Charcoal tablets for dogs: dosage & effects

If your dog eats something poisonous, charcoal tablets can save his life. The correct dosage is important so that the activated carbon can take full effect. You can find out how to correctly administer coal tablets for dogs here. Charcoal tablets are an important first aid measure for dogs in case of poisoning. You still need to go to the vet - Shutterstock / Pressmaster

Charcoal tablets are an important first aid measure for dogs in case of poisoning. You still need to go to the vet - Shutterstock / Pressmaster Activated carbon is not only available in the form of coal tablets, but also as a powder or liquid - shutterstock / showcake

As a first aid measure if poisoning or diarrhea is suspected, charcoal tablets are an integral part of the dog pharmacy. But how many coal tablets does your dog need in an emergency?

Charcoal tablets for the dog: dosage for poisoning

The correct dosage of coal tablets in dogs should be discussed with the veterinarian before you get into an emergency. As a rule of thumb in case of poisoning:

1 gram of activated carbon per kilogram of body weight

Caution! It actually means grams. Most tablets state their activated carbon content in milligrams, so that in an emergency, stress and panic can easily lead to confusion regarding the dosage.

If a carbon tablet contains 250 milligrams of activated carbon, you need four tablets per kilogram of your dog's body weight. A three kilogram chihuahua therefore needs 12 charcoal tablets. With a 80 kg Great Dane you will get a proud amount of 320 tablets. Several packs at once may be necessary.

At hand for emergencies

To avoid mistakes, you should discuss the dosage of the coal tablets for your dog with your veterinarian. Then measure the correct dose and place the pre-dosed tablets in the first aid kit of your four-legged friend. So you have the product immediately at hand in an emergency.

Because in the case of poisoning, the faster the activated carbon comes into contact with the stomach and intestines of your four-legged friend, the more likely it is to be effective as a countermeasure. However, coal tablets are not enough: poisoning remains an emergency and should be treated immediately by a veterinarian.

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And how do you dose in case of diarrhea?

At the next check-up, just ask your veterinarian how high the dosage for coal tablets in the dog is if he has only mild diarrhea. In this case, a lower dose may be sufficient than for poisoning.

However, this only applies if you are absolutely certain that the diarrhea is not a symptom of a serious illness or that your dog has not eaten something poisonous after all. If in doubt, give the pre-dosed portion of coal tablets and go to the vet immediately.

Where can I buy charcoal tablets for the dog?

You can buy coal tablets in pharmacies and drug stores, for example. Activated carbon is also available online. Activated carbon is not only available in tablet form, but also as a powder or dissolved in liquid. This can be useful for larger dogs to make it easier to achieve the right dosage.

Give dog coal tablets: tips and tricks

Tricks can help give your dog coal tablets. If you only need a few tablets, you can coat them with liver sausage or hide them in a piece of ground beef. Larger cans are best mixed in crushed form or as a powder in tasty wet food. A hearty sauce that covers the taste of the activated carbon is also helpful.

You can find more tips in our guide "Dog must take medication: This is how he swallows the pill".

Important! Never force your dog to take charcoal tablets in an emergency. He could choke and breathlessness - in the worst case, even suffocate. His refusal to take activated carbon may also be a first symptom of poisoning. Do not waste any time, but go to the vet immediately.

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After using the coal tablets with the dog to the vet

Even if your dog has swallowed the right amount of coal tablets, you must take them to the vet as soon as possible. The activated carbon can absorb the toxins from the gastrointestinal tract, but you can never be sure that no toxins have really got into the bloodstream. The activated carbon is not an antidote! Poison residues can remain in your dog's body and harm him.

How does the activated carbon work in the coal tablets for dogs?

Charcoal tablets do not contain normal charcoal, such as is used for grilling or arises when a slice of toast burns. The so-called activated carbon or medical coal is usually obtained from plants, such as nutshells or wood.

The base material is charred at high temperatures of around 1,000 degrees Celsius until only porous framework structures remain. As a result, the total internal area is very large and, for example, corresponds to the size of a soccer field with four grams of activated carbon.

The medical coal consists of many small, extremely absorbent sponges, so to speak. If they get into the gastrointestinal tract, they can absorb chemical substances there. Your dog can then excrete the toxins along with the activated carbon. In order for this to work, you must give your four-legged friend the coal tablets as soon as possible after taking in the toxin.

Attention! Charcoal tablets for dogs only work in case of poisoning of the gastrointestinal tract. These include, for example:
● rat poison
● Snail grain
● Blue grain and other mineral fertilizers
● Chocolate, grapes, onions and other toxic foods
● Poison bait

If your dog is poisoned by a snake bite or suffers an anaphylactic shock after an insect bite due to an allergy, the charcoal tablets will not help. In this case, go to the vet immediately.

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Wrong dosage of coal tablets in dogs: side effects?

If the dosage of the coal tablets in the dog is too low, residues of the toxin remain in the gastrointestinal tract and can get into the bloodstream. A too high dose of activated carbon can lead to constipation. Otherwise, the side effects of coal tablets are very low. In an emergency, the benefits of activated carbon outweigh it - it can even save lives!

You may also be interested in these topics related to dog health:

Are nuts toxic to dogs?

Attention mushroom poisoning! Remove poisonous mushrooms from the garden

Dangers in the garden: These substances are toxic to dogs

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