Are Toads Poisonous to Dogs? What You Need to Know

Photo of author


Author: Jacob Kay

Are toads poisonous to dogs? This is a question that many pet owners ask themselves as they watch their curious pups explore the great outdoors. And with good reason – toads secret toxins from their skin and glands that can be harmful to dogs who come in contact with them. So, what do we need to know about the dangers of toads and our beloved dogs?

In this article, we’ll examine the extent of toad poisoning in dogs and answer the question “Are toads poisonous to dogs?” We’ll also look at what measures should be taken if your pup has been affected by toad toxins. Get ready to arm yourself with the information you need to keep your furry friend safe from the dangers of these backyard visitors.

You Might Also Like:

Fish4Dogs Sea Jerky Squares


Petface Chicken Wrapped Calcium Bones


Bonio Meaty Chip Dog Biscuits


Are Toads Poisonous to Dogs?

Dog and Toad
Trotskaya Nastassia – Shutter Stock

Exposure to toad toxins can be a consequential matter for dogs. Toad poisoning in dogs requires immediate treatment. Toads produce a thick, white, creamy liquid as part of their defensive mechanism. When a dog comes into contact with this toxin, it may experience cardiac, gastrointestinal, and neurological symptoms. If you suspect that your dog has licked or ingested a toad, take your dog to the vet as soon as possible as this encounter is life-threatening for your furry friend.

Toads tend to be poisonous at all stages of their life cycle, including the initial stage of tadpoles and eggs. Even drinking water from a bowl in which a toad was sitting or containing eggs can result in a deadly infection. The Common toad and the Natterjack toad are found in the green lands of Britain (UK), and commonly originate in dense forest areas and wet locations. Vulnerability to such toads is at its highest between June and August when they are breeding.

What kinds of toads are poisonous?

Specifically, there are only two types of toads that can be life-threatening for your dog. Encounters with toads are more common in the rainy season (March-September) when breeding occurs. They are as followed:

1. Cane Toads:

The cane toad (Rhinella marina) may also be known as the bufo toad due to its former genus name (formerly Bufo marinus). This toad is found mostly in Florida, Texas, Hawaii, Louisiana, and other tropical areas. These toads are much larger when compared to other toads, i.e., between 6 to 9 inches long.

2. Colorado River Toads:

The Colorado River or Sonoran Desert toad (Incilius alvarius) is found in California, New Mexico, Arizona, and Texas. This toad can grow up to 7.5 inches long.

Symptoms of Toad Poisoning in Dogs

Dog poisoned by dog
Anant – Shutter Stock

The severity of the symptoms depends mainly on the species of toad, the size and the health of your dog, and the length of the encounter. However, initial signs are shown within minutes of licking or eating the poisonous toad, excessive drooling begins as the dog tries to release the toxin from the mouth itself. Other symptoms to look out for as a dog owner include:

  • Vomiting
  • Shivering
  • Seizures
  • Increase in heart rate
  • Muscle spasms
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Pain in the eyes
  • Excessive head movements
  • Crying, howling
  • Stumbling or difficulty in walking

How to Prevent Toad Poisoning in Dogs?

Dogs are usually at the highest risk of encountering such poisonous toads as they spend most of their time outdoors. They are more likely to come in contact with the toads during dusk. The first step to prevent your dog from coming in contact with poisonous toads is to cut off your yard’s grass and reduce the amount of water or moisture in the yard to mitigate the chances of attracting such toxic toads.

When you’re on hiking or trails, keep your dog tight on leashes, especially in areas where toads are found in abundance. This can include places such as open fields with dry surroundings or dense woods.


1. What happens If my dog licks a toad?

Within minutes of licking a toad, drooling begins. The gums start to become very red and signs of pain, including pawing at the mouth or vocalizing, may be seen. Vomiting and diarrhea are also common.

2. Should I be worried If my dog ate a toad?

Yes, you need to take your dog to the vet as soon as possible. Eating a non-poisonous toad may not be of that much concern, however, you need to be 100% sure that your dog has ingested a non-poisonous toad and not a poisonous toad. Hence, it is recommended to show your vet just to be sure.

3. How fast Is toad poisoning in dogs?

A dog can die within the first 40 minutes if not treated necessarily. If the pet has not progressed from the salvation symptoms to any muscle tremors within 15 minutes it is very unlikely the pet is going to suffer any worse symptoms of toad toxin.

4. What to do if you see a cane toad in your backyard?

If you notice cane toads in your backyard, you should first ensure any pets or children do not access the area or come into contact with them. As cane toads are considered one of the most toxic animals found in the wild. You need to contact your local authorities and inform them about the presence of cane toads in your yard. They will take the necessary action to ensure that the cane toads are removed from your yard.

5. What kills Cane toads?

Prolonged exposure to Carbon dioxide is the most efficient used method for killing cane toads at a time. This method must only be used by trained operators using appropriate equipment. Death is inevitable with this method.


Through this article, we have answered the “Are toads poisonous to dogs?” question in detail. Dogs tend to be very territorial animals, which can cause encounters with toads, be it in the woods or the backyard itself. This often leads to dogs being the ones most harmed, as toad’s defense mechanism is very accurate and dangerous for all living beings. Thus, it is very necessary that you keep an eye out for your dog on such occasions. If you notice the symptoms mentioned above, it is recommended that you take your dog to the vet immediately.


  1. Silver, C. (2022, July 18). Bufo Toad Poisoning and Dogs: Symptoms and Prevention. American Kennel Club. Retrieved January 17, 2023, from
  2. Bufo Toad Poisoning in Dogs. (2020, June 16). TexVetPets. Retrieved January 17, 2023, from
  3. Toads. (n.d.). National Wildlife Federation.
  4. Toad Poisoning in Dogs | VCA Animal Hospital. (n.d.-b). Vca. Retrieved January 17, 2023, from
  5. Gwaltney-Brant, S. M. (2023, January 25). Toad Poisoning in Dogs and Cats. MSD Veterinary Manual. Retrieved January 17, 2023, from
Photo of author
Jacob Kay
Jacob Kay is a Veterinary Advisor and Editor at WWD. He’s also a dog lover and has two pet dogs of his own. He has extensive knowledge in the field of veterinary medicine and is always happy to share his insights with others.

Leave a Comment