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Play Dough (Homemade)

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Poisonous to: Cats, Dogs

Level of toxicity: Generally moderate to severe, life-threatening

Common signs to watch for:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Inappetance
  • Lethargy
  • Walking drunk
  • Abnormal fluid accumulation within the body
  • Excessive thirst or urination
  • Potential injury to the kidneys
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Coma
  • Death

Homemade play dough, which is often made by parents as toys for their children, is generally comprised of food coloring and salt. When accidentally ingested by dogs or cats, homemade play dough is quite toxic, resulting in salt poisoning. Other sources of salt poisoning in dogs and cats include rock salt (for de-icers), paint balls, table salt, sea water, enemas (containing sodium phosphate), etc.

Salt poisoning in dogs and cats results in clinical signs of vomiting, diarrhea, inappetance, lethargy, walking drunk, abnormal fluid accumulation within the body, excessive thirst or urination, potential injury to the kidneys, tremors, seizures, coma, and even death when untreated. Treatment for salt poisoning includes careful administration of IV fluids, electrolyte monitoring, treatment for dehydration and brain swelling, and supportive care.

If you think your dog or cat ingested homemade play dough, call your veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline immediately for life-saving treatment advice.

Poison type: Foods

Alternate names: salt poisoning