What if Dog Licks DMSO?

As responsible pet owners, we always strive to keep our furry friends safe and protected. However, accidents can happen, and sometimes our dogs may get into substances they shouldn’t. One such concern is if a dog licks DMSO (dimethyl sulfoxide), a popular solvent with various medical and veterinary uses. In this article, we’ll address common questions and shed light on the potential risks associated with a dog ingesting DMSO.

What is DMSO?

Before we delve into the effects of a dog licking DMSO, let’s first understand what DMSO is. Dimethyl sulfoxide, commonly known as DMSO, is a colorless liquid that has a wide range of applications. It is known for its ability to penetrate the skin quickly, making it popular in various medical and veterinary treatments.

What if Dog Licks DMSO?

If your dog accidentally licks DMSO, you may wonder what the potential consequences could be. While DMSO is generally considered safe for veterinary use, ingestion can lead to adverse effects in dogs. Some possible outcomes include:

Oral irritation: DMSO can cause oral irritation, resulting in discomfort for your dog. They may exhibit signs such as excessive drooling, pawing at the mouth, or reluctance to eat or drink.

Gastrointestinal upset: Ingesting DMSO may also cause gastrointestinal upset in dogs. This can manifest as vomiting, diarrhea, or general stomach discomfort.

Systemic effects: Although rare, some dogs may experience systemic effects from DMSO ingestion. These effects can include lethargy, weakness, coordination difficulties, or changes in behavior.

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Allergic reactions: Dogs, like humans, can have allergic reactions to substances. If your dog has an allergy to DMSO, ingesting it can trigger an allergic reaction. Symptoms may include itching, swelling, hives, or difficulty breathing.

It’s important to note that the severity of these effects can vary depending on the amount of DMSO ingested and the individual dog’s sensitivity.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are some common questions pet owners have regarding dogs licking DMSO, along with concise answers:

1. Can DMSO be toxic to dogs?

DMSO can be toxic to dogs if ingested in large quantities or if your dog is particularly sensitive to the substance. It is important to keep DMSO out of your dog’s reach to prevent accidental ingestion.

2. How much DMSO is dangerous for dogs?

The toxic dose of DMSO for dogs can vary depending on their size, health, and individual tolerance. It’s best to consult with a veterinarian for specific guidance tailored to your dog’s needs.

3. What should I do if my dog licks DMSO?

If your dog ingests DMSO, it’s crucial to contact your veterinarian immediately. They can provide guidance based on the amount ingested and your dog’s condition.

4. Can DMSO harm my dog’s internal organs?

Ingesting large amounts of DMSO can potentially harm a dog’s internal organs. This is why it’s essential to seek veterinary assistance promptly.

5. Can I induce vomiting if my dog ingests DMSO?

It is not recommended to induce vomiting without consulting a veterinarian first. The appropriate course of action will depend on various factors, and a professional can provide the best advice.

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6. How can I prevent my dog from licking DMSO in the future?

To prevent accidental ingestion, ensure that all DMSO-containing products are stored securely out of your dog’s reach. Keep an eye on your pet during treatments involving DMSO and take necessary precautions.


While DMSO has numerous medical applications, it can pose risks if ingested by dogs. If your furry friend accidentally licks DMSO, it’s essential to contact your veterinarian immediately. Prompt veterinary care can help minimize any potential adverse effects and ensure your dog’s well-being. Remember, prevention is key, so always store DMSO and related products safely away from your pets. Keeping a watchful eye on your dog during treatments involving DMSO can also help prevent accidental exposure.