Are Slugs Poisonous to Dogs?

Dogs are curious, right? They are always running, playing, exploring and walking outside in the garden. So, what happens if they come across a slug? Will it cause them harm? Are slugs poisonous to dogs? Or are they safe to be around?

Slugs themselves are not poisonous to dogs however they can be harmful to dogs as they carry parasites.

While slugs are not poisonous to dogs, they, however, can be harmful to them. There are various reasons why slugs can be harmful to dogs.

For example, slugs are carriers of many parasites, so when ingested, can lead to the dog having parasites too. Slugs may also carry some dangerous diseases. If a dog consumes an infected slug, its health can decline. 

Can Slugs Be Harmful to Dogs?

Slugs can be harmful to dogs because they are carriers of dangerous parasites and diseases. It is important to keep an eye on your dog when it is outside, especially if you are aware of a slug infestation in the garden.

The number one reason why slugs can harm dogs is because of the lungworm parasite. If a dog eats a slug and is infected with the lungworm parasite, it can pass it on to the dog.

Different kinds of lungworm parasites can infect dogs. Dogs can contract the lungworm virus by consuming infected food or water… Or by eating slugs.

If you think that your dog has the lungworm virus, monitoring and tracking symptoms are important. If you suspect your dog has eaten a slug and/or has lungworm then you should contact your vet immediately.

In addition to lungworms, slugs also have traces of pesticides and insecticides in their bodies. As slugs feed on plants sprayed frequently with pesticides, they will carry these harmful chemicals into their bodies.

If a dog eats slugs, it will consume these chemicals too and potentially cause them harm. 

What are the Symptoms of Lungworm in Dogs?

If you’re worried that your dog may have consumed a slug and may, therefore, contract lungworm then these are the key symptoms to look out for:

Breathing Difficulties
If your dog has a cough then this could be lungworm as the worms clog up the lungs of the dog. There is also a chance that the dog will cough up blood.

Low Energy Levels
If your usually energetic dog is far more lethargic than normal, then this could be a sign that they have lungworm.

Poor Blood Clotting
As lungworm can lead to poor blood clotting, if a small cut is taking a while to clot or if small cuts are opening up far too easily then this could be as a result of lungworm.

If you detect these signs of lungworm infection, you must consult a vet immediately. Fortunately, there are some treatments for a lungworm infection that the vet may prescribe to you.

These treatments include anti-parasitic medication to kill the lungworm parasite in the dog’s body. If there are symptoms, the vet will also give medications to treat them. 

If you want more information on spotting lungworm in dogs then check this out from My Pet and I.

Is Slug Slime Harmful to Dogs?

Slugs leave behind a trail of slime, and often dogs are known to lick it.

If slugs are harmful to dogs, is slug slime harmful too? Slug slime is harmful to dogs because the lungworm parasite can be in the slime.

Even if dogs ingest slug slime, they are susceptible to contracting the dreaded infection. Therefore, if you spot any slime on your dog, it is important to remove it before your dog licks it off. 

How Do You Get Slug Slime off a Dog?

As dogs love to play around and explore, they may encounter slugs and unknowingly have them crawling on them. Slugs secrete mucus, which is colloquially known as slug slime.

It can be quite a task to get slug slime off dog fur. However, there are a few methods you can try to get the slime off dogs. 

Avoid Using Water

The first thing you should do is to avoid water. It can be tempting to wash your dog the moment you spot the slime immediately. However, slug slime helps them prevent dehydration, and using water will only make things worse. 

Wipe with a Cloth

When the slime is dry, you can take a cloth and wipe it down. It is effective if you use round rubbing motions when wiping the slime to get most of it out. The best cloth for the job is a microfiber cloth. 

Try Olive Oil

Many pet owners have reported that using olive oil to get the slime out is a great trick. You can use olive oil to get most of the slime out.

Brush It Out

Finally, a great way to ensure you get any dry slug slime flakes out is to brush out the dog’s hair. 

However, sometimes, despite the measures you take, the slug slime may refuse to come out. In this case, you will have no choice but to cut the dog’s hair.

In most cases, the slug slime will not be too much. Therefore you will not have to cut much of the dog’s hair. Instead, you can go to a professional groomer to give your dog a nice bath and a new haircut!


Dogs love to run around, play and explore. Most often, dogs will come across slugs and attempt to eat them because of their curious nature. Slugs are not toxic to dogs; however, they can be quite harmful to them.

Slugs are carriers of various parasites, and one such is the lungworm parasite that can cause serious health issues in dogs. Therefore, it is important to consult a vet immediately if your dog has ingested a slug. 

In addition, slug slime is also dangerous for dogs to ingest as it contains the lungworm parasite. It can be tricky to get slug slime off a dog’s fur.

However, you can remove slug slime from your dog’s fur by rubbing it off, washing it with detergent, or giving your dog a new haircut.

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