It’s not uncommon for dogs to eat things that are inedible, like socks and raw hides. But sometimes they might also eat some of your food or come across something toxic. If you think your dog ate moldy food, here’s what you should do.
- Over 320,000 pets in the US were exposed to something poisonous or dangerous in 2021 and called the ASPCA Poison Control Hotline for help. That’s over 876 per day (source).
- Over 120,000 dogs and 20,400 cats were poisoned last year and admitted to the vet in the UK (source)
- If you think your pet has eaten something dangerous call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center Phone Number: (888) 426-4435
Table of Contents
- Can Moldy Food Kill a Dog?
- What Happens If My Dog Eats Moldy Food?
- Can Dogs Get Sick from Eating Moldy Food?
- Will Moldy Cheese Hurt My Dog?
- Can Dogs Eat Moldy Bread?
- Can Moldy Bread Kill a Dog?
- Can Moldy Water Make Dogs Sick?
- How Long After Eating Something Will a Dog Get Sick?
- What Are the Signs of Mold Poisoning?
- What Can I Give My Dog If He Ate Moldy Food?
- How Do I Treat My Dog for Mold?
- What Can Black Mold Do to Dogs?
- Can Mold Make Dogs Itch?
- Ask a Vet
Can Moldy Food Kill a Dog?
If a dog eats food that is moldy, they will definitely begin to show signs of sickness. If left untreated, this could lead to the unfortunate demise of your dog. Mycotoxin poisoning caused by mold and bacteria can be just as fatal to dogs as it can be to humans. The key to saving them is to get prompt treatment from a vet.
What Happens If My Dog Eats Moldy Food?
If your dog eats moldy food, they may immediately get sick. They may start to shake all over, lose their balance, and pant uncontrollably. Your dog may also begin to vomit or eliminate fecal waste with no control. Their appearance may become yellow as if suffering from jaundice. They may be unable to stand still without falling over.
Can Dogs Get Sick from Eating Moldy Food?
The answer is yes. Your dog can get very sick and even die if they are not treated by a vet in time. You should notice the signs of mold or bacteria poisoning fairly soon after your dog has consumed moldy food. These may be shaking all over, whining, or being unable to keep their balance. They may begin to heave and vomit uncontrollably.
Will Moldy Cheese Hurt My Dog?
Cheese with mold on it can be very toxic to your dog. If your dog seems to have a lack of energy or is not wanting to eat again, it may be due to mold poisoning. It’s a good idea to observe them for 24 hours to make sure they are all right. If they begin to vomit or show signs of uncontrollable diarrhea, you need to get them to a vet.
Can Dogs Eat Moldy Bread?
Dogs can find bits of moldy bread that you may have left in a trash can without thinking. They may also find bread outside on the ground while on their walk with you. You should do all in your power to avoid letting your dog eat anything that they find outside or on the ground. Moldy bread can cause your dog to get sick or even die.
Can Moldy Bread Kill a Dog?
Moldy bread can be very dangerous for a dog to consume. This is because it is especially full of mycotoxins that are the leading harmful agent in mold and bacteria. Dogs who eat moldy bread will get sick and start vomiting, shaking all over, and exhibiting other symptoms such as diarrhea. If left untreated, it can be fatal.
Can Moldy Water Make Dogs Sick?
Moldy water can definitely make your dog sick. It can also contain parasites that can infect and even kill your dog. Moldy water can cause uncontrolled vomiting, shortness of breath, loss of balance, diarrhea, seizures, and other possibly fatal side effects. If you observe any of these conditions, get treatment for your dog as soon as you can.
How Long After Eating Something Will a Dog Get Sick?
In some cases, your dog may get sick right after eating something that they should not have. For example, eating moldy bread may cause them to start retching immediately. In some cases, it may be more like 24 hours or even a few days before they get sick. It will be up to you to know what the symptoms are so that you or a vet can treat them.
What Are the Signs of Mold Poisoning?
Mold poisoning in dogs can take many forms. The most frequent signs to look out include the following:
- Extreme restlessness, unable to sleep or sit still
- Nausea and vomiting
- Outbreaks of diarrhea
- Fits or seizures
- Disorientation or loss of balance
- High fever and other signs of hyperthermia
- Jaundice and other icterus symptoms
- Abdominal pain, irritation, itching, or bloating
What Can I Give My Dog If He Ate Moldy Food?
There are a few things that you can do for your dog if you suspect they are sick after eating moldy food. Wait a few hours after their last meal, then give them something bland such as boiled rice and chicken. You may also put a bit of yogurt into the mix. This ought to be enough to sooth their stomach and tamp down any mold infection.
If your dog doesn’t seem to respond to this treatment, the best thing to do will be to get them to a vet as soon as possible. The vet can give them a course of antibacterial treatment that should be enough to save their life. The key is to get treatment once you recognize the symptoms and before they become more intense.
