Many products used around the home like bleach and ammonia contain hazardous chemicals. It should be no surprise that if your dog happens to ingest any of these products, toxicity could result in complications within the digestive and respiratory systems. Bleach poisoning is considered one of the top ways that dogs can be affected by toxicity.

If your pet does experience exposure to bleach, you should seek veterinarian assistance right away and not try to induce vomiting on your own. However, remember to remain calm, moving your dog into a safer area, especially if you notice any convulsion or tremor. When your dog ingests bleach, there are several symptoms that occur. The hair around the dog’s paws and mouths might also be bleached and smell of chlorine.

Bleach poisoning happens when dogs ingest and absorb a considerable amount of bleach that usually results in a high level of toxicity along with other noticeable symptoms.

There are various kinds of household products that contain bleach, acids, hydrocarbons and alkalis. These include:

  • Paint thinner
  • Toilet cleaner
  • Gasoline
  • Bleach
  • Laundry detergent
  • Drain cleaner
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Kerosene
  • Furniture polish
  • Oven cleaner
  • Paint remover
  • Floor polish
  • Caustic soda
  • Shoe polish
  • Chlorine

Although the household bleaches are fairly mild to moderate, they will affect both the esophagus and the mucous membranes very quickly, although a dog will rarely consume enough to be toxic because it will cause nausea first.

When your dog ingests bleach, there are several symptoms you may see.

The hair around the paws and mouths might also be bleached and smell of chlorine. If your pet inhaled the fumes, you could notice signs of coughing, pulmonary irritation, and gasping.

Other symptoms include:

  • Coughing
  • Lethargy
  • Stomach pain
  • Vomiting
  • Sore throat
  • Low blood pressure
  • Coma
  • Drooling
  • Shock
  • Burn
  • Paw discoloration
  • Diarrhea
  • Agitation
  • Nausea
  • Weakened limbs
  • Tremors
  • Ulcerations on the paws or in the mouth
  • Seizures

If you suspect your dog has ingested or inhaled any toxic substance you should seek veterinary treatment immediately. Your vet will want to identify the poison in order to assess the contentsand may induce vomiting and collect a sample.

If you administered any medication to your dog, you should take that along with you so the veterinarian can read the labels to see what is contained in it. If your dog has received burns to the mouth, it might take several hours to notice this. The veterinarian will still check the mouth to see if your pet flinches with touch. The stomach or esophagus may also be burned by the bleach. This may not be visible until an internal examination is done.


The immediate treatment is to flush the area that is most exposed. Your veterinarian may also administer fluid therapy, ulcer medication for possible stomach burn and of course, supportive care for other symptoms. Your veterinarian will use water to wash out the excess bleach from the mouth and fur. Even though this might seem simple, the veterinarian may also administer milk to soothe the stomach and dilute the ingested bleach.


This information is not meant to be a substitute for veterinary care. Always follow the advice provided by your veterinarian.