Is Woodhouse Toad Poisonous To Dogs? – Experts Revealed

As pet owners, we all want to keep our furry friends safe and healthy.

One concern many dog owners have is the potential danger of certain animals and plants in their environment. One such animal is the Woodhouse toad.

Is the Woodhouse toad poisonous to dogs? This article will explore the facts about the Woodhouse toad and its potential danger to our canine companions.

Let’s find out the risks and tips on how to protect your dog from harm.

Is Woodhouse Toad Poisonous To Dogs? 

woodhouse toad poisonous to dogs

No, the Woodhouse toad is not poisonous to dogs.

However, if a dog comes into contact with toads, the defensive secretion of these toads can cause drooling, vomiting, and other bad symptoms in dogs.

What Kind Of Toads Are Poisonous To Dogs?

Are all toads poisonous to dogs? Not all, there are just two types of toads in the United States that are toxic to dogs:

  • The first is the cane toad, also known as the Bufo, marine toad, or giant toad. It is found in Florida, Hawaii, and Southern Texas. Cane toads are unusually large, growing between 6 to 9 inches long. They are particularly toxic in Florida compared to other regions.
  • The second type is the Colorado River toad, or the Sonoran Desert toad. You can find it in Southern Arizona, Southern California, and New Mexico. It is the biggest toad in the US, with a length of 8 inches.

The cane toad was introduced to Florida in 1936 for pest control but has become invasive, often dominating suburban yards after heavy rains. The Colorado River toad, on the other hand, is native to the mentioned regions.

These toads pose a threat to dogs if they lick or ingest them. Both species of toad can cause severe poisoning and life-threatening symptoms in dogs.

Toad encounters are more likely during the rainy season (March-September) when breeding occurs, and toad species are most active after rainfall or during dawn, dusk, and nighttime.

What Are The Causes Of Toad Poisoning In Dogs?

Are woodhouse toads toxic? No, but other toads secrete the toxins responsible for poisoning as a defense mechanism.

These toxins are produced in specialized glands, particularly the parotid glands near the toad’s eyes.

When a dog investigates, licks, or bites a toad, the toxins can be absorbed through the mucous membranes of the mouth or ingested if the dog swallows the toad.

Dogs are most commonly exposed to toads during the breeding season, generally from March to September.

During this time, toads are more active and may be encountered by dogs during outdoor activities. Dogs can be attracted to toads due to their slow movement and natural curiosity.

Toxicity can occur from direct contact with the toads and from ingesting toad eggs, tadpoles, or even contaminated water sources, such as water bowls where toads have been present.

Ingestion of these substances can lead to toxin exposure and subsequent poisoning.

What Are Some Signs Of Toad Poisoning In Dogs? 

  • Local irritation: Dogs may exhibit local irritation around the mouth, such as pawing at the mouth, head shaking, and retching.
  • Excessive drooling and hypersalivation: Dogs often produce excessive saliva as a reflex to flush out irritating toxins.
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms: Vomiting and diarrhea are common symptoms of toad poisoning in dogs, just like with other non-food items like foxtail grass.
  • Redness and irritation: You may notice redness and irritation around the pet’s mouth and on the mucous membranes. The gums and other oral tissues may appear very red or inflamed.
  • Heart problems: Dogs may experience an elevated heart rate, abnormal heart rhythms, palpitations, and high blood pressure.
  • Neurological symptoms: You can see tremors, seizures, disorientation, loss of coordination, darting eyes, and even loss of consciousness.
  • Gums and membranes in weird colors: The toxins can cause the mouth’s gums and other mucous membranes to appear dark red.

What Are The Treatments Of Toad Poisoning In Dogs?

are woodhouse toads poisonous

Immediate Decontamination

Quick decontamination is crucial to minimize toxin absorption. It involves flushing the dog’s mouth and skin with cool water for 5-10 minutes.

It helps to remove any remaining toxin on the surface and reduces further ingestion.

Supportive Care

  • Intravenous fluid therapy: Administration of fluids through an intravenous (IV) line helps to correct dehydration, maintain hydration, and restore electrolyte balance.
  • Temperature regulation: Cooling measures, such as cool water baths or cooling pads, may be used to manage elevated body temperature.
  • Anti-seizure medication: If the dog experiences seizures, anti-seizure medications may be given to control and manage them.
  • Antiarrhythmic therapy: Medications can be administered to address any abnormal heart rhythms due to toad poisoning.
  • Antiemetics: Antiemetic medications may be used to control vomiting if it is a symptom of toad poisoning.

