Clorox Toxicity in a Dog

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Bleach products like Clorox pose a hazardous danger to dogs: if ingested, dogs can be poisoned and even die. Dogs poisoned by household cleaning products may have symptoms including vomiting, diarrhea, burned paws, and stomach and throat pain. Some dogs are so inquisitive and clever that they get themselves into trouble. They may topple over trash cans, sneak snacks from kitchen cabinets, and chew up important pieces of mail. Such behavior is not only frustrating for you, but also hazardous to your dog's health.

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Dogs can be poisoned and even die from ingesting bleach.
Image Credit: Ирина Мещерякова/iStock/GettyImages

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Clorox bleach and wipes are toxic

Pets are highly susceptible to poisoning from household products such as Clorox and other cleaners containing bleach. It's important to know how to keep your dog safe and what to do should you discover your curious pup has come in contact with the cleaner. The chemicals in Clorox bleach that are toxic are also found in other brands of bleach, household cleaners that contain bleach and swimming pool chemicals. Bleaches used in the home, such as Clorox, usually contain chemicals that irritate the mucous membranes, sinuses, and esophagus. These chemicals usually cause skin irritation and, when ingested, vomiting.

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Symptoms of bleach poisoning

If your dog has ingested a toxic level of Clorox or any other product containing bleach, they may begin to vomit, drool excessively, and show signs of a sore throat and abdominal pain. Chlorine fumes on the the dog's breath and bleached or discolored fur and burns around the mouth or paws may indicate that the dog has been exposed to bleach. Dogs may have diarrhea, seizures, weakness, lethargy, and tremors. Canines may develop ulcers on their paws or around or inside the mouth.

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Emergency treatment of poison ingestion

If you believe your dog has ingested Clorox, call your veterinarian, an emergency animal clinic, or an animal poison control helpline immediately for instructions. Unless instructed, do not induce vomiting as the act of vomiting may cause more harm. If there are signs that the dog has bleach on his or her coat, rinse its coat clean. You may be instructed to flush your dog's mouth out with water for 15 minutes. Once at the veterinarian's office, your dog may have its stomach pumped, or the veterinarian may give it activated charcoal in order to absorb and bind up the toxins in its stomach. Dogs can recover from and survive poison ingestion but they will need to receive immediate medical treatment.

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Pet-proof your home

In order to prevent dangerous accidents such as poisoning, you must treat your dog like an inquisitive toddler looking for trouble. Keep disinfectant wipes for skin and counters and liquid bleach products like Clorox out of reach of dogs, preferably behind a locked cabinet. Pet-proof your home and double check to make sure dangerous chemicals are out of your canine companion's reach: look at your floor, counters, tables, and furniture for misplaced products.

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Prevent dogs from ingesting products

Canine companions of any age should be placed in a crate when you are not able to keep an eye on them. Clean up Clorox and other chemical spills immediately, even in places such as the garage or outdoors. When cleaning with products containing bleach, be sure to follow the manufacturer's directions. Make sure you wipe any surfaces your dog may come in contact with clean after treating them with bleach. It is also important to take extra care when exposing your dog to bleach fumes — inhalation can also be toxic. Keep your dog away from any area you're actively using bleach or cleaning products in.

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