Can Dogs Get Poison Ivy? How to Treat Poison Ivy on Dogs

The most time-consuming activities of dog owners: 1) telling them they’re a good boy/girl. 2) walking them outdoors. Regardless of whether you live in a city or out in the country, you and your dog will encounter flora. 

Poison ivy is easily recognizable, but most dog owners don’t watch their dog’s every move while on a walk. As a result, they may not be aware of their dog walking, or sniffing something they shouldn’t, such as poison ivy. 

What is Poison Ivy?

Poison ivy or poison oak is a plant. The sap found on their stems, leaves, and roots is the oily resin, urushiol. It is an irritant that easily transfers to clothes, hands, and anything it comes in contact with. The plants are often found in wooded areas, but can also grow in backyards, parks and virtually anywhere plants habitat. 


As a child, you may have heard the rhyme, “leaves of three, let it be.” The signature of poison ivy and poison ivy is three jagged leaves. Poison ivy isn’t toxic (at least to humans, more on that below,) but it causes an allergic reaction that leaves the infected skin red, itchy, and extremely uncomfortable. 

Can Dogs Get Poison Ivy Rash?

We know people can get poison ivy, but can our beloved four-legged friends? It’s rare, but it CAN happen. The fur generally protects the sap from reaching a dog’s skin. However, the sap can stick to a dog’s fur and spread the poison ivy to their humans. 

While poison ivy isn’t toxic to humans, it can be to dogs. Dogs can ingest the sap from licking their paws or fur. The sap can then cause an internal allergic reaction that results in anaphylactic shock. 

In less severe cases, poison ivy on dogs causes extreme scratching and discomfort. 

What to do if Your Dog Gets a Poison Ivy or Oak Rash

We’ve answered if dogs can get poison ivy or poison oak. What can be done if your dog walks into the wrong bush? 

  • Poison ivy rash remedies for a dog’s skin

If a dog gets poison ivy on its skin, the visible symptoms include a red rash, and raised bumps. Your dog will scratch excessively, and maybe even bite their skin.

Once you’ve confirmed that your dog has a poison ivy rash, a warm, soapy bath is your first step. With your vet’s recommendation, you may be able to give your dog the over-the-counter antihistamine, such as Benadryl. It can help ease your dog’s allergic reaction and keep them calm. 

It’s not easy to know how to treat poison ivy on dogs. Aside from applying a cold compress to the rash, and having a fan on your dog, there’s not much else you can do. You and your furry friend will have to simply wait it out and let the rash run its course. 

  • Poison ivy remedies after ingestion

On the other hand, if you suspect your dog has ingested the plant or its sap, immediate action is required. A vet visit is in order if your dog has symptoms that include fever, upset stomach, and loss of appetite after being near poison ivy. 

Dog poison ivy treatment is usually up to the vet. Your vet will treat your dog with medications and possibly IV floods to prevent dehydration. The poison ivy rash on dogs isn’t usually deadly, but it won’t be fun for anyone involved.

How to Prevent Your Dog From Getting Poison Ivy

Poison ivy (or poison oak) rashes are relatively rare for dogs. It’s even a debated topic as to the question, “Can dogs get poison ivy or poison oak?” However, there are a few things you can do to help prevent an incident with poison ivy: 

  • Know what poison ivy looks like to recognize it. 
  • Keep an eye on your dog when walking near bushes and grass. 
  • Don’t let your dog wander outdoors alone. 
  • Keep your dog on a leash on walks. 

Can a dog get poison ivy rash? Do you really want to find out? Dogs and poison ivy mixed have the potential to be a headache and heartache for you and painful for them. 

Prevent poison ivy sap from getting on your dog’s paws with Walkee Paws -- doggie leggings that protect not only their paws but all the way up their legs too.