My Dog Licked a Toad. What Should I Do?

If you’re a dog owner, then you know that your pet’s antics can be a little unusual at times. Dogs can typically keep themselves entertained both inside and outside. With that comes immense curiosity that may get them into trouble. If your dog sees a toad, they may interact with it and even lick it. Interacting with toads can be extremely dangerous as dogs don’t know the difference between poisonous and nonpoisonous toads. Poisonous toads can lead to health risks and simply licking it can cause poisoning. 

Where Can Toads Be Found?

Toads can be found in damp areas, such as ponds, gardens, lawns, and woods. Poisonous toads found in the United States to watch out for are the Colorado River Toad and Cane Toad. These species are typically found in warm regions such as California, Arizona, Texas, Hawaii, and Florida. Adults can be as long as eight to nine inches. When your dog is outside, monitor their environment and scan around your home to make sure toads aren’t lurking around. 

Toad Poisoning Symptoms 

Toxic toads have glands that secrete bufotoxins as a line of defense against predators. If your dog licks a toad, their glands will secrete the toxins, resulting in poisoning. Clinical signs that maybe seen include: 

  • Drooling
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Increased body temperature
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Abnormal heart rhythm
  • Bright-red, inflamed gums
  • Eye irritation
  • Seizures

If left untreated, the toxins can damage the nervous and cardiovascular systems, leading to heart arrhythmias or possible fatality.


If you suspect that your dog has licked a toad you must act at once by calling Pet Poison Helpline at (855) 764-7661 for first aid advice. Rinse your dog’s mouth out carefully with cold water. Take your dog to the veterinary clinic so they can be evaluated and properly treated. Treatment will depend on the toxin dosage and the amount of time that has passed since they ingested it. Medications may be needed to control seizures and IV fluids to flush the toxins from the system. It may be exciting for your dog to see a toad, but their safety is much more important. Always monitor their environment for any potential hazards so you can keep your best furry friend safe.