Can dogs eat charcoal?

In this brief discussion, we’ll answer the question “ can dogs eat charcoal?” We will also discuss why dogs eat charcoal, the harmful effects of charcoal, if charcoal is toxic for dogs, and what to do if your dog eats charcoal.

Can dogs eat charcoal?

No, dogs cannot eat charcoal. Charcoal is not poisonous to dogs but it does not provide any benefits to dogs either. This non-food item can create many health issues in dogs which can lead to life-threatening situations. 

Dogs will try to chew or eat anything in their sight which is why you need to be very cautious when they’re around stuff that can potentially damage their health. Therefore, you should always keep your dogs away from charcoal.

Why do dogs eat charcoal?

Dogs are known for eating or chewing the strangest things. They follow their natural instinct to chew and try to eat anything in their sight. However, dogs also tend to eat charcoal due to pica. 

Pica is a critical health condition that occurs in humans as well as dogs and drives them to crave and eat non-food items. If your dog starts to eat non-food items more frequently and obsessively, he might be suffering from pica. 

What are the harmful effects of charcoal consumption in dogs?

Charcoal is bad for dog consumption and results in many serious health consequences. Charcoal is made from partially burnt wood which makes it indigestible. This can cause extreme digestive distress in dogs. Some other harmful effects of charcoal are given below:

  • Eating charcoal can put dogs at risk of choking. The small pieces of charcoal can get stuck in their throat and cause breathing difficulties.
  • If your dog eats hot charcoal, it can burn its mouth, tongue, esophagus, and gums. This can be extremely painful for dogs.
  • Charcoal also contains lighter fluid which can be toxic for dogs. Dogs can suffer from extreme health consequences due to such toxic substances.
  • Pieces of charcoal are indigestible and can get stuck in your dog’s intestine. Dogs can suffer from intestinal obstruction which is extremely painful and life-threatening in extreme cases.

Is charcoal toxic for dogs?

No, charcoal is not toxic for dogs. It is unsafe for dogs and can cause serious health issues in them. However, your dog is most likely going to be fine unless he ingests a huge piece of charcoal that can get stuck in his intestine. 

If charcoal gets stuck in your dog’s intestine, it calls for a medical emergency. The only time charcoal is toxic for dogs is if it contains lighter fluid. Otherwise, charcoal is not toxic for dogs.

Can dogs experience stomach distress after eating charcoal?

Yes, dogs can develop stomach distress after eating charcoal. Charcoal is a non-food item that is mainly indigestible by dogs. Consumption of charcoal can greatly upset your dog’s stomach and deteriorate his overall health in many ways. 

Dogs can suffer from diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, abdominal pain, and loss of appetite. Therefore, charcoal should be kept out of your dog’s reach at all times.

Can charcoal consumption cause kidney issues in dogs?

Yes, charcoal consumption can cause kidney issues in dogs. Charcoal is highly unhealthy and bad for dog consumption. If your dog eats charcoal that contains lighter fluid, it can potentially cause kidney issues in dogs which can lead to life-threatening conditions.

If your dog starts to drink more water than usual and pees more frequently, then it’s possible he is going through the early stages of kidney disorders. If you notice such symptoms in dogs, take your dog to the vet as soon as possible and get him checked.

What to do if my dog eats charcoal?

If you catch your dog eating charcoal, the first order of business would be to take the charcoal away from your dog and keep it where it is out of his reach.  Here are some other precautions that you can take to ensure your dog’s safety.

  • Avoid feeding anything to your dog until you’re sure he’s okay. You can, however, offer your dog water till he gets a proper checkup.
  • Next, you need to identify how much charcoal your dog has eaten. Whether he has just licked a piece of charcoal or ingested it.
  • If your dog has eaten a chunk of charcoal, contact your nearest vet for advice.
  • You need to observe your dog for the next 24 hours and notice the development of an upset stomach including vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and constipation.
  • If any of the symptoms appear, take your dog to the nearest vet.


We answered the question “ can dogs eat charcoal?” We also discussed why dogs eat charcoal, the harmful effects of charcoal if charcoal is toxic for dogs, and what to do if your dog eats charcoal.


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