Pets can be unpredictable. Dogs, in particular, can often do what you least expect as they are exploring every inch of your outdoor spaces and the tiny creatures that inhabit the grass and trees. It can be difficult to keep a close eye on your pups as they dig up your plants, bark at curious noises and eat whatever they can get their paws on. Once the warmer months start to bring out the sunshine, many animals come out of hibernation, meaning more potential problems for your pets. Of all the animals dogs come across, humans are most puzzled by the risks frogs might pose to their furry family members.
Are Frogs Poisonous to Dogs?
Unfortunately, dogs don’t always know what’s best for them, and an amphibian hopping in your grass could be mistaken for a fun chew toy. What happens when a dog bites a frog? Are frogs poisonous to dogs? The short answer is no. But toads are dangerous for dogs, so it’s important for you to know how to tell the difference between these two hopping creatures and be on the look out for common signs of poisoning.
Frog vs. Toad: What’s the Difference?
There are differences between frogs and toads, but you might not remember, since you may not have had contact with these animals since you were a child. You can usually tell which is which by the appearance of their skin and legs. Both are amphibians from the order Anura, but there are some ways to distinguish the two. Frogs typically have mucus-covered, slimy skin with long legs, while toads generally have shorter legs and rougher, thicker skin. Since frogs need to live near bodies of water, you’re more likely to encounter toads in your yard. Toads don’t have many predators, but a playful puppy might mistake it for a treat.
There two common types of toad found in the United States that can be a threat to your dog are the Colorado River Toad and the Giant Toad, both of which live in the southwestern part of the United States.
What Makes Toads Poisonous to Dogs?
When bitten or threatened, a toad’s skin lets out a bitter taste and odor that burns the eyes and nostrils of its predator. It’s the same type of defense mechanism a skunk uses. A toad’s venom is highly toxic to your pets and can be deadly if left untreated. Even if the toad is already dead, or your dog drinks out of a water bowl a toad was bathing in, it is still a threat to your dog’s health.
The substances in a toad’s venom are steroid compounds also known as bufotoxins or bufodienolids which are found in this pest’s glands and skin. These compounds are hallucinogenic and can cause extremely adverse effects in your pet. Although humans can’t be harmed by picking up a toad, it’s quite the opposite when your dog comes into contact with one.
Signs Your Dog May Have Come into Contact With a Toad
The substances in a toad’s venom can have devastating effects on your dog’s health, more specifically to the stomach and oral cavity. Some of the symptoms caused by this venom include:
- Excess drooling
- Yellow vomit
- Dilated pupils
- Irregular heartbeat
- Foaming at the mouth
If you notice your dog excessively pawing at its mouth or eyes or crying or whimpering after playing outside, it may be a sign that your pet has come into contact with a toad. If that happens, seek immediate medical attention, as a toad’s venom can result in death.
How to Protect Your Pet
Pets quickly become part of the family, so it’s important to make sure they are safe on your property. If you suspect your dog may have come into contact with a toad, take the following steps:
- Flush out your dog’s mouth with water. Make sure the water is being rinsed outward rather than towards the back of the throat to reduce exposure to the toad’s venom.
- Rub your dog’s gums with your hand. Remove any residue or slime that may have come from the toad.
- Contact your veterinarian immediately. Sometimes, severe symptoms may occur within only a few minutes after being exposed to the venom.
ABC Can Protect Your Pets from Pests
It’s important to keep your backyard safe for your family as well as your pets. The good news is that toads (and frogs) won’t give you warts. That’s a myth. For all of your pest control needs, call ABC Home & Commercial Services to set up a time for our pest control experts to stop by and suggest steps you can take to get rid of any non-pet-friendly pests. We want to help you and your four-legged family members get the most out of your yard.