Pet insurance policies are underwritten by Markel American Insurance Company.
Follow Us
Snails, slug poison and dogs

Snail and slug poison is toxic to pets

Q: Snails have invaded my garden and I want to kill them with snail and slug poison, but my dogs wander through the garden. Is snail poison safe for them?

A: Most snail and slug baits contain metaldehyde (pronounced “met AL de hyde”), which is highly toxic to pets and wildlife. Bait pellets and powders are flavored with molasses and bran to attract snails and slugs; unfortunately, dogs’ sensitive noses also detect the bait.

Even a tiny amount of metaldehyde bait is enough to cause significant toxicity – including death. A dog that licks liquid metaldehyde off his paws also can be poisoned.

Signs of toxicity begin within minutes to hours after ingestion. They include drooling, twitching, seizures, rigidity and loss of coordination. Vomiting, diarrhea, increased heart rate and breathing difficulties may occur. If the dog survives, liver failure can develop two or three days after metaldehyde exposure.

Safer alternatives include iron phosphate snail and slug baits and beer traps, which you can make using directions you’ll find on the Internet. Another option is to call your cooperative extension service for integrated pest management methods that will eradicate all your garden pests but be safe for pets and the environment.


Lee Pickett, V.M.D. practices companion animal medicine in Pennsylvania. Contact her at askdrlee@insurefigo.com
 

Prognosis Of Cats With Feline Leukemia Virus | Figo Pet Insurance

Q: A stray cat, whom we...

Hot Car Pet Safety Tips & What You Need To Know

You and your furry friend have been...

Q: For the past two...

June Is Adopt-A-Shelter-Cat Month | Figo Pet Insurance

Q: I’m ready to get a...

More From Figo Blog
Five California Sites To Visit With Your Dog | Figo Pet Insurance

From being the first state to...

10 pet safe cleaners

We all know that keeping a clean house isn’t...

Dog Breed Profile: Getting To Know The Beagle | Figo Pet Insurance

Playful. Energetic. Family friendly. Ears as...

June Is Adopt-A-Shelter-Cat Month | Figo Pet Insurance

Q: I’m ready to get a cat....

Tips for training your German Shepherd

Are there specific positive reinforcement...

Woman on grassy hill with dog in spring

Like humans, our animal companions can suffer...

Cat sniffing Christmas gift

The holidays are the perfect time for family,...

Dr. Patti Prato, Veterinarian

While many of us have a passion for animals,...

HELP