Activated Charcoal for Pets: Emergency Uses, Dosage & Benefits

| Modified on Mar 31, 2024
Kidney Disease
Posted by I Kennedy (Usa) on 11/18/2017

Responding to a post about cat with polycystic kidney disease...

ANY ONE that has kidney disease should be taking CHARCOAL. My 15 year old kitty (after coming home from the vet) gets a half a capsule of activated charcoal once a day in a spoonful or 2 of NON grain wet cat food (blue or abound for her) with a slippery elm/water mixture in all her food) to put mucus in her bowels, and about an eighth teaspoon of wheatgrass in one of her feedings. You don't want to mix charcoal with medicines or a lot of cat food, as it will be wasted; charcoal is famous for ridding the body of poisons, and along with filtering the toxins the kidneys are unable to handle, it will also "absorb" medicines/nutrition in the cat food. It is well worth sacrificing a spoon or two of cat food to mix the charcoal with, and she doesn't notice the taste AT ALL.

A month or so later she has almost regained her weight, grazes all day long like a pony on her food, eating equal amounts of food, and water and acts like a mere 8 yr. old! Since I am new at this, I don't know if or when I will stop the charcoal. I get the kind in jello caps so I can use half a cap a day and put the cap back on for the next day. Just an opinion from someone who isn't trained in cat medicine, for what it's worth; Cats are true carnivores, who eat only protein (bugs, birds, reptiles, meat, and a little grass) and we wonder why an animal who isn't designed to deal with carbs and grain gets obese! Then were told by the vet to get another grain-gluten dry food with "more fiber".

You can now get at the grocery store ground up chicken/pork/turkey with no antibiotics and serve it raw or cooked. This is how I got her to loose weight 10 yrs. ago when the vet made fun of how fat she was, by giving her real meat, no carbs. If you think gluten and excess carbs are bad for you, what do you think it does to an animal not designed to digest carbs? Anyway with the slippery elm/water in all her food, the charcoal and wheatgrass once a day she is pooping/drinking normally and very happy. I think other remedies are good, and we have to try to see what does or doesn't work, but ANY ONE WITH KIDNEY DISEASE SHOULD BE TAKING CHARCOAL TO TAKE UP THE SLACK OF WEAK KIDNEYS, 101.

Again, I'm not a vet or close to it, but I know what it is to have a sick cat who we almost lost and desperate to find something that works, and charcoal is wonderful for fixing up digestion matters in humans. I'm a private person (no twitter or facebook for me)so I don't even like writing this, except that I think it is so important and got such good results, and I've not heard of adverse effects with small amounts of charcoal, so if other things haven't worked for you, try it.

Posted by Jo-ann ( Landisville, New Jersey) on 10/11/2017

I have given my dogs an activated charcoal capsule at times when their stomach seems to be upset and I don't know if they've eaten something they shouldn't have along with a ginger capsule. It seems to help most of the time.

Kidney Disease
Posted by Carrieann (Connecticut) on 03/12/2021

Hi thank you sooo much for the confirmation!!! just gave 2 to my border collie with kidney disease. She was given antibiotics that made her so sick even though no infection was found. Her urine was dilute so she was diagnosed with kidney failure. Now she is afraid to take any food because she has tossed her cookies so much - I happened to have activated charcoal in the house for poisoning, so it dawned on me if it is used to expel toxins it might work to purify the kidneys. I checked - it works in humans so..... Again, thanks for sharing your experience.

Posted by Maggie (Id) on 04/22/2018 36 posts

I give my dogs activated charcoal when they have an upset stomach. The upset stomach is usually from eating something out in the yard. Activated charcoal has always helped. One capsule is all it takes. I get them to drink water by mixing some canned food with plenty of water, more water than food.

Kidney Disease
Posted by I. Kennedy (Usa) on 11/22/2017

P.S.: Since some people are new at this, I should of mentioned that you should mention not drink tap or distilled water, but spring water for you and your beasties. Tap water has bromide/ fluoride/chloride that is largely responsible for the low thyroid epidemic in the U.S., and distilled water, since it has zero minerals, will leech them out of your body over a period of time. My city gets fined every year for poor quality water, and it is easier/cheaper to pay the fine than to fix the problem. Now that my kitty feels like a "thunder kitten"(nick name) I'm considering giving her half a capsule every other day; I haven't decided. Sometimes you have to try different dosages, depending on size of the beastie and severity of the disease. I'm done now.

