Dogs are curious creatures, and they like to chew on things they shouldn't. This often leads to them ingesting things that aren't good for them, like human prescription pills or poisonous foods. In some cases, it can even be life-threatening. Fortunately, there is a way to help prevent your dog from getting sick by giving them activated charcoal. The use of activated charcoal for dogs can help bind toxins in the intestinal tract to prevent absorption.
Activated charcoal is one of the best ways to get rid of any type of toxicity in your body, and it does so by adsorbing a chemical or toxicant. It's administered when a dog ingests poisons, chemicals or bacterial toxins for example. What many people don't know is that enterohepatic recirculation can happen with some compounds that are metabolized by the liver - these metabolites end up getting emptied into bile which then reabsorbs them in their small intestines!
Activated charcoal should not be given to dogs that have ingested caustic materials (e.g. batteries). These caustic materials are not absorbed systemically, and the charcoal may make it more difficult to diagnose potential oral and esophageal burns.
The recommended dosage of activated charcoal for dogs is 1–3 grams per kilogram of body weight. Repeated doses of activated charcoal every 4 to 8 hours at half the original dose may be indicated when the body recycles the toxin back into the intestine via enterohepatic circulation.
Please note that this dosing advice is meant to be informational only and not to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. Please contact your veterinarian for proper dosing based on your dog, the toxin ingested and the estimated time of ingestion.