Argh! How annoying is it when your dog has a bowl full of fresh, clean, crisp, cool water sitting in the kitchen just waiting to be drunk and then they decide they want to drink from a mop bucket full of dirty water and bleach????
Our Staffy (Staffordshire Bull Terrier) Honey did exactly that!! Tried more than once too!
What To Do If Your Dog Drinks Bleach From The Mop Bucket
July 2021: I’m editing this post to move what to do if your dog drinks from a mop bucket to the top of the post; the sooner you get the help, the better. I get a lot of traffic to this post and so it seems like a lot of dogs drink bleach!! Eeeek!!
You can read what happened when my dog drank mop water with bleach in it further down this post, but here is the important stuff first – what you should do if your dog drinks bleach.
- First, you need to know what’s in the bucket – just water? Bleach? Disinfectant? Floor cleaner? What??
- Second, are you sure your dog drank mop water? Could they have just been sniffing it? (Assume they have drunk it.)
- How strong was the solution when your dog drank out of the mop bucket? Was it watered down or straight bleach?
- If it’s just straight bleach – get to a vet asap.
- If it’s bleach added to water, then take a few minutes to check your dog over first.
- If they have drank floor cleaner or bleach – don’t make them be sick.
- See if you can get them to drink some clean water, they might refuse as they are already full or feeling ill.
- Don’t give your dog any food – just in case it makes them feel worse or the vet needs to put them under anesthetic.
- Check to see if they’ve been sick anywhere.
- Do they seem their normal self or a bit off?
- Try and keep calm – almost impossible, I know!
- Keep your dog calm and resting if you can, the less they move around the less sick they will be.
- Look out for any unusual behavior, excessive drooling, rashes, and large amounts of sick.
- Call your vet – or any vet you can get on the phone. Tell them everything. They should give advice over the phone but may ask you to come in. Prepare to pay an out-of-hours call-out fee when you are there.
- If you need to take your dog to the vet, get there asap but stay calm.
- If your dog keeps refusing food, try not to worry too much if they are drinking. Keep trying to give them clean water – if they refuse to drink, go back to the vets and tell them.
- If your dog starts to drool more than usual, is still being sick, or seems disorientated or faint – get back to the vets as soon as you can.
Most dogs are perfectly fine if they drink a diluted form of bleach, floor cleaner or disinfectant. They usually just feel sorry for themselves, sick and tired for a few days. Hopefully, this will be the case for your dog too.
For the next few days, keep them as quiet as you can, let them rest. Keep trying food and plenty of water. Give them a lighter type of food for a week – maybe something for puppies or a weight loss type of food.
If your dog eats raw food like ours, give them cooked chicken and plain, boiled rice for a couple of days. Then slowly reduce the cooked chicken and add in some raw food instead, Eventually, get back to full raw and no rice.
Follow the vet’s advice – I know this post might not be as much help as you were looking for, but honestly, the best people to ask are the vets. They know their shit. If you’re unsure at any time, or doubtful of what the vet advises just ask them to explain it to you or even try someone else.
Try not to beat yourself up too much about it, it happens – unfortunately! Give yourself a break, dogs are like kids and you can’t keep your eyes on them 24/7 even if you try.
Please consider sharing this post on your social media, it might just help another dog parent one day!
Dogs and Bleach
A lot of dogs drink bleach. Why? No idea. Luckily though, according to the experts, our household bleach isn’t too corrosive and won’t erode the dog’s stomach lining. If the mop water has diluted bleach, your dog has an even better chance of getting well quicker.
I know from personal experience (read below!) that it’s a scary thing, when my dog drank bleach water I was really scared – when she drank it another time I was petrified thinking she would die! She was fine after a few days. Luckily.
It’s obvious, and I’m honestly not telling you what to do, but try to keep bleach out of your (dumb) dog’s way. I try my best now to only add the bleach to the water when I’m going to actually start mopping. Then I empty the bucket again.
Sometimes though, like when we have new puppies, we need to keep the bucket with bleach water in because of following a peeing puppy around the house! So I try and keep the mop bucket in another room away from the dogs. I have been known to keep my mop bucket in the dining room, front room, or hidden behind the kitchen bin before now. Not ideal and I’m never happy about it, but I’d prefer that to another dog getting ill from bleach!
If I do use bleach in the water, I only add a small amount, much less than I did before – it still cleans the same.
I really hope this post has helped you if your dog has drunk bleach from a mop bucket. Even if it’s just to reassure you a little, or to know that you aren’t the only one it’s happened to!
