What to Do If Your Dog is Poisoned

Kate Barrington
by Kate Barrington
Dog can get into trouble at any age – and that includes eating something they shouldn’t. Here’s what to do if your pet is poisoned.

Pets have a way of getting into mischief, as much as we try to keep them out of it. You can pet-proof your home to the Nth degree, but there will always be something you don’t think your pet could possibly get into – until they do. When you think that your pet has been poisonous, it’s easy to go into panic mode; but if you want your pet to come out safely on the other side, you need to keep your wits about you and follow the steps below.

Take Stock of the Situation

You may or may not actually witness your pet ingesting something poisonous, but you will notice the symptoms. Signs that your pet has been poisoned may include lethargy, general malaise, and weakness as well as gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, excessive drooling, and nausea. Things could even get so bad that your pet starts to experience tremors or seizures, and he might even fall into a coma.

Related: Top 10 Common Household Products Poisonous for Dogs

Take note of all of your pet’s symptoms so you can report them to a medical professional. Then, identify the poison. If it isn’t obvious what your pet ingested, look around until you find it and then safely remove it from your pet’s reach. In cases where your pet has been vomiting, collect a sample to take with you to the vet, then call the pet poison helpline.

Call the Pet Poison Helpline

The Pet Poison Helpline is a 24-hour poison control service for animals that is available in the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean. The number to call is 855-764-7661, and, when you call, you should have certain information on hand. The representative will want to know exactly what your pet ingested and when as well as how much (if you are able to determine the amount).

Related: How To Make A Dog Throw Up

They’ll also need to know your pet’s breed, age, and weight to determine whether he ingested a lethal dose. You should also be prepared to answer questions about your pet’s medical history including any medications or supplements he may be taking.

Once you’ve given the representative the necessary information, he will be able to tell you what your next steps should be. In some cases, the representative may recommend that you induce vomiting to get the poison out of your pet’s system. If your pet has already begun to show signs of poisoning, however, it could already be too late.

Certain poisons are more dangerous than others, so be prepared to take your pet to the emergency vet, if it is recommended. You should also be prepared to pay a fee in order to speak with a licensed veterinarian by phone. Even after you have resolved the situation, it is still recommended that you take your pet to see his regular vet within 24 hours for a checkup.

Nothing is scarier than knowing your beloved pet is in danger. But if your pet ingests a poisonous substance you can’t afford to lose time to panic. Take stock of the situation immediately and call the pet poison helpline for next steps.

Once your pet has recovered, make sure to give him plenty of hugs and kisses then go back through your house to identify and remove any other potentially harmful substances that you may have missed the first time around.

Kate Barrington
Kate Barrington

Kate Barrington is the loving owner of two cats (Bagel and Munchkin) and a noisy herd of guinea pigs. Having grown up with golden retrievers, Kate has a great deal of experience with dogs but labels herself a lover of all pets. Having received a Bachelor's degree in English, Kate has combined her love for pets and her passion for writing to create her own freelance writing business, specializing in the pet niche.

More by Kate Barrington