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How To Stop Your Dog Eating Coal!

Have you noticed your dog eating coal? Don’t worry. As odd as it may seem, it is perfectly normal for some dogs to eat coal. Think about it., if that coal has been on that BBQ, it is going to be steeped in those beautiful meat juices.

That being said, just because it is normal for a dog to eat coal, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is a good thing. In rare cases, a dog eating coal may indicate that your pet could be suffering from a particularly serious condition.

This condition can be one that needs to be treated by a vet as soon as possible.

In this article, we are going to talk to you a little bit about why your dog may be eating coal. We also want to give you a bit of advice on how you can deal with the problem.

Don’t worry, With a little bit of knowledge, your dog shouldn’t be chowing down on that coal for too much longer.

Why Is My Dog Eating Coal?

There are a couple of reasons why your dog may be eating coal. One of these will be tied to their bellies, and the other will be a much more serious condition that will require a vet to treat.

If you notice that your dog is munching on some coal, it is important to try and establish why they are doing it.

If you have just used the coal for a BBQ (and it has cooled down), then it is likely that your dog has managed to get a whiff of the meat juices. Remember, when you are cooking, all of that fat is going to be dripping down from the meat onto the coals.

The dog is going to sniff this meat, and they are going to want to eat it (or at least lick it up). This is the most common reason for a dog eating coal.

In some cases, your dog may be suffering from a condition known as pica. This is when a dog eats non-edible objects regularly, and it may not just be coal that they are consuming.

If you believe your dog has pica, then you can book a video call with a professional vet for expert advice.  This is a condition that can get worse if not treated.

Is It Ok For Dogs To Eat Coal?

It is not really OK for a dog to eat charcoal. We are not saying that your dog eating charcoal is going to lead to a trip to the vet’s emergency room. However, it isn’t really something that you are going to want to have them doing too frequently. 

Charcoal is not poisonous. Your dog is not going to drop dead because it has managed to eat a small amount of charcoal. You should still keep a watchful eye on them, though.

If your dog has eaten charcoal from the BBQ, then this could burn their gums and mouth. However, the most important thing to remember is that a dog cannot digest charcoal.

This can lead to it getting stuck in the digestive system (if they have consumed large chunks of it), and this can end up being fatal if your dog does not receive treatment.

What Does Charcoal Do To Dogs?

Charcoal from a BBQ is probably not going to do much to your dog. If they have eaten large chunks whole, then it may get stuck in their digestive system and you will need to keep an eye out for that.

However, the charcoal will likely just pass on through their system without any negative consequences.

If you have given your dog activated charcoal (you can do that if they have eaten something poisonous), then the charcoal should soak up the poison in the stomach. They will then pass the activated charcoal through their digestive system.

You really don’t have to worry about this getting stuck in their digestive system as activated charcoal is just a powder. 

That being said, if you know that your dog has consumed charcoal or coal, then it is probably going to be worth keeping an eye on them for the next few hours.

You will want to be keeping an eye out for any changes in their behavior, particularly if they look like they are in pain. If there are any changes, then it is vital that you contact the vet immediately.

How Much Charcoal Can I Give My Dog?

Obviously, you shouldn’t be feeding charcoal to your dog from the BBQ. However, there are cases where you may need to give them activated charcoal in order to soak up poison or something toxic that they have eaten.

In these situations, you can book a video call with a professional vet for expert advice. You will still need to give the dog the activated charcoal yourself, though.

At the most, you should be giving your dog 1.5-grams of activated charcoal per pound of bodyweight that they have.

Anything more than that, and you may run into a few issues. Thankfully, most activated charcoal products nowadays will make it easier for you to measure out the quantity that you need to give your dog. 

Do remember that once you have fed the activated charcoal to your dog, you need to be keeping a watchful eye on them. You will want to ensure that whatever the activated charcoal is trying to absorb is not causing an impact on your dog.

We would always recommend that you speak to a vet to let them know that the dog has done something that they probably should not have done.

How Do I Stop My Dog From Eating Coal?

First things first, if your dog is consistently eating coal, then you may need to talk to the vet. There is a strong indicator that your dog has pica.

This is going to need to be treated, otherwise, your dog will likely end up eating something a whole lot worse than coal later on down the line.

To prevent your dog from eating coal, keep it out of its reach. The dog can’t eat the coal if they can’t get to it, right? This means that after you have had a BBQ, ensure that you keep the coal covered up.

This may mean ensuring that the coal is completely cooled down by drenching it with water, and then you can add the lid to the BBQ. 

If you do see your dog attempting to get to the coal, then you can try and divert them to an even tastier treat. Remember, one of the reasons why dogs tend to love coal is because those pieces are going to be drenched in delicious meat juices.

If you can give your dog something that tastes a whole lot better than those meat juices, then you will get their attention. The dog will completely forget about the coal.

Why Is My Dog Is Eating Charcoal Ashes?

If your dog is eating charcoal ashes, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It is going to be a whole lot better than them eating lumps of coal. The charcoal will just pass right on through their system. 

If your dog has started to eat charcoal ashes, then chances are that they can smell the meat on it, which is fine. The dog will eat the charcoal ashes and, providing they do not eat too much, those ashes will just pass on through their body without any issues.

You will still need to keep an eye on them, however. This is because charcoal cannot be digested by a dog, and if they eat too much of it, it can start to get stuck in their digestive tract.

If you notice that your dog is eating charcoal ashes frequently, or it seems to be causing some sort of behavioral changes in the dog, then it is vital that you reach out to a vet immediately.

The dog eating charcoal ashes frequently could indicate a serious condition known as pica. This is especially true if your dog seems to be eating other random objects around the home.


If you catch your dog eating coal, it is not necessarily a bad thing. Coal is not poisonous to dogs, and as long as they have not been eating too much of it, then they should be fine. Your best bet is to keep an eye on them to double-check that their behavior is not changing, and you will want to ensure that they continue to pass their stools.

If your dog is consistently eating coal or charcoal, then this could mean that the dog has a condition known as pica. This is something that you will need to consult your vet about. This condition could end up becoming deadly if your dog is left untreated.

Remember; you can give your dog activated charcoal if they have eaten something poisonous or toxic. However, do make sure that you do not give them more than 1.5-grams of activated charcoal per 1lb of their body weight.