Cigarettes and other tobacco products remain pretty popular with pet parents. And this means there’s a chance that a dog could find tobacco and eat it! A dog could find cigarette butts, a cigar lying around at home, and more. But what happens if a dog eats tobacco?
Has your dog eaten tobacco? Are you worried that tobacco 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 tobacco and whether it can make a dog sick. Let’s get started!
What is Tobacco?
Tobacco comes from plants in the Nicotiana family, and it’s the term used for products that are made from the cured leaves of these plants. There are over 70 species of tobacco around the world! But one of the most popular types of tobacco is N. tabacum.
Dried tobacco leaves can be used to create cigars, cigarettes, and more for smoking. However, it can also be made into a product called snuff or chewing tobacco.
What happens if a dog eats tobacco? Can tobacco make a dog sick?
Tobacco & Dogs
Unfortunately, tobacco can make a dog very sick. That’s because it contains a substance called nicotine. Nicotine is highly toxic to dogs (and other animals).
Symptoms of Nicotine Toxicity in Dogs
You may notice these symptoms if your dog has eaten nicotine:
- Abnormal heart rate
- Dilated pupils
- Extreme excitement/agitation
- High or low blood pressure
- And more
If you notice these or any other concerning symptoms in your dog, call the vet immediately. This is an emergency.
Treatment of Nicotine Toxicity in Dogs
Treatment will depend on the amount of nicotine that your dog has ingested and how long ago he ate it. If it’s been less than four hours, the vet may induce vomiting and use activated charcoal to remove the toxins from your dog’s body.
The vet may also give your canine companion an IV for fluids and to administer medications. The vet will also treat other symptoms that are present or arise. It’s possible your fur baby may need to be hospitalized so the vet can monitor his condition overnight.
The prognosis is best for dogs who receive prompt medical treatment after eating tobacco. If your dog has a penchant for eating tobacco (cigarette butts and more), it’s a good idea to train him to “drop it” and always keep an eye on what he’s doing when out for a walk. Dogs are fast and can eat something before you say no! So, keep an eye on your fur baby. You’ll both be happier for it!