Skip to main content
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
 

Protect your pet from the unexpected with Figo Pet Insurance, rated “Best Pet Insurance” by Reviews.com since 2017.

Man sitting on bench with his dog

We believe that seeking out the best...

Small dog being examined by veterinarian

At Figo, we hear this question often...

What do the Cockapoo, the Puggle, the...

Dog receiving treat from woman

August 8th is #NationalCBD day! At Figo...

Advertisement for pet insurance.

More From Figo Blog
Cat scratching on a cat post

You may have heard the phrase, “Cats can’t...

Puppy crate training in progress

There are many tools I utilize when training...

Kristin Levine with dog

We recently had the opportunity to interview...

Dog and pet parent listening to music in front of speaker

Whether you’re rocking out to your favorite...

Woman drinking coffee and holding small cat near

On any given day, between 50 and 70 million...

Labrador Retriever retrieving a blue frisbee from the yard

One of the best things about owning a dog is...