Kidney Disease
Posted by I. Kennedy (Usa) on 12/07/2017

I don't use k/d food, although I wouldn't tell anyone else not to; I use about anything that doesn't have grain/gluten, which includes the antibiotic/hormone free ground turkey/pork/chicken (the stuff YOU would eat that is readily available now at the grocery store) served raw or cooked as beastie prefers, and blue or abound. I also put in a little wheatgrass (I brush my teeth with it) or spirulina. Also, something to keep kitty from constipation, slippery elm. I'm on maintenance with her now, and have changed the charcoal. Several herbs are good at taking toxins out of the body including Parsley(which I'm using), and Cilantro. Fresh parsley is easy to come by, ( the roots are much stronger, so I wouldn't recommend it, as it would take such a tiny amount that it could overdose.) A handful or more thrown in a pint and a half of boiling spring water, covered and taken off the burner is how a person takes the tea, ) you have to determine how much to put into kitty's water, but is pretty harmless. Apiol in parsley used to be used to induce labor, but would take LARGE DOSES; so maybe not for pregnant cats. Like most things, you start small (a tablespoon or 2 in a cup of water.) If I were starting out with an acute problem I would start with the charcoal. She is doing fine and doesn't seem to mind SOME parsley tea in her water. You can also make cilantro tea, but I would use the leaves, not the seeds, as it might be too strong for a wee beastie. It does remove heavy metals (from tuna, perhaps?) Bit I feel that parsley may be safer, BUT I DON'T KNOW; THIS IS ALL GUESS WORK. I'm sure you can see how to make teas on youtube. I forgot to mention that if your cat took antibiotics (mine did) you should definitely replace them with a quality probiotic for humans; I have no idea how " alive" animal probiotics are on the shelf when you buy then; and don't trust but a few human probiotics to:1 be alive sitting on the shelf :2 still be alive when they pass thru your stomach into your intestine. My cat didn't mind the charcoal, but some might find the parsley tea in the water more palatable, plus that charcoal will absorb anything (nutrition, supplements, drugs) taken with it. I hope this helps.

Kidney Disease
Posted by Kennedy (NY) on 02/07/2018

I saw people talking about chia/flax seed for constipation, but were worried about the seed stealing even more fluid out of the gut and making the constipation worse; the solution was simple; I have chia seed and I put it through the coffee grinder. I take a spoonful and stir it up with 3 spoonfuls of spring water and let it sit until it becomes jelly like. then I add wet cat food to it and also add more water to the mix (to absorb even more water, ) but not so much that the food is sitting in a pool of water. Now, the chia has absorbed as much water as it ever will BEFORE the cat eats it, and brings the water INTO the gut instead of absorbing it OUT OF the gut. You must GRIND IT UP FIRST, as you don't know what just raw seed is going to do. I HAVE NOT tried this with ground up flax seed yet. I also changed from parsley to BURDOCK ROOT TEA (I like burdock root better) and these together are working wonderfully well. I feel burdock root tea is very safe and will but a spoonful of it in her food as well as her water, and she doesn't seem to mind the taste of either burdock root tea or the jelly consistency of ground up chia, (I'm all for not having to poke things down cats throats if I don't have to, ) but it looks like she's eating twice as much (half chia/water, half wet food, ) so take that into consideration. She looks wonderful, has gained her weight back, shiny coat, and taken up playing again after about a month. Nothing like a. charcoal to get your beastie out of the woods when they're sick, but shouldn't stay on it long as it absorbs nutrition along with the poisons weak kidneys can't filter. So it's ground up chia/water, burdock root tea, and wheatgrass at least once a day for us. Burdock roots are available at Natural Grocers and I guess about any health food store, and on line.

Activated Charcoal Dosage
Posted by Janice (Fl) on 05/06/2017

How much activated charcoal can I give my 10.5 lb Jack Rusell terrier? And how do I administer?
Mix with water and give by small syringe orally? My holistic vet recommended I give it to her because she has mucousy, slightly blood tinged tinged stool and she texted this link to me when I asked her the questions above. Ty!

Activated Charcoal Dosage
Posted by Theresa (Mpls., Mn) on 05/08/2017

Hey Janice,

You can give 1 capsule wrapped in a bit of cream cheese to your JRT twice a day/with each meal.

Kidney Disease
Posted by Mama To Many (Tn) on 11/19/2017

Dear I Kennedy,

Thank you so much for taking time to share this. I am sure it will be helpful to others. Great job!

You might find this study interesting about the use of charcoal for kidney disease (in humans)

We have used charcoal for many years. Personally, I think the protocol you have created sounds like one to continue indefinitely.

Again, great job and thanks for posting.