How Do I Treat My Dog for Mold?
The best thing to do may be to give them bland food, such as boiled rice with chicken, along with a bit of yogurt. This should settle their stomach. If symptoms persist, get them to a vet for professional medical treatment.
What Can Black Mold Do to Dogs?
Black mold can cause a series of very nasty symptoms in dogs. If left untreated for too long, black mold can definitely kill your pet. Black mold can cause immediate seizures that can paralyze your dog or shut off their ability to breathe. It can also cause them to lose fluids via vomiting and diarrhea. This can be fatal to your dog.
Can Mold Make Dogs Itch?
Eating bad food with mold on it can make dogs twitch, tremor, itch, and pant. It can also make them retch, vomit, and suffer from diarrhea. If you observe these symptoms, you need to get treatment for your dog immediately. You don’t want to wait too long because these symptoms, if left untreated for too long, can be fatal to your dog.
Ask a Vet
Melissa M. Brock, Board-Certified Veterinarian
I’m Melissa. I am a practicing board-certified house on-call Veterinarian from Madison and an author at Pango Pets. I do hope that my experience will come in handy.
If your dog ate moldy food, it’s important to know how to handle the situation. Moldy food can be toxic for dogs and cause them to become extremely ill. And even if your dog doesn’t have a reaction to it, the mold can still make them sick by causing gastrointestinal upset or diarrhea. There are three steps you need to take if your dog ate moldy food:
- First, check with your vet to see if they recommend anything else that might help your dog feel better more quickly than just waiting for the effects of the mold to wear off on their own.
- Next, remove any remaining pieces of moldy food from their stomach as soon as possible so that they don’t eat any more and get sicker than they already are (or die!). If there isn’t much left but you still want to remove it all right away, try giving them some Pepto-Bismol or activated charcoal (both available without prescription) mixed into water or milk until they throw up what little there was left in their stomach already—then wait at least an hour before giving them anything else from now on!
- Finally, monitor closely for signs of -Vomiting -Diarrhea -Lethargy -Abdominal pain
Melissa M. Brock
Dr. Linda Simon, MVB MRCVS, Consulting Veterinarian
My name is Dr. Linda Simon. I’m a veterinary surgeon and also a veterinary consultant for FiveBarks.
Eating moldy food is more than just ‘gross’ it can actually make a dog critically unwell. This is especially true if a dog ingests a large quantity of gone off food. Dogs eat moldy food when they raid the trash, scavenge for food outside or eat their own food that was left out in the heat for too long. I’ve even treated one Labrador who had raided its owners compost heap.
Signs of mold toxicity can include vomiting, diarrhoea, lethargy, muscle tremors, fever, confusion and seizures. Signs tend to develop within a few hours.
Time is of the essence when it comes to mold toxicity and the sooner a pet can be seen by their vet, the better. With early treatment, the prognosis is good for most dogs. Sadly, in severe cases of mycotoxicity, delaying or withholding treatment can mean the patient passes away.
Treatment consists of eliminating the mold from the body, which may mean inducing vomiting, a gastric lavage and/or feeding activated charcoal. We also provide supportive care in the form of e.g. fluids, anti nausea medicine and anti seizure medicine as needed.
Dr. Linda Simon, MVB MRCVS
Consulting Veterinarian, FiveBarks
Dr. Sabrina Kong, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
I’m Dr. Sabrina Kong DVM, a dog trainer & veterinary writer at WeLoveDoodles.
Moldy food can cause a big problem in your house if eaten by your dog. The mold we see in food is a fungus and most of them cause several health problems when ingested.
If you have found your dog eating a piece of moldy food or if you find your dog’s food is moldy and have already fed them with it, call your vet immediately. The sooner the better, as you will have less time for the symptoms to kick in and more chances of your dog undergoing less severe treatments.
If you can, take the food your dog was eating to the vet too so they can test it in the lab to find out what kind of toxin they are dealing with.
The consequences of your dog eating moldy food can be life-threatening, as most neurotoxins in moldy food can cause nausea, dehydration, vomiting, tremors, and even seizures.
It is critical that you contact your vet as soon as possible, they are the only ones that can tell you what to do next. Don’t try to induce vomiting or fed them any kind of homemade remedies, as you don’t know the effects and the type of neurotoxin your dog has ingested. Don’t leave your dog unattended after eating moldy food.
Under the supervision of a vet, a dog that ate moldy food can return to everyday life with no problems as most dogs survive this type of food poisoning.
I hope this helps!
Dr. Sabrina Kong, DVM, We Love Doodles
My name is Ken and I’m one of the staff writers at Petloverguy.com. I’ve cared for pets most of my life starting with hamsters, turtles, and snakes. Then moving up to parakeets, guinea pigs, and even ducks.
I currently live with two yorkies and a chihuahua mix.