Can a Dog Die from Biting or Licking a Frog or Toad?

As you’ve probably experienced before, dogs are very curious animals that are known to bite, lick, chase, and eat all kinds of critters. One critter that you really don’t want your dog coming into contact with is a frog or toad. In this article, we’ll explore what can happen to a dog after they bite or lick a frog or toad.

What Happens When a Dog Bites a Frog?

When a dog bites a frog, the frog will secrete a substance from their skin that will taste nasty to your dog. The main issue is that frogs and toads that are poisonous will secrete a toxic chemical when they feel threatened. This toxic chemical will be absorbed by the dog’s mouth and even can be absorbed into the eyes.

There are many compounds found within the toxic chemical and it’s comparable to heart medication for humans. These compounds include biogenic amines, bufotoxins, and bufodienolids. The toad will produce a lot of these chemicals through the skin and the parotid gland. When your dog bites on the frog, these toxins are secreted due to the glands being compressed. Dogs also can end up with toxins in other places if they have broken skin or wounds on the face or paws.

What Kind of Frogs are Poisonous to Dogs?

There are two different toad species that are very well-known for being poisonous to dogs and other pets. One of the species is the Colorado River toad, which is also known as the Sonoran Desert toad.

The other species that you’ll need to be on the lookout for is the Marine toad, which also goes by the name Cane toad. Dogs will often times encounter the toads either at night when it’s dark outside or in the very early morning.

These toads are most active in the summer months since that’s when the humidity is the highest. You can find them within the United States, although only in a certain section of the country. These toads are found in the states between California and Arizona, but also can be found in Florida, Hawaii, and Texas.

What to Do if Your Dog Bites a Toad

If your dog bites a toad, it’s important that you be on the lookout for certain symptoms that indicate your dog was in contact with a poisonous toad. Symptoms include head shaking, difficulty breathing, pawing at the mouth, and a lot of drooling. You may also notice your dog vomiting yellow fluid, hyperthermia, and diarrhea. Various neurological symptoms could also be present such as seizures, dilated pupils, vocalization, loss of balance, collapsing, and even death.

If you notice any of these symptoms or think your dog was in contact with a toad, then you should immediately seek out a veterinarian. You want to begin flushing out the mouth as soon as you can and continue to do this for 10 minutes. If you have called your veterinarian first, it might also be suggested that you use activated charcoal to help while you are getting to the office.

Various tests will be performed at the vet including monitoring heart rate and performing an EKG at regular intervals. The veterinarian may also give medications to adjust the heart rate as needed. IV fluids are also given along with a cool bath which will help stabilize the temperature of your dog. This is a life-threatening situation and sedation might be required if your dog is in pain or very stressed out. Your dog will stay at the vet until he has fully recovered from the toxin.

Book an online vet appointment if your dog has an emergency but your local vet isn't available. Vetster is available 24/7 for video chat appointments.

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


  • Kristie Pemberton | 07/09/2021

    My dog just licked a toad and he started having a hard time breathing. We gave him some milk and he threw up what else can we do for my dog.
    The Vets aren’t in there offices right now and I’m scared of him dying.

  • Patricia Padon | 17/09/2021

    My dog bit a toad he was foaming but now he just wants to rest i try to give him water but he doesnt lick it i cant afford a vet but i dont want him to die he is only about 3mo old what can i do will he gey ok on his own?

  • Raven Biggs | 27/09/2021

    My dog just did the same thing and I’m freaking out

  • Victoria Tanaka | 11/10/2021

    due to the high cost of vets most will not take their pet to them. If your puppy or dog bites a toad induce vomiting by putting 1 oz of peroxide down their throat. once they vomit rise out mouth with water try not to let them swallow. give full spectrum vitamin k at once. The gel cap is best. Then mix charcoal and milk and force feed it . good luck this worked for us.

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