Vet warns Play-Doh can be fatal for dogs - but what are the signs to look out for?

Dog lying on sofa
(Image credit: Getty /dohlongma - HL Mak)

As nearly all dog owners know, it can be a constant challenge stopping your beloved pet chew on things they shouldn’t. But, many might be surprised to learn just how dangerous Play-Doh is, due to the dangerously high levels of salt.

Vet Jason Burgess has reported that the concentration of salt in Play-Doh can cause salt poisoning. Burgess who is based at Wood Veterinary Group, Gloucestershire warns that salt poisoning in dogs “is very frightening and not simple to treat."

Dogs are drawn to salty things and can we blame them? However too much salt can be fatal. Salt can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, lethargy and a decreased appetite. Vets have seen dogs become unwell from licking cattle saltlicks, drinking saltwater and even Play-Doh - a common toy found in most family households.

He also warned against giving dogs salty water to encourage them to throw up anything hazardous that they might have swallowed. 'What we have also seen in the past is owners have noticed dogs have eaten something they should not and give them a high salt content solution in hope it makes them sick. This can often be more poisonous than what the dog has eaten in the first place."

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Play dough

Signs of salt poisoning

Jason told GloucestershireLive, "When a dog takes in salt they lose water from their muscles. What is more serious is what it does to the brain."

If your dog has eaten dangerous amounts of salt you will notice their extreme thirst. They will drink more often than normal and will start frequently urinating.  Neurological problems can begin to ensue if left untreated.

Jason added, “Dogs can also get headaches from it as the water fills the skull. You may notice they are bumping their heads against the wall."

If you notice these symptoms contact your vet immediately as salt poisoning is a complicated illness to treat. Burgess explains that "it depends on the severity but it is a long process of removing the water with medications.” More serious effects of salt consumption include coma, seizures and death.

Other signs to watch for:

  • Diarrhoea
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Incoordination
  • Tremors
  • Seizures

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The next time you or your kids are reaching for the Play-Doh, keep a watchful eye on the four -legged thief and maybe have some treats at hand to distract.

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Naomi Jamieson
Naomi Jamieson

Naomi is a Lifestyle News Writer with the Lifestyle team and has recently earned her Gold Standard Diploma in Journalism from the NCTJ. She has a background in design, having studied Illustration at Plymouth University but has taken a leap into the world of journalism after always having a passion for writing. She currently writes pieces on beauty, fashion, and entertainment for Goodto.com and My Imperfect Life.