Homemade playdough is a popular craft and a fun way to be creative. But when it comes to playdough and pets, it’s important to be aware of the potential risks involved. Homemade playdough can be toxic to pets if ingested. This is because it is usually made with ingredients like flour, oil, food coloring, and a large amount of salt. This may look enticing to many pets and after ingestion they’re quickly faced with poisoning. Even store-bought playdough can be toxic to pets.  

Playdough Toxicity  

Pets may be drawn to homemade playdough and ingesting it can lead to salt toxicity. This is especially true during the holiday season, when salt dough ornaments made with homemade salt dough are often used to decorate. If these ornaments are ingested, it can cause severe salt toxicity and, in some cases, even death. Salt poisoning in dogs and cats can result in a range of symptoms. Common signs to watch for include:  

  • Vomiting  
  • Diarrhea  
  • Decreased appetite  
  • Lethargy  
  • Incoordination  
  • Excessive thirst or urination  
  • Tremors  
  • Seizures  
  • Coma  

Certain medical conditions can increase the risk of salt poisoning in pets. For example, dogs with a kidney disease are more likely to be affected by salt because the kidneys regulate electrolyte levels in the body. In addition, pets with diabetes and other hormonal imbalances may also be at higher risk of salt poisoning. 


If your pet has consumed homemade playdough or salt dough, it’s important that they have access to plenty of fresh water. Contact your veterinarian and the Pet Poison Helpline® at (855) 764-7661 for advice and assistance. Treatment may include IV fluids and electrolyte supplements. In some cases, salt toxicity can cause the brain to swell, so your pet may need to be hospitalized for observation. The sooner your beloved companion receives medical attention, the better their chances of recovery.