Stop Poisonous Bufo Toads from Poisoning Your Dog

| Modified on Aug 23, 2021
Red Cedar Mulch
Posted by Gmacookie (Fort Pierce, Fl, Usa) on 09/28/2012
5 out of 5 stars

I realized Red Cedar Mulch is the same smell as mothballs so spread it as mulch on the 3 planting areas in my patio that are up against the fence, plus all along the fence where there are no planting areas. This is where the bufo toads come underneath and into the patio. I spread a half a big bale (got it at Kmart as the ones at Walmart are the smaller bales) about a week ago and so far they're staying out. It also looks nice! And I don't have to worry about my bichon/poodle picking up mothballs to play with. I used to use the red cedar all around my house foundation when I had a house, and once a year I'd spead it to keep away pests and bugs of all kinds. THen I made a long tube kind of like a draft stopper, from a piece of nylon netting that was a shower scrub (a buck or so at Walmart), filled it up with the red cedar and use it under the gate. I can move it easily when I go in and out the gate but at night it's there and keeps the toads out.

Posted by Excellent Adventure (Hobe Sound, Fl) on 10/03/2010

Dear Fellow Animal Lovers: The bofus in Florida are not natural creatures. They are an invasive species brought in from elsewhere and are a great danger to small animals. Killing them, in my mind is okay. They are strong, persistent, smart, and will not leave your yard even though they realize that you have become their new worst enemy. No bleeding hearts for these guys, they are an invasive danger. From another animal lover.

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.

Posted by Jess (Palm Beach Gardens, Fl) on 07/16/2011
5 out of 5 stars

My Cairn has become obsessed with catching toads and has caught two of the poisonous Bufos. Both times were outside normal vet hours. The first time after washing out her mouth we rushed her to the emergency clinic on Northlake. The bill was almost $500. The second time we took her to the new clinic in the Publix plaza on Hood Road. The bill was over $900 this time for the same treatment. She now wears a "cage" muzzle any time she is in the yard and when we walk at night. I ordered the muzzle from Pet Supplies on Northlake. Cost was $15 and she got used to it after one walk. The muzzle is like a little catchers mask for dogs and there is plenty of room to pant but she cannot bite anything. It buckles behind her head and is designed to hook to her collar but I got a collar with a snap catch to hook permanently to the muzzle.

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.

Flushing Mouth With Water
Posted by Scissorgurl (Honolulu, Hi) on 07/21/2011

I moved to Hawaii 7 months ago and have never heard of a Bufo Toad. I have to boston terriers about 20 to 25lbs each and luckily the 1st time I caught it right away and rinsed there mouths being sure to keep them from not swallowing the water, its hard but try your best. It worked best for me to lay them on there side so it would drain out. And if the jaw locks up I used my sons fork that has the rubber grip to prey his mouth open to get some air. And then once you get them able to move a little and breathe go to the vet if not sooner. After that the vet told me they come out at night so be careful so after 5 I NEVER let them outside I only walked them on a leash. During the day I never saw them until monday afternoon I let them out while I had people delivering my sons bed and when I went to get them less than an hour later I found one dog already dead and the other I took to the vet. He stayed 3 days and now has edema on his left side the vet said he has never seen that before but he is ok. They are litter mates so I worry about him, This has been so difficult I dont know how I am going to get through this I feel like its my fault and I know people said they didnt want to kill the toads but I will now go out of my way to do so if I see one because they killed my family member. These are no joke! Watch out and take precautions. R. I. P Monk! You were the greatest dog!

Posted by Mary (Baltimore, MD/USA) on 03/01/2009
1 out of 5 stars


Thank you for the information you shared on some toads being poisonous, and the problem this is with dogs. I would like to comment on or question the 'remedy' submitted about using moth balls placed around the property to repell the toads. I believe the moth balls themselves may be a problem because of toxic fumes, or possible ingestion by animals.

Posted by Linda (New Port Richey, Fl) on 06/24/2017

Of course, it is so much more humane to allow a dog or cat to cook internally from the effects of the poison. These toads, by the way, are an invasive species and are destroying the ecosystem in Florida. Which part of that is humane to everything that dies because these toads aren't even supposed to be here?

General Feedback
Posted by Cnf (Wilton Manors, Florida) on 02/24/2015

Bufo toads are also out in the mornings so please make sure your animal is closely watched. My 15 pound dog is alive thanks to the quick action of the emergency vet hospital.

Flushing Mouth With Water
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.

