Are Paintballs Toxic to Dogs? 

Do you own a furry four-legged friend? If so, then chances are that you have worried about the risks of certain products and foods being toxic to your pet. While many know the common toxins such as chocolate and cleaning products. Have you ever thought about paintballs? Paint balls are a favorite amongst children and adults alike, but does the same go for dogs? Paint balls can pose an imminent danger for dogs if ingested. Read on to find out what makes paintballs a health hazard for dogs. 

Colorful Catastrophe  

When it comes to paintball equipment, the paintballs themselves pose the biggest threat to pets. Paintballs are bought in bulk and come in colorful, small balls. These may look intriguing to dogs and can easily be swallowed. The active ingredients in paintballs are glycerol, propylene glycerol, polythene glycol, dyes, wax, gelatin and more. These components are osmotically active, meaning they pull water into the intestinal tract. This leads to liquid stool, dehydration, and a harmful rise in sodium levels. If left untreated, neurological dysfunction and fatality can occur.  

Paint Poisoning 

Paintball toxicity is severe and can cause irreversible damage. Possible signs of paintball poisoning include:  

  • Vomiting  
  • Diarrhea  
  • Walking drunk  
  • Tremors  
  • Seizures  
  • Decreased level of consciousness  


If you discover that your pup has ingested paintballs you must treat it as an emergency and act immediately. Contact your veterinarian and Pet Poison Helpline at (855) 764-7661 for life-saving advice. Your dog will need to be transported to an animal hospital for medical help. If the ingestion was recent, your veterinarian will induce vomiting to remove the toxins. Your dog will require IV fluids to balance their electrolyte levels. Warm water enemas will aid in moving the chemicals through your dog’s system. If treatment is not sought out, death can shortly follow.  

To prevent paintball poisoning in your dog, you will need to store all paintballs and equipment in a secure place where your dog cannot reach it. After playing with paintballs, empty your pockets and check your clothing to ensure extras did not drop in your car or home. If you have further questions or concerns, contact the trusted team at Pet Poison Helpline.