The good news is that roach poisons are not nearly as toxic to dogs as they are to roaches. The bad news is that the containers they come in can be even more dangerous than the poison.
Roach poison can be dangerous to dogs when ingested, whether directly through eating an entire roach trap, or indirectly by coming in contact with poison and then licking it off paws and fur. Fortunately, roach poisons are not as toxic to dogs as they once were. One of the most common roach poisons, fipronil, is the same ingredient used in topical flea and tick treatments for dogs and cats. Ingestion of most roach poisons does not usually pose a serious risk to healthy dogs. However, the containers, such as roach bait containers, eaten along with the poison can cause serious intestinal problems. Dogs eat roach bait containers because they usually contain attractants like peanut butter and bread.
Any dog that has ingested roach poison, even if he is acting normal, should be seen by a veterinarian. If he can't be seen immediately, contact animal poison control for instructions on treatment until a veterinarian can perform an examination. Do not induce vomiting or give human medications without getting medical advice. Common medical treatments include administering intravenous fluids, using activated charcoal to absorb the poison and providing specialized food and vitamins that are gentle on the kidneys. X-rays may also be necessary to determine whether the container was ingested. Surgery may be needed to remove parts of the container from the digestive system.
Place roach poisons and bait containers only in areas where dogs cannot reach them. Make sure clever dogs can't use their paws to drag poisons out of difficult to reach places. Keep animal poison control and veterinarian phone numbers on hand, as well as hydrogen peroxide in case poison control or the veterinarian advises inducing vomiting. Keep the packaging from any roach poison so you can determine the exact contents in case your dog gobbles it up.
Poison might be necessary for severe roach infestations, but in many cases other non-toxic methods that are safe for your dog can get rid of the pests. Seal up any openings or cracks where roaches might be entering the home. Caulk around doors, windows, cupboards, outlets and pipes. Place metal mesh screens over vents and other larger openings. Mix up a batch of one part baking soda and one part table sugar and use it as a non-toxic bait and poison for roaches.
- Dean Golja/Digital Vision/Getty Images