Insecticide Poisoning in Dogs: A Guide

Have you ever thought about how insecticides can affect the health of your dog? Insecticides are already widely used, and as they’re becoming more relied on by consumers it’s important to understand the risks insecticides can pose to your dog. If you’re not familiar with insecticides or haven’t considered their harmful effects, here’s a guide to help you understand what insecticide poisoning in dogs looks like, how to identify the common signs, diagnose insecticide poisoning, and of course how it can be treated.

What Are Insecticides?

Insecticides are substances specifically used to kill insects. There are multiple forms of insecticide and each performs differently. They can come in the form of sprays, dusts, gels, and baits. Organochlorides, organophosphates, and carbamates are a few examples of insecticides on the market. Haven’t heard of them? These insecticides are commonly used to keep pests away from plants in areas prone to flea and tick infestation.

How Can insecticides Hurt My Dog?

Different insecticides can pose different risks to any living animal or human that comes into contact with it – including your dog. Misuse and exposure to heavily treated areas can be toxic to dogs. Dogs are particularly at risk of inhaling or ingesting debris left on grass, eating a plant which has been treated with the chemical, or even eating an undissolved pellet of insecticide. If you’ve purchased a consumer product to keep insects away from your plants, or even to specifically protect your dog from fleas and ticks, there’s a chance they contained insecticides. While these products can be safe when used correctly, it’s important to recognize the potential dangers these certain pesticides pose to your pet.

What Are The Signs And Symptoms of Insecticide Poisoning?

Exposure to toxic chemicals can affect all dogs differently. Below is a list of typical signs and symptoms of insecticide poisoning:

The effects of insecticide poisoning are serious and can be fatal. So, if your dog is showing symptoms of poisoning, bring them to a veterinarian as soon as possible.

How Will I Know If My Dog Has Insecticide Poisoning?

An official diagnosis cannot be confirmed until a blood sample has been sent to the lab. If insecticide poisoning is suspected, your veterinarian will immediately stabilize and decontaminate your dog. Once it’s been confirmed your dog has insecticide poisoning, it’s important to consider the possible incidents which could have caused this condition in the first place. Think about where your dog has been – where could this have occurred? Do you have an idea of what type of toxin your dog may have been exposed to? Providing any additional information to the vet will be helpful in determining the best course of treatment.

How Can It Be Treated?

Treatment of insecticide poisoning depends on whether the chemical was applied or ingested. However, in both cases the goal is the same: decontaminate your pet and treat the symptoms. If the chemical was applied, simply bathing your dog with dish detergent may be enough to successfully decontaminate. If it was ingested, however, that’s a different story. In these cases, the insecticide needs to be flushed out of your dog’s stomach. This is typically achieved through inducing vomiting and/or emptying the bowels. Depending on the severity of your dog’s symptoms, IV therapy may be necessary to aid with dehydration. As the insecticides are flushed out, your vet will closely monitor symptoms to ensure your pet is being provided excellent treatment and supportive care.

How Long Is The Recovery and How Can iI Be Prevented?

At the end of the day, the sooner your dog is treated the better the prognosis. Plenty of rest and easy access to water are two important things your dog will need. Continue to monitor him for symptoms and be sure to notify your vet immediately if you notice anything new and concerning. All in all, it’s easier to prevent insecticide poisoning than it is to treat it. If your applying any flea or tick medication to your dog, be sure to read the instructions carefully and keep all insecticides stored according to the instructions. If your dog enjoys rolling around and playing outside, take him to an area you know is free and clear of insecticides. When in doubt, give your dog a nice clean wash. Now that you know more about insecticides and the impact they can have on your dog, the signs to look for, and what you can do to treat and diagnose poisoning as soon as possible, you can take the proper precautions to ensure your beloved pet is safe.



  1. “Insecticide Poisoning in Dogs – Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost.” WagWalking, 30 Sept. 2015, Accessed 5 Nov. 2018.
  2. “Insecticide Poisoning in Dogs.” PetMD, Accessed 5 Nov. 2018.
  3. “Insecticides, Flea Collars, and Your Dog.” Pet Health Network, Accessed 5 Nov. 2018.


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