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
 

More From Figo Blog
Getting To Know The Great Dane | Figo Pet Insurance

Looking for a faithful and loving dog with an...

Pet Professionals: Interview With Larry Kay Of Positively Woof | Figo Pet Insurance

Author, dog trick trainer, movie maker,...

Arthritis In Dogs: Signs, Symptoms, And Treatment Options | Figo Pet Insurance

We all strive to be responsible dog owners who...

Pet Food Trends | Figo Pet Insurance

If you thought that pet food is just about...

Pug and terrier on road trip looking out of a car window

Summer is vacation season, and many of us will...

Introducing dogs for successful dog-to-dog interaction

Many of us want our dogs to be friendly with...

Man and dog hiking in the mountains

Dog ownership should be a joy for both you and...

Dog waiting to be adopted in animal shelter

Pets are awesome! Ever feel like you want to...

HELP