Are Mothballs Toxic to Dogs?

Unfortunately, dogs like to put everything in their mouth. Almost like a baby, it’s your dog’s way to explore the world. Sometimes this curiosity can lead your dog into harm’s way.

Has your dog ever eaten a mothball? Are mothballs toxic to dogs? We will explore these two questions and find out what will happen if your dog eats a disgusting mothball.

Are Mothballs Toxic To Dogs

What Is a Mothball?

A mothball’s job is to repel and exterminate moths, moth larva, and even carpet beetles. You place a mothball around the home in drawers and wardrobes to kill any critters that may be making pesty holes in your clothing.

Mothballs can come in many different forms, such as tablets, balls, crystal textures, and even flake forms. The ingredients inside the mothballs are very toxic, and they shouldn’t be spread all over the home just anywhere. This is true, especially if you have pets living in the home.

Some dogs have found mothballs and ingested them. The toxicity of this product can make a dog extremely sick. Dogs are curious and may think you left some food lying around the house.

Are Mothballs Toxic to Dogs?

Yes, mothballs are toxic to dogs and other household pets. The mothball can even be toxic if your dog doesn’t ingest it as it has very strong fumes.

Mothball poisoning and toxicity can happen due to the naphthalene and paradichlorobenzene chemicals inside of it.

Just the fumes can make your dog feel some effects, but if your dogs eat a mothball, it can produce some serious symptoms.

The most toxic form of mothballs is the one that contains the chemical naphthalene. You will see a full list of symptoms below.

Symptoms of Mothball Poisoning

Mothballs do not dissolve quickly, so it can take a few days before your dog starts to show some symptoms of mothball poisoning. If you watched your dog eat a mothball, then I suggest getting on the phone and calling your local veterinarian for guidance.

If your dog ate a mothball with the main chemical paradichlorobenzene, then look out for the following symptoms:

  • Lethargy
  • Weakness
  • Breath that smells of mothballs
  • Vomiting
  • Notice of irritation in your dog’s eyes.

If your dog eats a mothball with the main chemical of naphthalene, then you can look for these symptoms of mothball poisoning:

  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Nausea
  • Seizure
  • Vomiting Blood
  • Tremors

How Many Mothballs Can be Toxic to Your Dog?

The mothball’s toxicity and the size of your dog will depend on how the mothball will affect your dog. It truly only takes one mothball for your dog to start exhibiting some of those dangerous symptoms.

What Do I Do If Dog Ate a Mothball?

If your dog has eaten a mothball in front of you or if you have seen your dog eating one, you should call your veterinarian immediately even if your dog isn’t showing any poisoning symptoms.

Your veterinarian will guide you with the correct steps, which may involve bringing your dog in for an exam.

If you are unsure if your dog ate a mothball, watch out for the above symptoms to narrow down the possibility. If the symptoms start and worsen, you will still want to contact your veterinarian and tell her what you suspect your dog to have eaten.

It is very important that you are proactive about this, as toxicity in dogs can sometimes lead to death.

Treatment of Mothball Poisoning in Dogs

A veterinarian may use a few different methods to treat your dog. One of the major things your vet might do is induce vomiting in your dog if the mothball was just Ingested under two hours ago. This, of course, will only work if your dog isn’t showing any of the above symptoms already.

Here are a few of the other ways a veterinarian might treat your dog:

Activated Charcoal – Activated charcoal works by combing with a poison to counteract its effects.

Fluids – When your dog is given fluids, this is helpful as it can help hydrate your dog and flush out the organs that may be being affected by the poisoning.

Blood Transfusion – In way more severe cases of mothball poisoning, your dog may need a blood transfusion. An indicator that your dog may need this is from a bloody stool sample and brown mucus.

Mothball Poisoning


Is There an Antidote for Mothball Poisoning?

Currently, at this time, there is no such thing to stop your dog from getting sick from mothballs. If you notice that your dog has eaten a mothball and have taken your dog to the vet in time, your dog may not have to endure other treatments and benefit from the induced vomiting.  

Are Dogs Attracted to Mothballs?

No dogs are not immediately attracted to this product. Dogs are curious and if your dog sees something on the floor it might put it in its mouth thinking it is food. 

This is how dogs explore our world so it is important to keep dangerous items high up away from a dog’s reach and in a container.

How Can You Prevent Mothball Poisoning?

One sure way you can prevent your dog from getting into mothballs is by storing It in an airtight container.

 Mothballs can even give off harmful fumes to dogs and people, so it is imperative that you follow the specific instruction on how to use the mothballs.

Never leave mothballs out in the open or in the yard, as your dog will likely find it and may possibly eat it.


As you can infer from the article, mothballs are extremely dangerous to dogs and other pets. Now we have the answer to are mothballs toxic to dogs. Even the fumes alone can make your dog sick, so it is very important to keep mothballs stored away from a dog’s reach.

If your dog has ingested a mothball, call a dog health professional right away to get some help. Has your dog ever eaten a mothball? Let us know your experience down below.

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