Posted by Ohnoice (Coral Springs, Fl.) on 08/01/2009
5 out of 5 stars

Moth balls do keep killer toads out of your yard!!! Remember, these toads dig under fences as well as squeeze through. Place moth balls around outer fence about 2-3" apart. Repeat as often as needed. No animal will eat them if a toad doesn't like the smell!! so, bravo to the person that came up with this idea, and thank you. Mollie, boomer, and blake.

Baby Shampoo, Olive Oil, Vet
Posted by Elaine (Florida) on 01/12/2016
1 out of 5 stars


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

Posted by Grateful (West Palm Beach, FL) on 05/21/2009
5 out of 5 stars

Vinegar cured a dog poisoned by a bufo frog

We live in rural South Florida and have a lot of bufo frogs in the yard. Our small dog was outside in the evening after a rain, when it was prime weather for them to be out. When my wife called him in, he didn't come. She found this unusual, so went out to find him, and he was staggering around in circles under a bush. She came in to call for me to help, but by the time we were able to get to him he had fallen over and had lost all motor control. He had clearly been poisoned by a frog.

By the time we got him inside where we could see him in the light, he looked done for. We are a long way from an emergency vet and doubted we could get him there in time. Within the first couple of minutes he could not move a muscle and his eyes were rolling back in his head. Although we washed out his mouth as best we could with his jaw locked, he had ingested too much poison already. I also noticed his ears were sticky, which from what I read now after the fact sounds consistent with the poison.

In desperation I ran a quick search on the web for remedies and ran across your site. I tried vinegar as you recommended, and when I spilled it on the outside of his mouth or got some in with an eyedropper he licked his lips - his tongue must have been the last muscle he could use and I suppose it was an involuntary reaction. By then he had gone entirely stiff with all his muscles contracted, and only his tongue and eyes were moving. He probably drank (not including spillage) about 1/4 cup of vinegar - this for a 10 pound dog - before we started to slow it down, as that's a lot of vinegar. Relative to size, that's like an adult person drinking a quart or so. Ugh! We also kept petting him, talking to him, stretching his limbs, and stimulating his paws and tail to try to get back sensation - I have no idea if this was useful or not.

After about 15 minutes with no apparent change I was trying to get him to take some egg white, as I read elsewhere, but with little luck. We still doubted whether he was going to make it. However, he slowly started moving his head to follow my daughter around, then stretched his front paws, and shortly stood back up and started staggering around again. Within a few more minutes, he was walking more normally but in circles, and a few minutes later was running around the house with his tail back out. He isn't quite himself yet an hour later, but we're hoping the remaining effects will wear off. It was a remarkable recovery after we'd assumed that we had lost him.

It sure seemed like the vinegar did it, unless the effects were wearing off on their own. Thanks for the recommendation!

Posted by Nancy (Jupiter, Florida) on 12/29/2011

Bufo toads-BLEACH. WORKS. Spraying vinegar or bleach or anything else on them does Not. To kill these deadly poisonous toads either shoot them or catch them and put them in a bucket with bleach. They die instantly. Running over them with a golf cart, or even my car, did not kill them! Online it says they lay 30,000 eggs every other day. Killing one toad a week is not helping. So far there is not a suitable pesticide to rid us of these venomous creatures that were imported from Australia to Hawaii and South Florida to help the sugar cane owners rid their cane fields of their own pests to protect their profits. Problem is the toads took over and have become a (VERY DEADLY) pest to All of us. The sugarcane owners should be held responsible for this scourge. They should be held responsible to financially support science to find a 'cure' that will rid us of this deadly toad. This toad has the potential to eventually be in all warm weather states killing our pets. Similiar to the Lyme tick. The 'new' tick that was thought to only infect animals until it was finally discovered it infected humans. Who knew about this poisonous debilitating tick 25 yrs ago. Now it is rampant in Every single state, not just Lyme, Connecticut where it started. To try to rid our areas of as many toads as I can, I went to Wal-Mart and was in line purchasing a BB air gun. In line next to me were 7 others. They all were purchasing various guns. We looked at each other and all said almost at the same time... "Toads. " All 7 of us were trying to protect our pets from horrific, painful and drawn out death because sugar cane owners brought in these deadly creatures. Snakes, birds of prey like hawks, normal animals that might eat frogs, do not touch these toads. They somehow know better. Our house pets do not. My golden retreiver has touched( not even eaten) a toad with his nose and been poisoned. All 4 times I was right there with him. Once he was even on a leash. In the yard the toads look like a leaf or piece of bark. All 4 times the toads were very small-2-3 inches. (I have killed them bigger than my entire hand including my fingers). I put the hose sideways in his mouth and stood straddling him so I could force his head down. You do Not want any water to get into his lungs and get pneumonia. I rinsed his mouth and rub his gums, insides of cheeks, tongue with a wet rag many times also. I hosed him 15 minutes minimum each time. Then rushed to vet. One time I thought I got it all, only to find him foaming again in the car. Luckily the nightime vet clinic is nearby.

