Is Borax (Sodium Borate) Toxic or Safe to Use Around Dogs?

Borax is a common household product that many people use since it has multiple purposes. A lot of people are unaware that Borax, which is Sodium Borate, is toxic for dogs. We wanted to tell you the warning signs of Borax poisoning in dogs and what the treatment is of this particular poisoning.

Common Household Uses of Borax

Borax has many different household uses, including being a “natural” pest control option and it’s often times used for cleaning. Borax as a household cleaner is versatile, since it can clean furniture and also carpets. It can be used to clean up mold and mildew from the bathrooms and is used as a floor cleaner. Some people also use Borax for laundry since it will help remove stains from your clothing.

There are other uses for Borax too, including helping keep certain insects and bugs away from either inside or outside your home. You can use Borax to get rid of ants, roaches, fleas, and many other pests. You also can use Borax to get rid of mice and can use it on your fruit trees too. There’s a chance that regardless of whether you use this product inside your house or outside your house that your dog could come into contact with it.

Symptoms of Borax Poisoning for Dogs

If you think that your dog got into the Borax, you will notice several different symptoms associated with Borax poisoning. You may notice that vomiting and diarrhea are occurring regularly. With Borax poisoning, the vomit and diarrhea will end up being green-blue color and blood is often found within it.

There might be blood in the urine as well as a decrease in overall urine production. Your dog might end up with muscle weakness, lack of coordination, a rash, discoloration of the skin, and also excessive drooling. Coughing, tremors, weight loss, depression, dry skin, and kidney damage could also occur. Coma and death are the final symptoms of Borax poisoning.

Acute vs. Chronic Borate Poisoning

There is both an acute version of Borate poisoning as well as a chronic version of Borate poisoning. As the names suggest, chronic Borate poisoning often happens over a longer period of time. Acute Borate poisoning happens if your dog eats a huge amount of Borax at once. Using Borax as a flea treatment or as a roach killer is often when acute Borate poisoning happens.

Chronic Borate poisoning on the other hand doesn’t happen very often. It happens most often from being around plants that have a pesticide with Borate in it. With chronic poisoning, dogs can develop more severe signs and symptoms including kidney damage, weight loss, and disruption of the hormones.

Treatment of Borate Poisoning in Dogs

There are certain treatments that a veterinarian will use if the dog has Borax poisoning. If the dog ingested the Borax within the past few hours, often times inducing vomiting will work. The veterinarian might also use gastric lavage in order to get the Borax out of the system.

If ingested within the past few hours, the main goal is to remove the toxin from the body before it does damage and goes through the bloodstream. IV fluids might also be given to combat dehydration and electrolytes also will help with dehydration. The veterinarian can also wash your dog to help remove any toxins from the outer layers of the skin.

Dialysis might be recommended to remove the Borax from the system since the Borax is processed through kidneys. It’s often an acute dialysis, meaning it might only be once or twice to just rid the kidneys of the toxin. Anticonvulsant medications may also be given so that seizures don’t develop or to help stop them.

Disclaimer: The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a veterinarian when in doubt.


  • Teri Brassell | 29/12/2020

    My husband has put borax tablets out to kill roaches He put them where my 7lb yorkie dog can’t reach them but I am afraid that the roaches will digest them in my dogs water or food bowl thus hurting my dog. Should I be concerned?

  • Amanda N. Davidson | 28/02/2022

    Anytime you have to use a poison like that,.. You are risking people and pets health!! Unfortunately!!
    But as ling as you are aware of how to apply and how to clean and how to maintain use of the product while living next to it
    Then over all you should be fine!! If you see roaches in water or food bowls clean them and add new!! But it is worse to breath roach poop and such than it is killing them!! For everyone!! Always pick up pet food when not being eaten!! Always clean off counters wipi,g good off and take trash away Then Not later!! Add that with the killer and your problem leaves and then u dont half to risk or worry about your safety or that of your animals!
    Best of luck.

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