My Dog Ate Used Charcoal What Should I Do?

By Julie •  Updated: 07/09/21 •  3 min read
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Outdoor grilling is huge these days! What’s better than grilling steak, burgers, and veggies on a warm summer’s day? But what happens if your dog eats some used charcoal?

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Has your dog eaten used charcoal? Are you worried the used charcoal will make your dog sick? If so, then you’ve come to the right place. We know it’s scary when your dog eats something he shouldn’t.

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

In this article, we’ve put together some information about used charcoal and whether or not it can make your dog sick. Let’s get started!

Why Would a Dog Eat Charcoal?

Remember the juice of the meat you cooked on the grill? That can be a draw for dogs. They don’t find the meat; however, they do find used charcoal that smells like meat! So, they go ahead and eat the charcoal. Dogs are extremely driven by the super sense of smell.

In addition, dogs that don’t get enough to eat, are suffering from nutritional deficiencies, or who may have parasites are also driven to eat strange things. This can include used charcoal.

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Some dogs also have a condition called pica, which makes them eat non-food items. This can include socks, rocks, underwear, and even used charcoal. Whatever seems appealing, a dog with pica will eat.

So, can used charcoal make a dog sick?

Used Charcoal & Dogs

The good news is that charcoal is not toxic to dogs. However, hot charcoal can cause serious burns to a dog’s mouth, tongue, throat, and more. In addition, if lighter fluid was used on the charcoal, this could be toxic to your dog.

Another issue is that an unchewed briquette could become lodged in the intestines and create a blockage. This is called an intestinal blockage, which is a very dangerous condition. Left untreated, it can lead to death.

Symptoms of Used Charcoal Ingestion in Dogs

You may notice these symptoms if your dog has eaten charcoal:

It may be your fur baby has vomited up most of the charcoal. In that case, he should be just fine. However, if you notice the symptoms above with the following, then call the vet immediately. It may mean your dog has developed an intestinal blockage:

If you notice these symptoms, then call the vet immediately. This is an emergency.

As you can see, used charcoal may cause limited problems, or it may cause more serious issues. If your dog has swallowed used charcoal, it’s probably a good idea to call the vet right away. They will have the best advice on what you need to do to help your dog!

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Julie

Julie is a graduate of the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, where she studied Animal science. Though contrary to the opinion of her parents she was meant to study pharmacy, but she was in love with animals especially cats. Julie currently works in an animal research institute (NGO) in California and loves spending quality time with her little cat. She has the passion for making research about animals, how they survive, their way of life among others and publishes it. Julie is also happily married with two kids.

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