Activated Charcoal for Horses – Dogs and Humans

Activated CharcoalActivated charcoal is one thing I will not be without as I always keep it in my first aid kit. I’ve used activated charcoal for myself, on dogs and horses.

Make sure you buy the “Activated Charcoal” it is pharmaceutical grade and is a very potent absorbent. It is highly refined and purified to remove any harmful substances.

There are several things you can use activated charcoal for. It has been used in hospitals for patients who have been poisoned. Activated charcoal binds to poisons and prevents its absorption in the stomach. It basically acts like a sponge and soaks up the toxins, poisons and impurities.

Activated Charcoal Uses:

  • Gas (I use one tablespoon in my horses feed; make sure the feed is wet)
  • Diarrhea
  • Bites and Stings (bees, scorpions, spider, brown recluse, wasp, ants)
  • Snake Bites
  • Poisoning
  • Indigestion
  • Food Poisoning
  • Poison Ivy or Oak


I’ve used the activated charcoal successfully for food poisoning for myself, a brown recluse bite, rattlesnake bites on horses, poisoning of a dog, ant bites, wasp sting, and foal scours.

Activated charcoal works best if you use it immediately after the incident occurs. The charcoal powder is very fine so be careful when mixing it as it will stain your clothes. I’ve found it to be tasteless and odorless. When using it as a poultice I mix it with water making a paste then I put it between two pieces of dressing (like a sandwich). I then apply it to the affected area and cover it with saran wrap and the final step I cover it with vet wrap. I leave the poultice on for 4 to 6 hours (depending on the severity) then remove and discard it and reapply if needed. 

Always consult your Veterinarian or Physician immediately for instructions and information in any poisoning emergency!

If you have a horse or dog that ingests an unknown substance you can call the Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435. The Poison Control Center has a staff of licensed veterinarians and board-certified toxicologists on call 24 hours a day, every day of the year. It is my understanding that there is a consultation fee of $65 per case (could be more). For further information, you can visit their website by clicking here.  

You may want to call your local veterinarian hospital first as they may be able to give you the information you need. Be sure to read the labels as some product labels have phone numbers you can call for information about their products.

**If you or your horse are on medications or supplements you should wait 2 hours before giving Activated Charcoal because it may decrease the absorption and use of the medication or supplement.

You can order Activated Charcoal by clicking here.  (**My affiliate site)



NOTICE/DISCLAIMER:  I am not a veterinarian and I do not offer medical advice to others. The following is not intended and should not be viewed as a substitute for appropriate veterinary or medical care.  Any information provided herein comes from my personal experiences and from various companies, health care professionals and individuals who have researched and/or dealt with the health issues included in this post.  Please use what feels appropriate to you, and consult with your allopathic, holistic or homeopathic veterinarian or physician for proper diagnoses of medical issues before proceeding with the suggestions contained herein.

Sharing is caring!

10 thoughts on “Activated Charcoal for Horses – Dogs and Humans”

  1. Hello Kim,
    I am interested in trying activated charcoal for my TB who has loose poop. I do not see the link “Bulk Herbs” you refer to.
    What is the dose amount and do you add to feed?
    Thanks so much!

    1. blank

      Hi, Diane! I apologize about the link it wasn’t working correctly but it’s now fixed. You can also find the link to buy the Charcoal on my resource page. Is your horse still having loose poop? What all have you tried?

  2. blank

    Hi there, I see this post is rather old, however I have just st purchased some ‘comfort gut’ for my tb racehorse. I understand from the comments that it will help with any stomach issues in addition to helping her droppings become firmer (she has been rather loose).. after reading the label, I understand the main ingredient is charcoal and from reading about what it does, my concern is that it will absorb the vitamins and minerals also present in her feed and therefore she won’t absorb them? Do you have any knowledge on this? I am wanting to know whether it is s good idea to feed it or not… thanks in advance, Kim

    1. blank

      I’ve heard some good things about ‘comfort gut’. Yes charcoal can absorb the vitamins and minerals. When I give charcoal I always wait 2 hours after giving anything else. Let me know if I can answer any other questions.

    2. blank

      Hi Kym,
      I sell the product ActaVet – which is very similar to Comfort Gut. If the activated charcoal is given 1 – 2 hours after giving vitamins and minerals, there is no problem. There are also couple of meds that can be adsorbed and checking against a contra-indication chart can tell you exactly which ones. Again, wait for a couple of hours after medicating before giving activated charcoal. Always check with your Vet if you are unsure.

  3. blank

    Hello Kim
    I have a 29 yr old horse with sever chronic diarrhea.
    The vet did blood work all looked good other than she was not getting enough food absorption.
    I have done 10 days opromezinone (I didn’t spell that right ) 30 days bio sponge now we’re on succeed we are only 2 days in.
    Still she’s covered with mucus and poo. I read your blog and remembered I have activated charcoal I decided to try I give her it tonight 4 hrs after her succeed I will try for. The next few days. I’m greatful to have read your blog it gave me hope if you can think of any other suggestions please email me
    She’s hydrated I give her electrolytes in her food and water she’s gets probiotic and salt her hay is Timothy and orchard
    I pray to The Father that this will be the trick . I look forward to your response
    Thank you so very much

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *