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Is Sevin Dust Safe for Dogs? Is It Toxic?

Sevin Dust is a popular insecticide often used in households. But is it safe for household pets, including your dog?

You love your dog and want what’s best for them. So, when you notice a tick or flea on them, it might get you wondering—is Sevin Dust safe for dogs?

Sevin Dust is a highly toxic insecticide that you should never use on your dog. The insecticide is an effective poison due to the synthetic chemical called carbaryl. Carbaryl attacks an insect’s nervous system until it dies by entering its body through physical contact, inhalation, or ingestion.

Unfortunately, Sevin Dust has a similar impact on dogs that come in contact with it. For this reason, not only should you never use Sevin Dust as a flea and tick treatment for your dog, but you also must take precautions if you choose to use it in your backyard.

A Background on Sevin Dust

If you take a quick look at a Sevin Dust bottle, it’s understandable why you might feel tempted to use it on your dog—the label states that it “kills over 65 insects” in large, bold letters. 

What’s less easy to see is the smaller fine print. There, it finishes the sentence saying that it kills these insects “on vegetables, fruits, ornamentals, and lawns.”

In other words, not on your dog.

When reading the even finer print, the label says that this product shouldn’t come in contact with animals or humans. In fact, to use Sevin Dust on plants, the instructions indicate that you need to wear gloves.

How to Use Sevin Dust

If you want to use Sevin Dust on your lawn or plants, you’ll first and foremost need to ensure that your dogs and children don’t have access to the area. Also, choose a calm day so that the powdery dust doesn’t make its way to your dog’s lungs.

Then, sprinkle a thin layer of dust over your plants. If you’re applying Sevin Dust on your lawn, it’s best to water it first. In either case, you should avoid watering your vegetation for two days after using it. 

During this time, it’s best to keep your dog away from the application area. 

Types of Insects that Sevin Dust Kills

Well-intentioned dog owners who consider using Sevin Dust on their canines may do so because of the allure that this product kills fleas and ticks. 

Sevin Dust kills much more than just these two insects. Other common pests that the powder will get rid of include:

  • Chiggers
  • Ants
  • Spiders
  • Armyworms
sevin dust on dogs

Addressing the Confusion: Can Sevin Dust Kill Fleas on Dogs? 

No. Well, technically, maybe Sevin Dust can kill fleas and ticks, but it may kill your dog in the process. There’s no stage during a puppy or dog’s life when Sevin Dust is safe. 

Let’s look at an example so that you can see the impact that well-meaning but uninformed pet owners can have on their dogs. Disclaimer: You may need a box of tissues!

Sevin Dust Safety for Dogs and Puppies: A Case Study

Let us introduce you to Bolt, a puppy with a tick and flea infestation. Bolt’s owner was understandably concerned for the dog, his home, and personal health. So, he decided to take matters into his own hands and mixed some Sevin Dust powder with water to bathe his puppy.

Sadly, Bolt’s owner soon had to rush him to the hospital, as Bolt developed muscle tremors that prevented him from walking. The vet also diagnosed Bolt with depression, a common symptom in dogs when they come in contact with Sevin Dust.

The veterinarian explained to Bolt’s owner that they see far too many people using Sevin on their dogs and puppies, and many of them don’t make it. 

Luckily, there are several safe flea and tick alternatives for dogs and puppies, which we’ll cover shortly.

SOS! What to Do if Your Dog Gets into Sevin Dust

If your dog gets into Sevin Dust, take them to the vet immediately. 

Should your dog display unusual behaviors but you aren’t sure if they came in contact with Sevin Dust, below are some symptoms to look for:

  • Nausea
  • Paralysis
  • Tremors or convulsions
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Diarrhea and vomiting
  • Lack of coordination

Remember, if your dog breathes in Sevin Dust, it can have the same impact on their nervous system as if they had touched or consumed it. Therefore, your dog could get Sevin Dust poisoning if they’re playing in the backyard on a windy day while an innocent neighbor applies the pesticide to their garden.

More likely than not, it won’t be your veterinarian’s first time treating a dog with Sevin Dust poisoning. Unfortunately, as we learned from Bolt’s experience, many dogs die from Sevin Dust exposure despite medical intervention.

is sevin dust safe for dogs

Better Flea Killers for Dogs Than Sevin Dust

The alternative to Sevin Dust isn’t to let your dog run around carrying fleas and ticks. These external parasites are not only uncomfortable for your pet, but they can carry deadly illnesses like Lyme Disease and Hepatozoonosis, which can occur if a dog ingests a tick.

Below are some flea and tick alternatives we recommend.

Traditional Treatments

Veterinarian-approved flea and tick treatments are a vet’s typical go-to for killing and preventing these parasites. Brands like NexGard and Frontline Plus are some of the most well-respected and trusted leaders in the industry for their anti-flea and tick medication. 

Coconut Oil

It may not be your first thought for killing fleas and ticks, but the high concentrations of lauric acid in coconut oil can help keep these pesky parasites at bay.


Instead of using Sevin Dust on your plants, consider adorning your yard with plants that naturally repel fleas and ticks. Lavender, chamomile, mint, and sage are all excellent options. Alternatively, if you’ve wanted to plant some trees, consider the flea-fighting eucalyptus. 

The Bottom Line — Is Sevin Dust Safe for Dogs?

You should never use Sevin Dust on your dog or in areas that are theirs, such as their dog bed or toys. However, if your dog comes in contact with this poison, call your vet immediately. The sooner you get them help, the better chance they’ll have at survival.

Fleas and ticks are common issues for dogs. So, by using the dog-safe strategies we covered here, your pup will be able to get back to doing what they do best—taking naps and showering you with love.

Superb Dog Editor

Superb Dog Editor