~Mama to Many~

Kidney Disease
Posted by MollyInTexas (Texas) on 03/21/2021 7 posts

Carrieann, please keep us updated on your baby collie girl and her reaction to the activated charcoal. Also, it might be better if you open the capsules and add the charcoal to a liquid and then maybe feed it to her with a baby syringe that you could find at a pharmacy. It would help her not to vomit the capsules. I'm praying for everything to work out for her. Please let us know! With blessings, Molly

Activated Charcoal and Meds
Posted by Jill (Texas) on 12/15/2017

How does using activated charcoal for diarrhea/ bad gas effect the use of heart guard and nexguard respectively if it were to be given at some point after treatment, but allowing at least a day for digestion and absorption of the medication?

Activated Charcoal Dosage
Posted by Pam E. (SouthWestern California) on 08/01/2023 139 posts

"Mucousy, slightly blood tinged tinged stool" sounds alot like Giardia. When my dogs got that, they refused to swallow any treats with the prescribed medicine, so I looked up online & discovered I had 3 natural things at home, each one known to kill Giardia. So I began giving them a doses of all 3,2x daily, along with an extra meal to put their weight back on with ... and they were free of symptoms right away, & back to full weight by the week's end! (Our 70 lb. Rottie had lost 10 lbs.)

Activated Charcoal and Meds
Posted by Mama To Many (Tn) on 12/15/2017

Hmm. That is a good question.

I have not considered the effect on a slow release medicine. I would be concerned that it would remove the medication though even if you wait a day or more.

Could you try turmeric for diarrhea instead? Apple cider vinegar may help the gas.

~Mama to Many~

Kidney Disease
Posted by Lila (Greece) on 12/03/2017

Thank you for the useful information. Do you give special k/d food to your cat? Thank you once again.


Posted by Kay (Redstone, Colorado) on 03/06/2024

Activated charcoal given with food

I am presently giving my Aussie activated charcoal with her food to absorb histamines so I don't have to give her drugs from the vet. This is working and helping to eliminate her itching. I prefer to give the charcoal in her food rather than her water bowl because she gets it in her rather than some separated charcoal in the bottom of her water bowl. However, does giving a dog the charcoal regularly (every day both meals) absorb the nutrients in the food or is this sustainable? Thank you.

Kidney Disease
Posted by Ruth (New Mexico) on 07/28/2023

Just wondering if you have anymore to add as time has passed? One question I do have is do you wait a half an hour of so before and after eating so there is nothing in their stomach? Can anyone advise.

I bought charcoal for my kitty and hoping taking it will aid her. She eats it with some tuna.

Activated Charcoal Dosage
Posted by Pam E. (SW California) on 03/30/2024 139 posts

I forgot to list the 3 natural remedies I used,

purchased only from quality sources! :

Organic Virgin Coconut Oil;

Liquid GrapeFruit Seed Extract;

MSM / MethylSulfonylMethane powder.

Using just one of those may work fine, but I had all 3 already, so used each of them together in their food.

Posted by Dalsan (Aloha, Or Usa) on 01/02/2012

I wanted to pass on something mentioned on Curezone that can help those using Ted's mange cure on cats or pets that lick themselves repeatedly.

My cat has a sacroptic mange re-infection and I'm again treating her with Ted's cure.

The very first time I bathed Kat with the borax/ peroxide mix I kept her in my warmed up bathroom and sat with her until she was almost dry. I didn't have a collar to keep her from licking, so I tried to keep her distracted. She still licked enough off to end up vomiting. The thought of doing this again several times made me heartsick.

I was reading up sometime later when someone mentioned Activated Charcoal. It's what they use in hospitals to adsorb (not absorb) poisons that have been ingested. It's saved many a life- yet is very inexpensive and available over the counter at most health food stores.

Most households that have kids- have AC in their medicine cabinet- just in case. I even had some on hand - but had long forgotten about it.

Anyway, just before the next bath I mixed a 1/2 tsp. of the AC powder into 1/2 oz of water and put some into a 1. 0mm syringe then squirted the syringe-full into Kat's mouth. Her eyes got big- she expected it to taste bad like her other meds I guess- but there's no taste to it and she didn't mind it at all.

The second bath was a bit more of a struggle- she Hates baths- but this time she didn't get sick, nor the 3rd one either.

Now the family uses it regularly again for an upset stomach and/or occasional diarrhea and I'm going to use it as part of a colon cleanse. It works fast and is virtually non-toxic.

Unfortunately, most stores only sell Activated Charcoal in capsules now. But in a pinch you can open one or two and get the powder that way (I couldn't get the tiniest capsule down my Kat on a bet. LOL)

We prefer to keep the powder on hand- it's way cheaper in the long run- and there are so many other ways to use it. The cheapest site I've found sells a 10oz can for under $12 shipped that will last us for several months.

Hope those with mange cats will give the AC a try.