Stop Poisonous Bufo Toads from Poisoning Your Dog

| Modified: Apr 06, 2020
Add New Post True toads (known as Bufo in Latin), lack tails and teeth, but behind their eyes are wart-like structures called parotoid glands that secrete a poisonous substance to deter predators. While the ordinary handling of toads is not dangerous and does not cause warts (contrary to enduring popular belief), bufotoxin can have a wide variety of effects and is even used as medicine in some cultures.

Poison toads can easily affect a dog or puppy exploring the yard, going on a walk in the park, or given any opportunity for a dog to lick or mouth at a toad. Bufo marinus or the cane toad of Florida can cause a severe and sudden reaction in dogs. Symptoms of toad toxin poisoning include excessive salivation, pawing at the mouth, vocalization, very red gums, stiff movements or loss of coordination, and difficulty breathing. These symptoms from a poison toad can even progress to seizures or death.

Remedies for Bufo Toad Poisoning

On this page you can find user-submitted remedies and strategies for soothing your dog in the event of a poisoning and preventing them from coming into contact with bufo toads in the first place. Some of our popular remedies include: mothballs, liquid antiseptic, benadryl, or even keeping your dog muzzled. After reading about it on Earth Clinic, let us know what you try in order to keep your dog safe from toads. Know of a remedy not yet listed here? Let us know about it here!

Activated Charcoal

Posted by Melinda (North Carolina) on 04/20/2016
5 out of 5 stars

Bufo Toad Poisoning:

When I lived in Arizona I had a dog that licked one of these a few times. His eyes got big, and he was whining acting very worried. I gave him milk, and pilled (put down the back of his throat so all he had to do was swallow) him with 1 charcoal pill, and then just held him, it wore off pretty quick (the side effects from him licking it), then he was fine.

Charcoal Binds toxins to it and absorbs them to carry them out of your body as waste, it is a purifier.

Replied by Lynn
Estero, Fl

Where do you find the charcoal pills

EC: All pharmacies and many grocery stores carry charcoal pills or accidental poisoning... or buy them online.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Posted by Jukie (Hanover Pk, IL) on 04/06/2020
5 out of 5 stars

My senior pitbull hunts toads when he is let into my back yard in the summer and he has killed several. I used to live in great fear of him encountering toads and I constantly checked on him in the yard. Three times I have discovered him unresponsive, drooling, panting and glossy eyed while standing in the yard near a large dead toad (eeuw!) and he was apparently in great distress or going into shock. My first reaction was to grab the water hose and try to flush his tongue sideways but I quickly realized he was swallowing the poison, so I ran and grabbed a large bath towel and wet one end with water. I first used the dry end of the towel to wipe the dogs tongue from as far back of the throat possible, forward to absorb the poison. Next I soaked up saliva from both jowels with unused portions of the dry end of the towel. I repeated this procedure but this time, with the dripping wet end of the towel. Lastly, I turn the wet end of the towel over to the clean side and drenched it with Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar. I then slathered the tongue from the back forward and also jowels, turning the towel to unused portions for each mouth area. I repeated the procedure with an unused portion of the vinegar drenched towel but allowed some ACV to trickle down the dog's throat. By the time I finished this procedure, my dog was fully responsive each time and with no need for follow up. He is 14 years old now and he still has a high prey drive but I no longer worry as much since discovering this remedy. Hope this helps!

Baby Shampoo, Olive Oil, Vet

Posted by Paulette (Thonotosassa, Florida) on 06/23/2009
5 out of 5 stars

On June 22, 2009 our little Jack Russell was poisoned by a Bufo Toad. We caught her almost immediately after we saw her flipping it with her nose. Her left eye was shut. I immediately washed her head and nose with Baby Shampoo and rinsed for an extremely long time. I gave her a teaspoon of olive oil and she started throwing up volumous amounts of frothey white liquid. She started stiffening up and closed her left eye completely. We rushed her to the vet and they started an IV to push fluids. We were sent home as soon as she could walk. They gave us anti convulsants in case she started to have seizures in the night. I think that the extreme wash saved her life. We are still watching the eye to make sure that she doesn't form an ulcer from the poison. She is one lucky little dog.

