Can dogs get poison oak?

Perhaps one of the most hazardous plants that one can encounter while going on a walk with their beloved pet is poison oak. This native species of North America is notorious for causing intense rashes when it comes in contact with skin.

As humans, we can still take care of ourselves, but when it comes to our pets, they can be more vulnerable to such a thing. This is why questions like do dogs get poison oak are frequently asked by pet owners. So read ahead to find out the answer in this article.

Can dogs get poison oak?

Usually, dogs cannot get poison oak. But there have been cases where they did get it. 

They do not fall prey to this plant not because they are immune to it but because of their fur, which protects them from the toxic oil urushiol that poison oak secretes.

So the more hairy a dog is, the less chance they have of contracting this infection. But they can get the rash on places with less hair, like their stomach or muzzle.

What to do after coming in contact with poison oak?

First, try your best not to come in contact with poison oak. Avoid forests or bushes while going on a walk. Go to the park or take the roads; you will have a much better chance of saving yourself from poison oak. But if you come in contact with it, here are specific tips you must follow.

Take a bath-

Take a long bath so that it will be washed off if you come in contact with urushiol. If a part of your body comes in contact with it, clean that place with solid soap or dishwashing soap. 

By any chance, if you could manage to do it within 10 minutes of touching the plant, then there is a chance of you not getting an infection.

Bath your dog-

Similarly, give your dog a thorough bath with pet-friendly shampoos so they don’t risk getting an infection later from their fur, which can carry the oil. Baths are also essential because they can transfer the toxic oil onto you or the things surrounding them.

Wash your clothes-

For washing machine 
  • Use hot water and a strong detergent to wash your clothes multiple times. 
  • Please do not avoid using a good amount of degreaser or detergent as it is vital to get rid of urushiol, which will ultimately cause the rash. 
Washing by hands-
  • Protective gear is a must if you wash your clothes by hand. 
  • Here also, take plenty of hot water and detergent to soak everything for a long time and wash them more than once.

Sanitize your dog’s belongings-

Your dog’s leash, clothes, and toys also risk being contaminated. So please give it a solid cleaning and sanitize it before making your dog use them again.

Wrapping It Up

It is no doubt that poison oaks are dangerous, but we must make sure that they cannot harm our pets in any way and take necessary precautions against them.