Skip to main content

Pet Insurance policies are underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company.

Snail and slug poison is toxic to pets

As frustrating as snails and slugs in your yard is, killing them with poison can be detrimental to pets. Learn the alternatives to save your pet and yard!

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.

  • Instagram logo
  • facebook
  • tiktok
  • Twitter

No one is permitted to sell, solicit or negotiate an insurance policy without a producer license in the state in which the plan is sold, and all prospects should be directed to Figo Pet Insurance. The information contained in this website is for illustrative purposes only and coverage under any pet insurance policy is expressly subject to the conditions, restrictions, limitations, exclusions (including pre-existing conditions), and terms of the policy documentation issued by the insurer. Availability of this program is subject to each state’s approval and coverage may vary by state. Coverage underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company (IAIC), a Delaware Insurance Company, 11333 North Scottsdale Road Suite 160 Scottsdale, AZ 85254. Live Vet and the Figo Pet Cloud are separate non-insurance services unaffiliated with IAIC.

Copyright © 2015-2022 Figo Pet Insurance LLC. All rights reserved