Replied by Shaya

I live in Florida and have a yard full of these toads, I live near a lake and cannot seem to get rid of them. Yesterday my little 10 lb Maltese, who I had on leash; darted to a baby bufo and flung it across the patio..she immediately started shaking her head..i grabbed her and using a wet paper towel wiped her mouth out. then rushed her to the ER vets. I was having a panic attack but she seemed perfectly fine so I decided not to pay the $150 to see a vet but the tech checked her vitals for free and they were normal..I watched her all night and she is fine now, thank god..I don't have it in me to kill a toad (it's not their fault their poisonous) but I need to get rid of them..the vet tech said to sprinkle Epsom salts all over the yard to repel them..has anyone heard of this? (everything in Florida is trying to kill you):)

Replied by Coni

I heard moth balls are helpful. Hope I never see one of those toads. Hope my dogs never do either.

Replied by Elaine
1 out of 5 stars


Moth balls are poisonous to dogs and cats. Please do not scatter them in your yard.

Replied by Noel

Epsom salt is good for garden, so I will try that.

Replied by Kay Witt


Moth balls or paradichlorobenzene is poisonous to animals and can be absorbed through the pads of the cat/dogs feet. Don't use it!!!


Posted by Eliz (Davie, Florida) on 05/21/2019

How much benadryl do I need to give a 50 pound dog if I suspect that he has encountered a bufu frog to give me time to get him to a vet several minutes away? My other small dog almost died because of one, this time I would like to be prepared. I was a pathologist. Is there a better treatment that I can buy from the pharmacy. I keep an epi-pen for my son here always. I'm not sure if the dose prepared for the 200 lb child would be good for the dog. HELP. I also have benadryl on hand.

Posted by Eliz (Davie, Florida) on 05/21/2019
4 out of 5 stars

How much benadryl do I need to give a 50 pound dog if I suspect that he has encountered a bufu frog to give me time to get him to a vet several minutes away? My other small dog almost died because of one, this time I would like to be prepared. I was a pathologist. Is there a better treatment that I can buy from the pharmacy. I keep an epi-pen for my son here always. I'm not sure if the dose prepared for the 200 lb child would be good for the dog. HELP. I also have benadryl on hand.

Posted by 20yrswflvettech (Fort Myers, Fl) on 09/21/2013

Hi to all! I've been reading the comments here and I just wanted to respond with a few things.... 1st, I was born and raised here in SWFL, & I've been a vet tech @ an emergency vet clinic for the past 20 yrs. So Linda's question about how much Benadryl, the correct dose for dogs is 1mg per pound of body weight, so a 25 pound dog would get one (1) 25mg Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) tablet/capsule, or 10mls of childrens liquid Benadryl (check your labels, but MOST Liquid is 12.5mg/5ml). Next, unfortunately I've seen Bufo toxicity and deaths in dogs more than I'd like to count, and obviously prevention is your best bet, but it's true the best thing to do 1st is to immediately try to rinse your dogs mouth out with running water, then get your pet to the vet for them to treat the consequent symptoms caused by the toxins (ie seizures etc). Most dogs are killed from experiencing uncontrolled seizing, which left untreated will cause their temperature to rise quickly, effectively frying their internal organs (sorry about my graphic bluntness, but I want everyone to understand the seriousness of getting your pet the help he/she needs). You are all correct in keeping a close eye on your pets at night, as bufo's are generally nocturnal creatures, but they will come out during the day, especially during overcast rainy days, so be vigilant always. My neighborhood is overrun with the terrible toads and even though my dog is well trained and behaved, she is kept on a leash under a watchful eye.

Beware of Excretions in Grass

Posted by Mary (Chicago, Illinois) on 11/03/2015
0 out of 5 stars



We were in the Keys last year for the month of February, and our small 5 lb dog chased through the yard, and became deathly ill. We were lucky to get her to a vet within 15 minutes and she survived. The vet asked us if we saw toads? We did discover baby toads in the yard. Our dog did not catch any toads in her mouth, but the vet said even the excretion in the grass can be lethal especially to small dogs. I looked into the muzzle, but with this scenario, their paws and tongues are still exposed to the grass, leaving them at risk for exposure.

Cleaning Products

Posted by Katyvan (Wpb) on 10/12/2015
5 out of 5 stars

My friend's 10 pound terrier mix (looks like Toto) has nearly died twice from bufu toad poisoning. Had severe seizures both times. She will not leave them alone. She is muzzled at night and carried in my door during the day.

