Activated charcoal is a fine, odorless, black powder.  It's made by heating plant substances, like coconut shells, to high heat.  This creates a porous substance that encourages toxins to bind to it.  The body isn’t able to absorb the activated charcoal.  Both the activated charcoal and the toxins leave the body in the feces.

When activated charcoal is given in treats, it can help to reduce gas and bloating. Activated charcoal has a negative charge.  And when ingested, it may help to neutralize the stomach contents and remove toxins.  

Dog dental chews with activated charcoal can help to whiten teeth by binding to bacteria.  Removal of the toxins can lead to fresher breath and cleaner teeth.

During summer months, your dog can be exposed to pesticides and weed killer used on yards.  Activated charcoal can be used to absorb pesticides, viruses, bacteria, fungus, and chemicals.  

Activated charcoal has many uses, and can be beneficial when given in small doses to your dog.  So when you see dog treats or chews that contain activated charcoal, don’t fear.  Your dog doesn’t need to know that the treats he’s consuming has great health benefits.  

Don’t confuse activated charcoal with charcoal bricks used for barbequing. These substances are very different, and don’t do the same thing. Charcoal bricks should never be consumed.