfactant (nonionic): works to lower the surface tension of water
- Builder (complex phosphates): makes the water softer
- Corrosion inhibitor: protects machine parts and the removal of patterns from china
- Chlorine compound: for sanitizing
- Additives: sometimes used to inhibit overglaze and pattern removal from china.
- Alkalis: used to handle grease and oil
- Perfume: to cover the chemical odor of the detergent
- Processing aids: inert materials that allow active ingredients to be combined into a useable form (such as a tablet)
Dishwasher detergents are very effective at cleaning dishes but what happens if a dog eats dishwasher detergent?
Dishwasher Detergent & Dogs
Unfortunately, dishwasher detergent can be toxic to dogs.
Symptoms of Dishwasher Detergent Ingestion in Dogs
You may notice these symptoms if your dog has eaten dishwasher detergent:
- Rubbing mouth with paws
- Excessive tongue licking
- Respiratory distress
- Shaking of the head
If you notice any of these symptoms in your dog, call the vet immediately. This is an emergency.
Be sure to let the vet know what brand of dishwasher detergent your dog has eaten. The vet will also need to know what time this took place.
Treatment usually involves decontamination by washing the dog’s mouth, eyes, and face. Next, the vet may give your fur baby milk, egg whites, or water. The milk and egg whites coat the stomach and relieve GI issues. They also work to dilute the substance your dog has eaten.
Your fur baby may also require an IV for fluids and to give him medication. It’s possible your dog may need to be hospitalized, depending on the severity of his symptoms.
The good news is that most dogs who receive prompt medical treatment will make a full recovery.