As a security measure, we must leave our lights on at night. The lights draw mosquitoes and other critters which draw the bufos. I have had a HERD of frogs outside every night and morning for a long time! They have even jumped inside the house several times. YUCK! I have treated the area w/ammonia, but don't want to see them suffer so I haven't tried killing them with it. I have unsuccessfully tried moth balls. My sister in MD has taken them home in plants and they have lived through several very cold winters.

My latest effort has proven VERY SUCCESSFUL and no one had to die or suffer.

Cleaned my headlights and rubber trim with Kaboom w/Oxiclean. Hate the odor and won't use it indoors. On a whim I sprayed the front door area, under the fence where frogs enter, on top of the constant flow of dead leaves, and along possible paths to my door. Had a lot of rain lately and so have "refreshed" the area several times. Haven't seen a frog for days! I know they are still somewhere nearby, but they aren't now a nuisance. Is it the Kaboom? Is it the Oxiclean? Don't know. Maybe someone else will figure it out.

Replied by Joey

It's the Kaboom. Don't know about Oxyclean...never used it. I use the Kaboom for cleaning everything...don't use pesticides but use moth balls and other natural repellents. On a when I sprayed some bugs on my porch and wasps.. they drop like told me he thinks maybe a chemical in Kaboom paralyzes them if it doesn't kill them could be dangerous for pet birds, small cats and dogs if they get in it directly.

Flushing Mouth with Water

Posted by Toni Crabtree (Hollywood, Florida) on 08/13/2016
5 out of 5 stars

BEWARE of Deadly Bufo Marinus Toads!

Several years ago, my large black Lab ended up with a burning mouth from a large Bufo Marinus Toad in Florida. I immediately grabbed the hose and sprayed his mouth for three to five minutes, then rushed him to emergency. The vet said had I not done that...the dog would have died from the toads poison in the bumps on his back and head. Beware!

Replied by Laura
South Florida
5 out of 5 stars

We have had several encounters between our dogs and bufos unfortunately. After several episodes, the vet told us to wash their mouth out with a hose by running the water through one side and out the other- not down their throat- for several minutes. Last time our small dog bit a toad and was frothing, we did this and she was fine. It has to be done immediately and it's the best thing to do before even heading to emergency.

We've tried to eliminate hiding spots for the toads around our dog yard but it's almost impossible to keep them out (and I don't want to try chemicals that could kill other animals). I accompany our dogs outside day and night watching for toads but this morning there was a massive bufo sitting in the middle of the dog yard that I couldn't see until I was on top of it. Luckily the dogs didn't find it first.

Replied by Juno
Naples, Fl

I almost lost our Westin to a Bufo Toad today. Being from the Midwest, I had no idea about these dangerous toads. She found it in our yard among some bushes at mid morning. She threw up, was staggering and disoriented. I ran in the house to leave for the vet and she fell in our pool. she was seizing and we almost lost her. She home now, the vet saved her and we think falling in the pool also bought us time as it removed venom from her paws and face and cooled down her body temperature. Now I'm scared to death to let her outside. I wish all vets in FL would educate people from the north about these killer toads. Thank you all for posting here. I don't feel so alone or like such a bad mom now.

Posted by Deb (Hobe Sound, Fl) on 05/17/2015
5 out of 5 stars

Tonight, my American Bulldog came into contact with one of these frogs. She immediately began frothing at the mouth excessively. My husband and I put her in the bath tub, pulled down the removable shower head and began rinsing the outside of her muscle, then running water into her mouth, trying not to let the water be swallowed. After we no longer so the frothing, we gave her a few cups of milk. We have read NOT to give her milk, however; this happened once before and the milk seemed to help. Thank God, after we washed the outside of her mouth and muzzle as well as the inside of her mouth, she drank the milk. Within about ten minutes of her drinking the milk, she got her toy and wanted to play, wagging her tail. There was no strange behavior from her. We are so thankful that she seems to be fine. For those that have experienced this, it is extremely scary, time is of the essence. I will try the moth balls outside, but from now on, when I take her outside in our back yard, she will be on a leash and I will have a flashlight so I can see the frog before she attacks it. I hope this helps. Thanks to everyone else for your helpful comments.

