Iron is a chemical element that can be found in your environment. Iron can be found in household products and supplements, like hand warmers, fertilizers, and oxygen absorbers. It is not safe for dogs to eat these products. Multivitamins, like prenatal vitamins, also contain large amounts of iron. Iron can be poisonous to dogs in excess amounts. Dogs need iron in order to for their bodies to function, but only small amounts. Dogs can experience iron poisoning if their diet is iron heavy or eat products containing iron. Because iron comes in several forms, the amount of elemental iron versus “total” iron must be calculated out by a medical professional to see if it is a poisonous ingestion or not. 

Clinical Signs of Iron Poisoning 

Your dog can experience various symptoms due to iron poisoning. Your dog’s body requires a precise amount of iron. Too much or too little iron can result in severe symptoms. Your veterinarian can advise you on your dog’s iron needs. It is important for your dog to have the right amount of iron so their bodies can function properly. When ingested in poisonous amounts, iron can be very toxic. Common iron poisoning symptoms include:  

  • Vomiting 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Bloody diarrhea 
  • Lethargy 
  • Abdominal pain 
  • Shock 
  • Elevated heart rate 
  • Panting 
  • Tremors 

Treatment for Iron Poisoning 

If you notice your pet has ingested a substance with high iron content, immediately contact your veterinarian or call Pet Poison Helpline® at (855) 764-7661. Your vet may induce vomiting to remove iron in the stomach before it is absorbed into the bloodstream. Your vet may provide medications that can treat tremors or abdominal pain. Your pet may stay overnight in observation if they suffered severe symptoms. Call the Pet Poison Helpline® if you have any questions or concerns about iron poisoning.