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What happens if a dog licks ant poison?

You are having an ant problem. You want to get your home back from these invaders, so you buy some ant poison. You never thought your dog would decide to snack on it, but they did. 

Now what? Is your dog in danger, or will they be ok? 

What happens if a dog licks ant poison?

The good news is, ant poison isn’t really toxic to dogs. You don’t have much to worry about if your pooch licks ant poison. However, there can be side effects, depending on the type and the amount ingested. 


Borax is one of the most common types of ant poison. It’s safe for humans, and is commonly found in the laundry aisle. It’s also used in many slime recipes. The technical name for borax is sodium tetraborate decahydrate. 

It’s not horribly toxic to humans or dogs. In fact, it’s even used in some toothpastes and mouthwashes. However, if they ingest a significant amount of borax, they may not feel well. 

Ingesting borax is most likely to lead to stomach upset. The symptoms include vomiting and diarrhea. Very large amounts can cause kidney failure. 

Unless your dog is eating several ant baits or has licked a large amount of poison, they will probably have nothing more than stomach upset from this type of poison. 

Fipronil, Avermectin, and Indoxacarb

These poisons have scary sounding names. You may be envisioning your dog having serious symptoms after ingesting them. You’ll be surprised to know that there’s a good chance your vet has given your dog one or more of these insecticides. 

The great news is, these insecticides are commonly used in flea and tick prevention and treatment. Given this, they are unlikely to cause serious damage, right? 

These are designed for topical application only. If your pooch licks a large amount of them, they can become pretty sick. 

The most common side effects are stomach upset, including vomiting and diarrhea. Other symptoms can include muscle tremors or seizures. 

Ant Traps 

Ant traps are more dangerous than other types of ant poison. This isn’t due to the poison itself. Instead, it’s the plastic housing of the trap. 

Ant traps use food and other substances to tempt the ants to come into the trap and feed. This is effective for ants, but it can also attract your pooch. 

If your dog eats an ant trap, the insecticide and other substances can cause stomach upset. 

These traps can cause lacerations or cuts in your dog’s throat, esophagus, stomach, or intestines. It can also cause a blockage in your dog’s stomach or intestines. 

This is a fairly rare occurrence, but you’ll need to monitor them for symptoms of these issues. In addition to stomach upset, your dog may experience loss of appetite, bloating, abdominal pain, and lethargy. 

Non-Toxic Ant Killer

These days, there are plenty of nontoxic ant killer options. If your pooch ingests this type of insecticide, you shouldn’t worry. They are non-toxic, and shouldn’t cause any issues for your pooch. 

What to do if my dog licks ant poison?

If your dog eats ant poison, don’t panic. They will likely be fine. There are a few things you should do, however. 

Remove Any Remaining Ant Poison

This is pretty obvious. The first step is to be sure that your dog can’t lick any more of the ant poison. You may need to remove the poison, or move your dog to a different area where they can’t get to it. 

Monitor Your Pooch 

Next, you’ll want to monitor them. You may notice them drooling or gagging. This is due to the bitter taste of the flea poison, and isn’t a cause for concern. 

If they begin showing signs of side effects, including vomiting or diarrhea, you’ll need to take further action. Call your vet or animal poison control. If your dog has any unusual symptoms, including tremors, lethargy, disorientation, loss of coordination, or difficulty breathing, you’ll need to get them immediate treatment. 

Who You Gonna Call

You have two options when your dog ingests something concerning. These are your vet and animal poison control. Animal poison control offers a few advantages. 

First, it allows you to get expert advice without leaving your home. It’s also significantly less expensive than a vet visit. 

The other advantage is that they have a database of common poisons and formulas to determine your dog’s level of risk. This includes your dog’s weight, age, and health status. They will also consider how much your pooch has ingested. 

They will then make a recommendation for next steps. If they recommend calling your vet, they can work with them on a treatment plan. They may also recommend keeping your pooch at home and monitoring them. 

If your Dog Eats an Ant Bait Trap

If they eat an ant bait trap, give them a piece or two of bread. This will help prevent any lacerations from the plastic housing. The bread essentially provides cushioning from the sharp edges of the trap. 

In this case, you’ll need to monitor them for signs of bowel obstruction. These include vomiting, diarrhea, bloating, and abdominal pain. 

If your dog begins to show these signs, you should get them to the vet. 

What Not to Do 

If your dog has stomach upset, you may be tempted to use some home remedies. In many cases, these home remedies can help your pooch to feel better. 

However, if your dog is having a reaction to poison, you don’t want to stop any vomiting or diarrhea. This is their way of trying to rid their body of toxins. It’s best to let it run its course, unless your vet advises you to give them medication. 

How to prevent my dog from licking ant poison?

Ant poison isn’t likely to be particularly harmful to your dog. However, it’s still not a good idea to allow them to lick them. There are some things you can do to prevent your pooch from ingesting ant poison. 

Remove Your Pooch 

If you are applying a spray, granules, or gel type of ant bait, remove your dog from the area before you apply it. It’s a good idea to do this with bait traps as well. 

This allows you to apply the poison without worrying about your curious pooch helping themselves while you are applying. 

It can also reduce your dog’s curiosity. If they see you doing something, they will be curious and want to investigate. If they aren’t aware of it, they are less likely to stumble upon it later. 

 Put It Where Your Dog Cant’ Reach 

Whenever possible, put the poison in an area your dog can’t get to. This is the easiest way to prevent them from ingesting it. This can include behind furniture and up high. 

Store Poison Properly

You’ll also need to store any ant poison properly. Be sure it’s in a place your dog can’t reach it. Again, high up is always a safe bet. This keeps it out of reach of children as well as pets. 

Use Natural Ant Poison 

One of the best ways to prevent your pooch from being harmed by ant poison is simply to use a natural insecticide. 

Borax is relatively safe when ingested. However, natural non-toxic ant killers are perfectly safe for your dog. You won’t want them licking it, but if they do, you will know they will be ok. 

Most of them work using essential oils. This makes them safe for children and pets, while still being effective against ants. 

These products have become so popular, you can find them at pet stores and big box stores. There’s also a large selection of them online. 

Hire a Professional 

If you are concerned about completing the process yourself, you can hire a professional. They will be aware of how to keep your dog away from any poison.