Dog Eats Tobacco  

Dogs are naturally curious, often exploring their surroundings with their mouth and nose. This inquisitiveness can sometimes lead to dangerous consequences, such as ingesting harmful substances like tobacco. While it may seem harmless or even comical at first, the reality is that dogs consuming tobacco can have severe consequences on their health. Ingestion of tobacco can result in a range of symptoms, from mild stomach discomfort to life-threatening poisoning. Dog owners must be aware of the dangers and take necessary precautions to prevent their furry companions from accessing tobacco products.   

Tobacco Toxicity   

Nicotine, which is the active compound in tobacco and tobacco products, is a fast-acting drug that affects the central nervous system. If a dog ingests tobacco, they may experience the effects of nicotine within an hour. The intestines and mucous membranes absorb the nicotine, and it becomes even more challenging to remove the toxins once they enter the bloodstream. Even with proper hydration, a dog’s kidneys can only eliminate 2-35% of the total nicotine consumed. To put this into perspective, a dose of 4mg of nicotine per pound of body weight is considered fatal for dogs. It’s not necessarily the type of tobacco product that poses the greatest risk but rather the amount of nicotine it contains.  

Clinical Signs of Tobacco Poisoning  

The symptoms of tobacco toxicity vary greatly. Some signs are visible, while others are psychological and unnoticeable. These symptoms include:   

  • Convulsions   
  • Vomiting   
  • Diarrhea   
  • High blood pressure   
  • Increased body temperature   
  • Abnormal heartbeat   
  • Rapid breathing   
  • Tremors                                                 
  • Weak pulse   
  • Dilated pupils   


Contact your veterinarian and Pet Poison Helpline at (855) 764-7661 if your dog has ingested tobacco. The acid in a dog’s stomach naturally slows down the absorption of nicotine, so giving your dog antacids is counterproductive. Transport your dog to the veterinary clinic immediately before irreversible damage can occur. Your veterinarian right away may need to induce vomiting and administer activated charcoal to prevent further absorption of nicotine from the stomach. IV fluids may also be given to help with excretion and stabilization. Please remember that nicotine toxicity is time-sensitive, so it is best to trust the experts. Contact Pet Poison Helpline immediately for proper first-aid measures if your dog has ingested any tobacco product.