Now, Back To When Our Honey Drank Bleach…
Years ago we had an adorable, loyal brindle and white staffy called Honey – she was the sweetest thing in the world and the first ever dog I bought for my husband.
She was easy going, loyal, sweet, loving, cuddly, obedient, clever, kind to animals, and adored the kids. She ate what she was supposed to, only chewed the house a little bit when she was teething, and played with her own toys and not the kids. She was perfect.
Except she drank from the mop bucket. When it had dirty water and bleach in. Bleach. FFS…
It wasn’t a hot day, she hadn’t been running or playing around too much. She had just been pottering around the back garden on her own.
She had TWO bowls of water in the house and another in the garden. Fresh, clean water, put down that morning. So why not drink from them?!?
I had been doing some housework and had just finished mopping the floor – I like my house to smell and ‘feel’ clean and so always used bleach in my mop water.
Honey was outside while I mopped and dried the floor so she didn’t get any on her feet – stupid me thinking that was the worst that could happen! (Fool!)
I left the mop bucket in the outhouse for a few minutes while I dried the floor, I thought I had shut the back door properly. Turns out I hadn’t or that Honey had let herself in.
I went back into the outhouse to empty the mop bucket and caught her with her head in the bucket slurping as much as she could!
I obviously panicked straight off and shouted her name to get her to stop, she did and then looked at me as if to say “what’s the problem??” Then went to drink from the bucket again! I shouted again and basically shoved her out of the door and back into the garden.
I checked the bucket to see how much the idiot had drunk and luckily I couldn’t even tell she had drunk any. So it must’ve just been a mouthful or two. Luckily for her and me.
What Should I Do?
I had a minute of complete blankness and then wondered what the eff to do next, so I went outside and tried to get her to drink some fresh water. She refused.
I put some chunks of cheese (one of her faves) into the water bowl to see if that would get her to drink, but she still refused.
I went inside for my phone to text my husband and call the vets. I phoned the vets who asked details like how much had she ingested, was it pure bleach or watered down, would she eat or drink, had she been sick or passed out etc etc.
As I spoke on the phone Honey had been sick outside, just a little but it just made me panic even more. The vet nurse calmly told me not to give her anything to eat or drink and to bring her straight in (bless her).
I tucked Honey onto the front car seat, strapped her and all the kids in and went to the vets.
The Vet’s Advice
After a tense 15 minute check they decided that because she had drunk a small amount and it was watered down, that they were ok for Honey to come home.
The vets advised that because it was a very diluted, household bleach it wasn’t a corrosive substance (that might burn through her stomach lining – thanks for that image) it would just cause irritation and a little sickness.
They said that because she had only sicked up a small amount (like a spoonful) I must’ve caught her in time. They suggested rest and a lighter amount of food for a few days and plenty of clean water. I also had to keep an eye out for any skin irritation and excessive drooling.
They suggested using pet-friendly disinfectant in the future, instead of bleach.
I was obviously on tenterhooks for the next few days, obsessively checking her and I even stayed awake during the nights to keep an eye on her.
I was told that even the smallest change in her behaviour or health and I was to bring her straight back.
After a day of feeling a little off-colour and definitely sorry for herself, Honey was back to her normal self.
We were super lucky and thank God she was ok in the end! She didn’t even have any skin irritation or drooling and wasn’t sick again either.
After another day, her appetite was back to normal and she was dashing round the garden with the kids again.
Yes for me. Nope for Honey!
She tried it again a few weeks later, as I was mopping she got back into the house when one of the kids opened the door and she came straight for the bucket!! Luckily I was stood right next to it and it was just hot water but I couldn’t believe her stupidness!
Apparently, a lot of dogs try drinking bleach, something about it being ‘sweet’?!? Labradors are a nightmare for it our vet said and will happily drink bucket after bucket of the stuff! Yikes!
I always thought I was on top of dangers for the dog and the kids, turns out keeping the dangerous stuff up away from kids isn’t enough – I needed to keep dogs away from mop buckets too.
I hope no-one has to go through the same thing with their dog, but I have a feeling that some of you will. I really hope that if your dog drinks water with bleach or disinfectant in that you can get to them quickly and that they end up being ok. We were lucky with Honey, but some people haven’t been.
Dog Friendly Cleaning Products
Instead of using bleach, why not try some of these bleach alternative pet friendly cleaning products? Don’t get me wrong, if they drank enough it will still make your dog ill but it won’t be as dangerous as bleach!!!!
Please treat your dog like a baby and keep them away from dangerous things!! The last thing you want is a very poorly dog… or worse.