Replied by Eileen D.
Central Coastal Sonora, Mexico

Just now tried to stun and kill a bufo in my herb sprayed and got me from at least 3 ft..I experienced a bitter taste in my brushed my teeth and flushed with herbs and washed face arms and legs.. I did manage to get the frog out of pot and over the garden wall..but..we have them all the time and my spoo will mouth them and I have done what you did, Deb. even down to the milk though in my case it's plain yogurt that always seems to make them better..immediately..They scare me to death..

Flushing Mouth With Water

Posted by Miz Rose (Miami, Florida) on 09/18/2014
5 out of 5 stars

My niece came crying and holding her cat. She was not from Florida and did not know about bufo/cane toads. The cat was seizing and dying! This was the first time I had seen the poison effects personally. I immediately grabbed an area rug and tightly rolled up the cat, leaving her head out so I could control her. Luckily there was a decent sprayer head with good pressure on the end of the hose. I very aggressively washed her mouth out nearly drowning her but I knew I had to remove the poison. It was all one instinctive act. It worked.

Flushing Mouth with Water

Posted by Andie (Jensen Beach, Florida) on 05/13/2014
5 out of 5 stars

Our mini dachshund had a brief encounter with a poisonous bufu cane toad, and began to rub his mouth on the grass, and had some frothing of the mouth. We rinsed his mouth immediately with the garden hose, & continued with the shower hose while calling the vet. This site has a lot of good info. I wanted to add that I read on wikipedia that the tadpoles & young ARE also poisonous. Luckily, our doxie needed no more treatment. The vet also rinsed his mouth thoroughly, & released him. I'm not sure if benadryl was recommended or has been years since this happened. He no longer gets to roam free in his fenced back yard due to these monsters. People should not leave any type of pet food out whatsoever; they even ate corn & other grains from bird food that fell out when I cleaned the bird cage. Thanks to all for all the info on these killers.

Flushing Mouth With Water

Posted by Gordy (Naples, Fl) on 05/03/2014
1 out of 5 stars


I patrol the area with my Pellet gun. Our yorkie got in to a Bufo toad. Effect was immediate but we knew the protocol and washed his mouth & face, then headed to the emergency vet clinic. He had a bad night but survived.

Posted by Holly (West Palm Beach, Fl) on 05/05/2013

My vet says that the poison is ON their mouth, lips, gums, etc., and that inducing vomiting is not only unnecessary, but dangerous... The idea is to rinse the poison through, out and off of the mouth. We use a hose from one side and then the other with the dog's head forced downward, wiping the slime away and OFF with fingers and a towel. In my opinion, FAST rinsing is the only cure. Seizures and death can be astonishingly quick. Our dogs NEVER go out after daylight alone. It's too dangerous, especially in the spring and summer, here in West Palm.

Replied by Leslie Demerville
Miami Dade County, Fl

Here in South Florida we are innundated with these horrible frogs. Very hard to kill them. Having hundreds around my home during Katrina whereby the 18 inches of rain we got washed them out of their dens. They killed my minature donkey.... Please be careful. We are overpopulated with these killers. If you have one on your property, corner it and pour morton salt all over it. This is the quickest way to kill them before it kills your beloved pet. Use the salt around any areas of your garage, or any outdoor area that has a roof, i.e., a car port, FL room. The salt will deter them, ammonia does not always work. Be advised that these frogs can be harmful to humans, especially babies.

Posted by Jay (Tampa, Pinellas) on 09/28/2011
5 out of 5 stars

This is the second time that I have had one of my Frenchies lick or eat these toads ( by the way, they all have some form of nurotoxin) The first dog I revived 5 times on the way to the Emergency Vet. She had a 5% survival rate. Tonight (9/28) My second female Frenchie ate a small one. They go absolutely spastic trying to get the toxins out of their mouth. Both times hitting them with Benedryl help, also you need to get as much of the toxins out of their mouths(wet Cloth). She was bleeding profusely from the mouth due to a dollar shape (necrotic) circle.

It may sound cruel but I also took the hose from the sink and forced as much water into her stomach and mouth. The first was to ensure she threw up, second to clean as much of the toxin into a wet cloth. The key is whatever you do has to be quick. The first 15 mins to half hour are critical. I have not heard of the vinegar before but if it works and I will check with the VET in the morning. Please pay attention to ALL toads. Theses incidents occured in Delray Beach and Palm Harbor.