Can dogs get poison ivy too? If you’ve ever wondered if your itchy dog might have come in contact with this itchy plant, read on. Here’s the truth about dogs and poison ivy, including the risk exposure poses to both you and your dog.
what is poison ivy?
Poison ivy is a plant identified by its three ivy-like leaves that contain urushiol, an oil that normally gives people an itchy rash. Other plants that contain this oil include poison oak, which looks like the leaves of an oak tree, and poison sumac. these are typically found in the wild, but sometimes invade parks and yards. Visit the United States Food and Drug Administration website for more information on how to identify each of these plants.
Reading: Are dogs allergic to poison ivy
can dogs get poison ivy?
Dogs can get rashes from poison ivy, but it doesn’t happen very often, says the Pet Poison Helpline. Most dogs’ skin is protected from the oil that causes rashes by their fur. however, dogs with thin or very short coats are more susceptible to developing rashes, but not necessarily more reactive to urushiol. however, the greatest danger to most dogs lies in ingesting the poison ivy plant. While this usually results in nothing more than an upset stomach, a severe allergic reaction could send your dog into anaphylactic shock, which can cause his airways to constrict, preventing him from breathing. while this isn’t as common as it is with humans and allergies, it’s worth keeping an eye on your dog just in case. If you know or suspect your dog has ingested poison ivy, poison oak, or poison sumac, monitor him closely and contact your veterinarian immediately.
poison ivy symptoms to look for
These are some common symptoms if your dog comes into contact with or ingests one of these itchy plants:
- redness, swelling, and itching at the point of contact
- blisters and scabs
- abdominal pain
Between the possible risk of anaphylaxis and the fact that these signs could indicate something more serious, it’s best to contact your veterinarian if you notice any of these symptoms.
danger from dogs and poison ivy to people
Although the risk of letting dogs and poison ivy mix is low for your dog, there is an increased risk of it passing poison ivy to you, another human, or even other pets. if your pup gets the sap or oil from one of these plants on his fur, you could be exposed by petting or rubbing him, or even coming into contact with his bedding or sitting on the same chair or couch cushion he used .
To reduce the risk of your pup getting poison ivy, keep him on a leash when hiking or walking, and remove any poison ivy growing in your yard. The Pet Poison Helpline also recommends bringing a towel and a pair of gloves so you can safely clean your pet after a walk. And if there’s a chance your dog has been exposed, bathe him immediately, preferably with gloves, and don’t forget to wash his collar and leash. If you catch poison ivy yourself, it’s also a good idea to constantly bathe your dog (as well as yourself) to keep the oils from transferring back and forth between the two of you.
poison ivy treatment for dogs
If your dog develops a poison ivy rash, the best treatment is to bathe him with a dog shampoo that contains oatmeal. stomach problems caused by ingestion should pass on their own, but again, call your vet to be sure. and if he shows any signs of breathing problems, take him to an emergency vet right away.
If you’ve noticed your dog scratching more than usual and you’re curious if he might have gotten a poison ivy rash, don’t worry, you can treat it like you would treat your own rash. if he develops a rash, do everything you can to keep him from scratching it and making it worse. call your veterinarian for any additional treatment options.