Dog Accidentally Licks Bleach – What to Do Next
As dog owners, it’s important to store household chemicals carefully so that your dog doesn’t come across them and lick out of curiosity. Unfortunately, bleach poisoning is a fairly common occurrence that can cause complications in your dog’s body if not treated quickly.
Signs and Symptoms of Bleach Poisoning
Your first step should be to observe your dog and see if he is showing any particular symptoms. Dogs affected by bleach poisoning typically show signs like coughing, vomiting, drooling, and lethargic movements. The severity of these symptoms will depend on how much bleach the dog accidentally licks. Make a note of these symptoms to communicate to the vet.
Call the Vet for Advice
Even if your dog is not showing a lot of visible symptoms, it’s always a good idea to call the vet and see if a visit is necessary. The vet will most likely ask a series of question (e.g. if the dog is drooling excessively) to determine the seriousness of the condition.
If the bleach poisoning doesn’t turn out to be as bad as anticipated then the vet may request you to carefully monitor the dog’s behavior overnight. If the symptoms don’t spike up then an emergency vet visit may not be required.
Encourage the Dog to Drink Water
Fortunately, a lot of bleach poisoning cases tend to be mild because the dog is licking a diluted bleach solution. Encouraging your dog to drink more water may help dilute the ingested bleach even further. Don’t give water, however, to dogs that are showing convulsion symptoms.
Naturally, you might also think about inducing vomiting as soon as the dog licks the bleach but this is not recommended unless the vet tells you to do so. Vomiting may expose the dog’s throat to the harsh bleach chemical, which is not what you want given that bleach is a caustic material.
Is Cleaning With Bleach Bad for Dogs?
Bleach may serve as an effective household cleaner but not the best thing to use in a household with dogs. Aside from accidentally leaking bleach water, dogs may also inadvertently smell the bleach fumes, especially if a strong concentration is used.
When using bleach to disinfect household surfaces, we recommend to keep the area well-ventilated and to keep your dog in a separate room until the bleach solution has fully evaporated.