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Are Lizards Poisonous To Dogs?

At A Glance

Are lizards poisonous to dogs? If a lizard has bitten your dog or if your dog has eaten a lizard, this is something you'd want to know as a dog owner. And indeed, some lizards can be poisonous to dogs.

  • If a lizard has bitten your dog, it could simply result in a swelling that goes away soon if the lizard is not venomous. If you suspect a venomous lizard bit your dog or the swelling does not subside, seek a vet's advice.
  • If your dog has eaten a lizard, it may turn toxic, so visit a vet and get the necessary medication and treatment.

Last Updated on: Mar 22, 2023

For dog owners, it is essential to know whether lizards are poisonous to dogs because lizards are a common sight in many parts of the world.

You may frequently see these reptiles in gardens, parks, and even inside your house.

So are lizards poisonous to dogs? The short answer is that some lizards can be poisonous to dogs, but not all.

In this article, we shall learn about lizards with enough venom to harm your dog, the symptoms that may present, and what to do if your dog has eaten a poisonous lizard or if a lizard has bitten your dog.

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Venomous Lizards And Bite Symptoms

There are three species of lizards with enough venom to harm dogs-the Gila Monster, the Monitor Lizard, and the Mexican Beaded Lizard.

These lizards are native to the southwestern United States and northern Mexico and have venomous bites that can cause severe health issues or even death.

The venom from these lizards affects the nervous system and can cause symptoms such as:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Paralysis
  • Excessive drooling or foaming at the mouth
  • Excessive thirst
  • Weakness or lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Pale or yellow gums
  • Crossed eyes
  • Erratic movement or walking

Eating a lizard may prove more harmful than a lizard bite.

This is because lizards can be toxic to dogs when ingested.

On the other hand, a lizard bite may not always be dangerous, as very few lizards are venomous.

If your dog is trying to gobble a lizard, the lizard may bite in response. It may attack your dog’s nose, tongue, or mouth. Although this can result in inflammation, swelling, and discomfort, it is not likely to turn into a severe problem.

However, keep an eye on the swelling. Seek a vet’s advice if it is persistent or does not go away.

If you suspect that a venomous lizard has bitten your dog, you should seek immediate veterinary attention.

What To Do If A Lizard Has Bitten Your Dog

Although Gila Monsters and Mexican Beaded Lizards are typically gentle and rarely aggressive, it is risky if they do bite.
These lizards tend to bite with a strong grip, and you may find it difficult to release them.

You may find it necessary to use a prying tool to open their jaws or hold a flame under the lizard’s jaw to prompt it to release its teeth.

A dog will receive venom from lizard bites about 70% of the time.

As lizards’ teeth are only loosely attached to their jaws, some pieces may break off and lodge themselves in your dog’s skin.

If a lizard has bitten your dog, it may exhibit these symptoms:


  • Bleeding at the site
  • Lowered blood pressure
  • Abscess
  • Increased salivation
  • Eyes tearing up
  • Diarrhea
  • Urinating too often
  • Weakness
  • Arrhythmia
  • Intense pain

Immediate Treatment

  • Call the veterinarian.
  • Flush and soak the wound.
  • If there are any remnants of the lizard’s teeth on your dog’s skin, remove them.
  • Control pain.
  • Treat with antibiotics.

What If My Dog Eats A Lizard?

If your dog has eaten a lizard, you may ask, “Are lizards poisonous to dogs?”

Even if a lizard is not venomous, eating one can still cause your dog health issues.


If you think your dog may have eaten a lizard, watch for these signs of toxicity:

  • Loose stools
  • Throwing up
  • Reduced appetite
  • Excessive thirst
  • Abnormal movements

Do not hesitate to contact your veterinarian if you notice any of these symptoms.

Lizards can carry diseases and parasites that can be harmful to your pet.

Some of them are listed below:


Salmonella is commonly found in the intestines of reptiles, such as geckos, snakes, bearded dragons, and chameleons. While these reptiles may not show any symptoms of salmonella infection, their feces may contain the bacteria.

Dogs can become infected with salmonella by coming into contact with the feces of infected reptiles or by eating them.

Lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, and swollen lymph nodes are common symptoms.

Parasitic Mites

These mites can live on infected lizards, such as bearded dragons, and can transfer to your dog when they eat them.

Although these mites rarely survive on your dog as a host, they can cause these symptoms:

  • Skin irritation
  • Excessive scratching
  • Hair loss
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Keeping Your Dog Safe

Prevention is the best course of action to keep your dog safe from venomous and poisonous lizards.

If you live in an area where lizards are common, it is best to keep your dog on a leash when going for walks. Make sure your yard has secure fencing as well.

If you see your dog playing with a lizard, it is best to intervene and remove it from your dog’s reach.

If your dog has already ingested the lizard or the lizard has bitten it, it is crucial to contact your veterinarian immediately. They can assess your dog’s condition and determine the best course of treatment.

The veterinarian may administer intravenous (IV) medications if they notice very low blood pressure or unusual heart rhythms.

Keep an eye on the wound and report any changes.

In conclusion, while most lizards are not poisonous to dogs, some species can be toxic and cause severe health issues.

It is essential to keep a close eye on your dog when they are around lizards to prevent bites and ensure they don’t eat them.

If you suspect that your dog has ingested a poisonous or non-poisonous lizard, seek veterinary attention immediately to ensure the safety and well-being of your pet.



I am a full-time mum of two kids and a beautiful golden retriever. Writing is my passion: from food journalism to pets, parenting tips, etc. I can write on just about everything under the sun. I have been writing for the past 7 years and during that time, I have been a regular contributor to several blogs and pet magazines. I have also written feature articles, POV pieces, and dabbled in a few different formats of writing over the years.