What to Do If My Dog Ate Cedar Shavings?

my dog ate cedar shavings

Cedar shaving is preferred for bed filling and uses in dog houses due to its pleasant scent and absorbent qualities. But it poses two threats: it may cause allergies, and dogs may ingest it.

The question here is what to do if my dog ate cedar shavings?

Cedar shavings are non-toxic but can cause gastrointestinal upset in dogs. In most cases, symptoms will resolve within a few days. However, contact your veterinarian if your dog experiences severe vomiting or diarrhea.​

While on the other side, if your dog is sensitive to cedar, direct contact with the wood or breathing in its odors can make him sick. Many dog owners utilize cedar chips and shavings as bedding in crates and doghouses. Dogs may be exposed to the scent of shavings via a dog bed containing cedar chips.

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Symptoms of Mulch Poisoning in Dogs

The symptoms observed in a dog who has consumed mulch can vary.

  • Abdominal bloating & Pain
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Increased thirst
  • Seizures
  • Hyperactivity
  • Restlessness
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Rapid breathing
  • High blog Pressure
  • Loss of appetite
  • Refusal to lie down

Treatment of Mulch Poisoning in Dogs

If your dog is displaying symptoms of mulch poisoning, contact your veterinarian immediately. Depending on the severity of your dog’s symptoms, administration of activated charcoal may be necessary to prevent further complications.

An intravenous (IV) drip will help with rehydration and keep electrolytes stable. Your veterinarian will likely recommend keeping your dog properly hydrated and monitoring him for changes in his vital signs.

Your dog will also receive any necessary medications and IV fluids under the direct supervision of a veterinarian.

Efforts to remove your dog’s access to mulch may help prevent future poisonings, but this is not always possible. In such cases, preventing secondary complications is most important.

Symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea tend to resolve on their own.

This can be helped by offering your dog a bland diet of cooked white rice and boiled meat until the symptoms disappear.

It is best to consult a veterinarian before giving any home remedies, especially if your dog’s condition worsens or does not improve after a few days.

Recovery of Mulch Poisoning in Dogs

Your veterinarian is the best person to advise you on your dog’s recovery time.

Dogs usually make a full recovery within 24 hours, but if symptoms persist longer than 48–72 hours, it may be necessary to seek additional treatment.

It would also help prevent further complications by keeping him away from mulch and cedar chips for two weeks.

In most cases, dog owners can expect a full recovery from mulch poisoning without any long-term effects. Secondary complications such as dehydration may lead to hospitalization and additional treatments in some instances.

Cases of mulch poisoning that do not respond to basic treatment may also require more extensive procedures such as gastrointestinal decontamination and activated charcoal.


According to the ASPCA, cedar mulch won’t necessarily harm your dog if he eats it; nevertheless, it can cause an upset stomach and vomiting if he consumes enough of it.

Other symptoms of cedar mulch ingestion may include drooling and a loss of interest in food or even “small central nervous system depression” if the dog ingests a large amount of cedar.

According to Cornell University, most dogs recover from ingestion of small amounts of cedar mulch with no lasting effects.

However, if you have concerns, contact your veterinarian as soon as possible for advice and treatment options.

What happens if a dog eats cedar chips?

When applied correctly, cedar mulch can provide significant benefits. Although your dog won’t suffer serious harm if he eats cedar mulch, it may make him sick, and if he consumes a lot of it, he might experience vomiting.

However, according to the ASPCA, no negative effects have been observed when a dog ingests cedar mulch.

However, it’s better to be safe than sorry and seek veterinary advice if your dog eats any cedar products.

To educate dog parents for proper bedding of dogs we recently add new educational resources Is Cedar Chips Safe For Dogs? and pine or cedar shavings for dogs these will give you a clear view of whether to use wood shaving for dogs or not.

While our experts also write on wood shavings for dog kennels and pine shavings for puppies. Please read more to know more about cedar and its uses.

How to Use Cedar Shaving Safely?

There are many ways to use cedar shavings without worrying about your dog. According to a veterinarian at the University of California, Davis, cedar mulch is not toxic to dogs as long as it’s clean and has been well rinsed.

You can also place the mulch outside until its strong odor dissipates before using it inside for your dog.

If possible, avoid using cedar shavings as a mulch inside. If you have already used cedar shavings as mulch in your house, place the remaining shavings outdoors until they lose their strong smell before using them with your dog or disposing of them.

Ensure that all cedar mulch and shavings are stored in an inaccessible location to dogs to prevent ingestion.

Lastly, please keep your dog away from the mulch until you’re sure that its smell has completely dissipated.