Further Treatment


Depending on the severity of symptoms, additional medications may be prescribed.

These may include muscle relaxants, medications to control abnormal heart rhythms, and other supportive medications as needed.

Close monitoring

Dogs affected by toad poisoning require close monitoring of their vital signs. They include heart rate, respiratory rate, blood pressure, body temperature, and neurological status.

It helps assess their response to treatment and identify any worsening of symptoms.

Additional interventions

In severe cases, surgical intervention or endoscopy may be necessary to remove ingested toads or remnants from the dog’s digestive tract.

How To Prevent Toad Poisoning In Dogs?

Keep Dogs On A Leash

When walking your dog, keep them on a leash, especially in areas where toads live.

This allows you to have better control over your dog and prevent them from approaching or attempting to interact with toads or other creatures like squirrels or baby bunnies.

Once your dog is outdoors, especially when toads are more active (after rain, at dawn or dusk, or during the night), closely supervise their activities.

Avoid Water Sources

Prevent your dog from drinking from puddles, ponds, or other bodies of water where species of toads may reside.

Toads are often attracted to water sources, and their toxins can contaminate the water.

Besides, it’s best to eliminate stagnant water sources, such as old tires or containers, that may attract toads. Keep your dog’s water bowls clean and change the water frequently.

Regularly Inspect The Yard

Check your yard for any potential hiding spots or habitats for toads, such as leaf and wood piles.

Remove or modify these areas to discourage toads from seeking shelter on your property.

Be alert for any initial signs of toads in the vicinity and intervene to prevent your dog from approaching or attempting to investigate them.

Training And Recall Commands

Train your dog to respond to recall commands and teach them to avoid unfamiliar wildlife. This can help prevent them from approaching or interacting with toads.

What Do You Do If You Find A Toad In Your Yard? 

What kind of toads are poisonous to dogs

Identify the toad

Take a moment to observe and determine the species of the toad. This can help you assess whether it is a harmless species or potentially poisonous.

Assess the situation

If the toad appears in a safe location and is not causing harm, you may leave it be. Toads are beneficial for controlling insects and can be a valuable part of your yard’s ecosystem.

Handle toxic toads

If the toad is potentially poisonous, use a container or your hands (after washing them or wearing gloves) to move the toad elsewhere.

You can ask someone to help you. Remember to wash your hand after touching it.


What To Do If Your Dog Plays With A Poisonous Toad?

Act promptly: Quickly intervene and end the interaction between your dog and the toad.

Ensure your safety: Avoid touching the toad directly; some species may have toxic secretions.

Use a safe and effective method to separate your dog from the toad without putting yourself at risk.

Flush the mouth: Rinse their mouth and skin with cool water for 5-10 minutes. It helps to remove any toxins and reduce absorption.

Is There An Antidote For Dogs With Toad Poisoning?

There is no specific antidote available for toad poisoning in dogs.

Treatment primarily involves providing supportive care to address the effects of the toxin and manage any symptoms or complications that may arise.

The specific measures a veterinarian takes will depend on the severity of the poisoning and the symptoms exhibited by the dog.

How To Measure The Prognosis For Dogs With Toad Poisoning?

The prognosis for dogs with toad poisoning can vary depending on the severity of the signs and symptoms.

Dogs that experience mild local irritation from toad poisoning have a good prognosis.

However, the prognosis becomes more guarded if more severe symptoms such as seizures or arrhythmias develop.

How To Diagnose Toad Poisoning In Dogs?

Physical examination: The veterinarian will look for specific signs or symptoms associated with toad poisoning.

Diagnostic tests: This supports the diagnosis and rules out other potential causes. These tests may include:

  • Complete blood count (CBC) evaluates the number and types of blood cells, helping to identify any abnormalities or signs of infection.
  • Biochemical profile assesses organ function and checks for electrolyte imbalances or other abnormalities.
  • Electrocardiography (ECG) examines the heart’s electrical activity and detects any cardiac arrhythmias, which can occur with toad poisoning.


Is Woodhouse toad poisonous to dogs? No. Woodhouse’s toads are not poisonous or lethal to dogs. But are toads harmful to dogs? Some species do.

They can still threaten their health, and it is best to keep them away from your pets. Thus, steering your furry friends clear from these toads is always better.


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Hi I am Mitchell. Dog Growth is a blog about dog caring and training where I share my experiences to my community. Hope you enjoy it!

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