My Dog Ate Charcoal

Sometimes dogs can be very mischievous and get into things they are not suppose to. This also goes for things they eat but shouldn’t be eating. If your dog has just eaten charcoal and you are unsure what this might do to your dog, then you came to the right place.

Dogs that eat charcoal are actually very common, and dogs do this for a major reason. Typically, meat juices from the meat cooked on the grill fall onto the charcoal, and dogs can smell it on there. This causes them to take a bite out of it.

My Dog Ate Charcoal

Is Charcoal Harmful for Dogs to Ingest?

While charcoal is not poisonous if your dog ingests it, it can still cause serious problems inside your dog’s body. Charcoal can cause stomach upset in your dog and make your dog feel like not eating.

A more serious thing that can occur is a blockage inside the intestines where a bigger piece of charcoal can get stuck and make a blockage where no food or liquids can get past. This is something that will need to be confirmed by a veterinarian and looked at by one.

Hot charcoal that has been ingested by a dog can also cause some harm due to the heat. Your dog could develop burns inside their mouth or even on their gums.

What About Charcoal That has Lighter Fluid on It?

If your dog eats a charcoal piece with lighter fluid on it, it can lead to some dangerous side effects. Your dog may experience mild symptoms such as skin rashes or irritation, difficulty breathing, weakness, and more serious issues like vomiting or head tremors.

If you know the charcoal that your dog just ate is covered in lighter fluid, I would immediately call your local veterinarian and see what they want you to do. Lighter fluid can make your dog very sick, and it can cause fatal accidents if not careful.

My Dog Ate Charcoal and Is Throwing Up!

Most dogs, when they ingest charcoal, are not having an issue throwing up. If your dog is, then this can be a huge sign of something more serious. The charcoal could have had lighter fluid on it, which is not making your dog extremely sick.

This could also be a sign that there is a blockage somewhere in the intestines. When the charcoal blocks the intestines, this could also be a sign of throw up because everything your dog is eating or drinking will come back up because it has nowhere to go since the intestines are blocked.


Your dog’s diet causes pancreatitis. The foods that are hard to process through the pancreas cause pancreatitis. This will cause inflammation in the body, resulting in diarrhea, appetite loss, and even fever.

Sometimes these symptoms can be hard to identify in dogs, so make sure you watch out for behavioral changes as well.

So, if your dog is having a hard time passing the charcoal, your dog could develop pancreatitis, which obviously will give your dog some more serious side effects. If your dog is exhibiting any of these symptoms, ask your local veterinarian for health guidance.

Dog Ate Charcoal

My Dog Ate Charcoal Ashes

Like charcoal, the ashes most likely have some leftover grease or meat drippings that have fallen onto the ashes. Dogs have very strong noses, so your dog can smell that and may take a lick of the ashes.

If your dog only takes a few licks, it will most likely be fine, but if your dog eats way to much ash, there could be some serious issues that may come to your dog.

What to Do If My Dog Ate a Charcoal Briquette

Here is a list of the steps you should take if you notice your dog eating charcoal or have found half eaten charcoal.

  1. The first thing you should do is clean up the mess if there are charcoals everything and put it somewhere your dog cannot reach or get to it anymore. This will ensure that, hopefully, that something like this shouldn’t happen again.
  2. See if you can evaluate how much your dog ate. Did your dog just lick the charcoal or ashes? Did your dog eat large pieces? See if you can figure out the answer to this while you are cleaning up the mess.
  3. Check on your dog. See if your dog will like to drink some water to wash down some of the charcoal inside of your dog’s mouth.
  4. Call your local veterinarian to explain the estimated amount of charcoal you think your dog might have ingested. Give your vet as many details as you can. Did your dog only lick the charcoal? Did your dog eat a lot? Does the charcoal have lighter fluid on it? These are critical answers to give your vet.
  5. Your vet will then tell you exactly how to treat your dog, whether that be monitoring your dog or having the dog seen by the vet.
  6. Make sure to keep a very close watch on your dog to see if your dog develops any weird behavior or medical issues. These issues could be that your dog won’t go to the bathroom to pass the charcoal or even vomiting. That would mean you have a more serious issue on your hands.


As you can see, if your dog gets into a charcoal bag, your dog will not be poisoned, but it can have some harmful effects on your dog’s body, especially if the charcoal creates a blockage. Remember, if you are ever concerned about your dog eating charcoal to consult a veterinarian for guidance. Let us know if you have ever had to go through this experience.

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