One day, hopefully in the very near future, we will get some big-time help from one of the chemical companies that have the funds to research a cure for this problem. It is already an epidemic in Australia and will be one here in South Florida soon.

I think a concerted move should be made by concerned citizens to our legislators to lobby the chemical companies for help to protect our pets.

My friends call me the 'toad vigilante'. So be it. Toads or my dogs? Toads are winning now. Let's end this war.

Posted by Charley (Thonotosassa, Fl) on 07/12/2016
0 out of 5 stars

Ok, everyone. Be careful about washing sour dogs mouths out with the hose. You don't want to force the poison down into their stomachs and the benadryl. 100mg! Make sure your dog is big enough to handle that dosage. Might kill a 4 pound Yorkie.

Towel Off, Apply 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!

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!

Flushing Mouth with Water
Posted by Laura (South Florida) on 09/01/2016
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.

Flushing Mouth with Water
Posted by Juno (Naples, Fl) on 11/29/2016

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 Katyvan (Wpb) on 07/31/2016
0 out of 5 stars

We Lost 4 Cats In One Week by Mothball Poisoning

ITMm writing this account of what happened to two of the most beautiful cats I've ever owned with the hope no one has to repeat this experience. Whiskers and Scrappy were brother and sister and ITMd had them since the day they were born.


One of the neighbors had placed mothballs under her house to repel snakes. I live in the deep south and snakes can be a problem during the hotter months. I've always associated mothballs with the funky smell in grandma's closet to repel moths.


As it turned out mothballs are an old folk remedy. Scatter them under the house and the snakes won't go there. There had been a lot of rain that week and it turned out that was the problem. The cats had gone underneath their house and drank from a puddle where the mothballs had dissolved. Mothballs contain several poisons with very long names. All of the symptoms fit.

We had lost a total of four neighborhood cats in less than a week. Maybe more that I never knew about. If this article can save even one cat from this horrible ending it will be worth it.

Can I Use Mothballs in the Garden?

Using mothballs to repel pests in the garden presents a danger to children, pets, and wildlife that visit your garden. Young children explore their surroundings by putting things in their mouth and animals might think they are food. Ingesting even a small amount of the toxic chemicals in mothballs can cause serious harm that requires immediate medical or veterinary attention. Mothballs in gardens also present a risk if you breathe the fumes or get the chemicals on your skin or in your eyes. Using mothballs in gardens also causes significant environmental problems. They usually contain either naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene. Both of these chemicals are highly toxic and can get into the soil and groundwater. These mothball hazards may even harm the plants you are trying to protect. Mothballs are insecticides that are controlled by the Environmental Protection Agency. This makes it illegal to use them for any purpose or by any method that isn't specified on the label. Mothballs are labeled only for use in closed containers for the control of clothes moths.

The Facts about Mothballs

Mothballs, moth flakes, crystals, and bars are insecticides that are formulated as solids. As such, mothballs are registered as pesticides because they contain high concentrations of one of two active ingredients — naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene (sometimes referred to as 1,4-dichlorobenzene). Through sublimation, they exude gas, acting as a fumigant. Paradichlorobenzene is also found in deodorant blocks made for trash cans and toilets.


Naphthalene and paradichlorobenzene, the active ingredients in mothballs, are registered as pesticides. As such, their label directions carry the force of the law, including use intent and the sites where they may legally be used. Using mothballs with the intent of repelling various forms of wildlife is not a legal use of these materials and can result in penalties. Always read and follow pesticide label directions.

Killing Toads
Posted by Laurie (Kapolei, Hi) on 08/11/2016

I keep hearing that yards should be treated with citric acid to kill toads, but I couldn't find it in any stores here. I should've ordered it online a long time ago. Tonight my Westie was poisoned by a toad. She is at this moment near death in the hospital. We don't know if she'll make it. She's my baby.

Posted by David (Naples, Fl.) on 04/17/2015
5 out of 5 stars

My dog was sprayed by a Bufo Toad, had to rush her to a vet and they saved her. I called the pest control and they told me to spread some Sea Salt all over the yard, and I did. When I did that, 3 toads ran for the canal, so yes that stuff really worked.

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.

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