Home AppliancesDishwasher

What Happens If a Dog Eats a Dishwasher Tablet?

Dishwasher 2

Dishwasher tablets are a common household item that is often overlooked as a potential danger to our furry friends. But what happens if a dog eats a dishwasher tablet? In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the potential risks, symptoms, immediate actions to take, and prevention strategies to ensure the safety of our pets.


If a dog eats a dishwasher tablet, it can be harmful due to the concentrated chemicals in the tablet. Symptoms of ingestion may include vomiting, diarrhea, burns in the mouth, esophagus, and stomach, and other signs of distress. If your dog ingests a dishwasher tablet, do not induce vomiting, but contact your vet immediately for guidance. To prevent this, store dishwasher tablets safely out of your dog’s reach.

The Dangers of Dishwasher Tablets

Dishwasher tablets are concentrated detergents that contain a mix of alkali, phosphates, enzymes, bleach, and surfactants. They are designed to break down food residues and grease on dishes, but if ingested by a dog, these chemicals can be harmful, causing a range of symptoms from mild irritation to severe burns in the mouth, esophagus, and stomach.

Symptoms of Dishwasher Tablet Ingestion

If a dog ingests a dishwasher tablet, the immediate symptoms may include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Burns of the mouth, esophagus, and stomach
  • Body shaking
  • Trouble breathing
  • Excessive drooling
  • Lethargy
  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Lack of interest in eating
  • Eye irritation

It’s important to note that symptoms may vary based on the ingredients of the dishwasher detergent ingested.

What To Do If Your Dog Ingests a Dishwasher Tablet

If your dog has swallowed a dishwasher tablet, you should take the following immediate steps:

  1. Confirm that your dog has indeed ingested the tablet and has not spit it out or carried it elsewhere.
  2. Call your veterinarian immediately. They will help you determine whether you need to bring your dog to the vet’s office or if you need to monitor your dog at home.
  3. Do NOT induce vomiting, as this may cause more harm to sensitive tissues.
  4. If the tablet has burst open in your dog’s mouth, flush the mouth, eyes, or skin with water immediately.

Long-Term Effects

While most of the symptoms mentioned are short-term, long-term effects are not well-documented. However, it is essential to seek immediate veterinary care if your dog ingests a dishwasher tablet to minimize the risk of long-term complications.

Prevention is Key

To prevent your dog from getting access to dishwasher tablets, consider the following tips:

  • Store dishwasher tablets in a closed cabinet or on a high shelf that your dog cannot reach.
  • Use childproof latches on cabinets where you store cleaning supplies, including dishwasher tablets.
  • Keep the dishwasher door closed when not in use to prevent your dog from accessing the detergent compartment.
  • Supervise your dog in the kitchen and train them to stay away from the dishwasher and other potentially dangerous areas.

By following these precautions, you can minimize the risk of your dog getting access to dishwasher tablets and keep them safe from potential harm.


Ingesting a dishwasher tablet can be dangerous for your dog due to the concentrated chemicals present in the tablet. It is essential to store these tablets and other cleaning products safely out of your dog’s reach. If your dog does ingest a dishwasher tablet, contact your vet immediately and follow their guidance to ensure the best possible outcome for your pet.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can other household cleaning products harm my dog?

Yes, many household cleaning products can be harmful or even lethal to dogs if ingested, inhaled, or come into contact with their skin. It is essential to store all cleaning products safely out of your dog’s reach.

What other common household items can be dangerous for dogs?

Many common household items can pose a threat to dogs, including certain plants, foods (like chocolate, grapes, and onions), medications, batteries, and small objects that can be swallowed. Always be mindful of what your dog can access.

How can I train my dog to stay away from dangerous areas or items?

Training your dog to stay away from certain areas or items can be achieved through consistent instruction and reinforcement. Commands like “leave it” or “no” can be particularly helpful. Professional dog trainers or behaviorists can provide additional support and advice.

What should I do if I can’t reach my vet immediately?

If you can’t reach your vet immediately, you should call an emergency pet hotline or your local animal hospital. They can provide immediate advice on what steps you should take.

Are there any safe alternatives to dishwasher tablets that I can use?

There are pet-friendly cleaning products available on the market that can be a safer alternative if your dog tends to get into things they shouldn’t. However, even these should be stored out of reach as ingestion in large amounts could still cause issues.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *