Risks Of Dogs Eating Snails

It is true that we cannot be aware of everything our pet does in the garden or in the park, but we can pay attention to certain symptoms that it may present after a walk in the fresh air. Did you know there are certain risks for dogs to eat snails? In this article we will tell you everything you need to know.

Is it bad for dogs to eat snails?

While it is not usually a very common habit, some dogs eat any insect or animal found in the garden. It may be because they’re hungry, because they catch their attention, or because they’re playing and accidentally swallowing them.

The problem with snails is that these invertebrates can spread certain diseases to our pets. Parasites that can live inside the body of the can not only “arrive” by mosquitoes, flies or ticks, but also by these animals so common in the garden .

What diseases do snails transmit to dogs?

Although it does not mean that because the dog eats a snail will get sick, we must pay attention to not get used to eating such animals. Some of them may be infected with parasites that will automatically pass to the body of the can, specifically to the heart or lungs.

Basically there are two worms that can transmit snails or slugs to our pets: the Angiostrongylus vasorum and the Crenosoma vulpis . And they can be quite harmful!

Veneno de caracoles en perros

1. Angiostrongylus vasorum

It is the cause of provoking what is known as Angiostrongilosis. The “French heart worm” also decreases the number of platelets in blood, causes thrombosis, congestive heart failure, hematomas, obstruction of the pulmonary arteries, weight loss and if not treated, death.

This parasite is found in certain infected snails. Once the dog eats the mollusk, the larvae move to the right ventricle of the heart and to the pulmonary artery, where they develop into adulthood.

The can also be infected with this parasite by ingesting frogs, mice, or lizards, which are carriers and can become infested. The only way to detect it is by observing the stool . The veterinarian usually indicates blood tests, ultrasound and X-rays, but they do not always see worms because of their tiny size.

2. Crenosoma vulpis

Another consequence of dogs eating snails is that they can transmit this parasite responsible for verminous pneumonia because it is housed in the lungs, trachea, bronchi and bronchioles.

The cycle is the same as with Angiostrongylus and the symptoms are cough, exercise intolerance, tiredness, fatigue and various respiratory problems.

What if my dog eats poison for slugs and snails?

Another problem derived from the presence of these invertebrates in the garden is that our pet can ingest the bait or poison that is usually placed to eradicate them.

Mi perro se come los caracoles del jardín

This method contains a metaldehyde, very dangerous for the nervous system of the can. Snail bait poisoning is more common than we think, and can cause vomiting, diarrhea, excessive drooling, muscle tremors, convulsions, hyperemia, excessive gasping, and increased breathing.

If we notice that our dog has these typical signs of poisoning, we must immediately take him to the veterinarian to perform the purge he thinks necessary and avoid dehydration or any more serious consequences.

Tips to prevent my dog from eating snails

If you do not want your pet to suffer the consequences of a habit that seems harmless we recommend that you take these tips into account:


  • him so he doesn’t eat anything during walks or when he’s in the garden.
  • It controls the snail population at home.
  • Avoid placing poisons or baits for slugs or snails containing chemicals harmful to the dog.
  • Keep an eye on your pet when he leaves the house or is biting something you don’t recognize.

In this way, it will be more difficult for the dog to eat snails and get infected with parasites and certain diseases.