Is Borax Safe for Dogs

Is Borax Safe for Dogs?

The first question is, is borax safe for dogs? The answer to this question is that it depends on the amount and how often they are exposed.

Borax is a chemical compound (Na2B4O7(OH)4·10H2O) that has multiple uses in industry, but many people use it as a laundry booster or as an insecticide because of its low toxicity to mammals and birds.

But, just how toxic is borax to dogs?

  • Dogs are susceptible to borax toxicity at over 0.02 oz per lb of body weight. It will cause clinical signs like loss of appetite, retching, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, anemic skin/ gums, shock, and death.
  • The dog exposed to borax or boric acid frequently vomits, produces stools with blue-green substance or blood, and becomes lethargic or droopy-eyed. 
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Is Borax Safe For Dogs?

Borax is a chemical compound that can be found at many grocery stores. But the real question is how much borax can a small dog eat before being dangerous?

Well, for every pound (half a kilogram) of body weight, dogs are only able to tolerate about 0.25 grams (0.06 ounces) of borax before it is too much for them and can cause serious health problems such as vomiting or diarrhea.

  • Borax is an irritant, so if your dog consumes any borax, they will likely experience some type of irritation in their mouth or stomach.

Oral ingestion of borax, either as a pesticide or as a cleaner, has been linked to many disorders in dogs including seizures, kidney failure, or death when ingested.

  • When you mix Borax ingredients with others that are also unsafe for your dog, the health consequences can be even worse.

Borax ingestion may also damage the dog’s reproductive organs, brain, and endocrine system. Other symptoms of borax poisoning include excessive drooling, vomiting, and diarrhea.

– Dogs that have ingested borax may also experience an elevated heart rate or blood pressure, panting, seizures, difficulty breathing, tremors, and unsteady gait.


Contact with borax may cause severe eye and skin irritation in dogs

Is boric acid toxic for dogs?

The answer is simple; YES. As Borax and boric acid are so similar, both chemicals could be harmful to your dog. The question remains, then: Which one is worse?

  • Well, it all depends on the kind of exposure that occurs. If you make a mistake with just one like getting it on your dog’s paws and they lick it, boric acid is the worse choice.

Borax Inhalation in dogs may cause severe shortness of breath and coughing.

Symptoms of Borax Poisoning in Dogs

Borax poisonings in dogs are a medical emergency and must be addressed immediately. Symptoms of borax poisoning in dogs may include:

  • Extreme Salivation 
  • Disorientation and confusion (from being poisoned by ingesting it)
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea or blood in feces is also possible as well as lethargy list
  • Lethargy, listlessness, coma, seizures (convulsions)
  • Rapid Breathing
  • Burns, redness, swelling the skin
  • Severe shortness of breath and coughing (due to inhaling)
  • Neurological symptoms like seizures, stumbling and twitching
  • Bloody drool and drooling
  • Gastric ulceration
  • Abdominal pain

The signs of borax poisoning will come up in 2-4 hours after contact, inhalation, or ingestion. Contact the vet immediately for treatment if you notice such symptoms.

Causes of Dog Borax Poisoning

Boron, a naturally occurring element found in a number of products used around the home can have adverse effects on your canine companion.

The causes of borax poisoning include:

Cosmetics such as soaps or lotions with borax in them can also be a cause of poisoning to your dog if they lick the product of their skin.

Is 20 Mule Team Borax harmful to dogs?

Yes, 20 Mule Team Borax is toxic to dogs. But there’s no need for you to panic because it won’t kill your pet instantly unless they consume a large amount in one sitting.

The boron present in the product can cause vomiting and diarrhea with larger doses that may lead to death if not treated promptly by a veterinarian.

What are some of the symptoms I should keep an eye out for?

  • The signs of dog poisoning include nausea, excessive drooling, lethargy or weakness (being uncoordinated), seizures, difficulty breathing or panting, increased heart rate, and/or fever up until 106 degrees Fahrenheit.

If any such symptom persists seek veterinary attention immediately!

My Dog Ingested or Ate Borax, What Should I do?

In the event that your dog has eaten borax, you should contact your veterinarian straight away. Once you’ve done this, take note of the following points:

  1. Make sure at what time did he last eat? If it was more than one hour ago then a trip to the nearest veterinarian is not necessary. But, if less than an hour has passed; or he just ate; it is extremely important to get him there as soon as possible.
  2. Contacting your vet will involve gathering information about how big (how many kilograms) is your dog and also finding out whether they have anything which may assist with animal poisoning cases beforehand- such as anti-emetics or charcoal treatments. Assuming no arrangements are made beforehand

Contacting the dog Poison Helpline is a good idea to get answers if your dog has been poisoned. Animal poison control centers exist to provide help in times of need.

One of the many helpful services offered by the poison helpline is to provide insights on potential causes for dog poisoning.

Once you provide your vet with the case number, they can speak directly to the poison helpline toxicologists who will advise on the best course of action.

What will happen at the Vet’s Office?

When you take your pet to the vet for dog borax poisoning, there are typically a few treatment options that vets recommend.

  • Your veterinarian will decide if the dog needs immediate veterinary attention, and may induce vomiting if appropriate. Ingested borax will be vomited up.
  • A dog with borax poisoning will be monitored for signs of neurological damage.
  • If the vomiting continues, or if the dog is lethargic and experiencing muscle tremors, seizures, depression, or difficulty breathing, a veterinarian may decide to admit him/her into an animal hospital intensive care unit (ICU).
  • Once admitted to ICU he/she will receive intravenous fluids (IV fluids) as well as medications that help reduce stomach acidity and prevent kidney failure from dehydration.
  • The vet may take blood, urine, or tissue samples to test for damage to organs caused by ingestion of borax.

The vet will keep your pet under observation in order to see whether there are any changes such as skin irritation around their mouth caused by too much saliva being produced.

  • Intravenous fluids can also cause this so they’ll monitor it carefully until all symptoms have cleared up.

The vet may recommend a gastric lavage if your dog shows symptoms of high toxicity such as neurological symptoms.

  • Gastric lavage is a process of cleaning out your dog’s stomach (under anesthesia) and the first part of their intestines by giving them an emetic to induce vomiting.
  • Otherwise, they’ll recommend feeding charcoal (which absorbs some types of poison) in order to absorb any remaining borax that may have been ingested.

The vet will also monitor hydration levels closely through urine output as well as blood pressure if needed.

Recovery from Borax Poisoning for Dogs

Kidney damage from boric acid poisoning is a top concern for vets. The vet may opt to do hemodialysis and dialysis to help remove any boric acid from the kidneys.

  • Once they have recovered, make sure to keep them away from any borax.
  • Leaving it in the house will only tempt your dog and could lead to another poisoning event or death.

The vet may also prescribe medication for boric acid depending on how much borax was consumed by the dog.


In conclusion on the question “is borax safe for dogs” is a yes with many considerations.

  • Borax is safe for dogs when used in moderation, but can lead to kidney damage if consumed in excess or over time.
  • It is very important that you always keep borax away from your dog and make sure they have plenty of water during recovery!

If swallowed: Watch out for severe vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy (too tired), seizures (convulsions).

  • If these symptoms occur seek emergency veterinary care immediately because this could be life-threatening as well. See your vet
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Thanks again and happy reading!

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