Pet First Aid: What To Do If Your Dog Eats Something Poisonous

Pet First Aid: What To Do If Your Dog Eats Something Poisonous

When your dog eats something poisonous, it is crucial to provide a quick and appropriate response to save his or her life. Do you know what to do?

Dog care & health

In the last two articles we discussed what to do if your dog stops breathing or if his or her heart stops beating. However, another common medical emergency involves the consumption of poisonous foods or objects. 

Common Poisons
The most common canine poisons include the following:

  • Human Food (Chocolate, Xylitol, Garlic, etc.)
  • Antifreeze
  • Medication (Dog or Human)
  • Xylitol
  • Mouse/Rat Poison
  • Household Products (i.e. Bleach, Fire Logs, Cleaners)
  • Plants (Tulips, Daffodils, Rhododendrons, Sago Palm)
  • Fertilizer

Symptoms of Poisoning
The symptoms of pet poisoning can vary, depending on what was consumed by your dog and the quantity.  However, the most common symptoms that your dog has eaten something poisonous include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy
  • Refusal to Eat
  • Excessive Thirst
  • Seizure
  • Irregular Heart Beat
  • Loss of Coordination
  • Labored Breathing
  • Loss of Consciousness

How to Help Your Dog
If you know for certain that your dog has consumed a poisonous substance, the first step is to call your veterinarian and let him or her know approximately how much of the item was consumed, as well as your dog’s weight. This step is important regardless of whether your dog is showing symptoms, as some symptoms will not arise for 24 – 48 hours. 

If the poisoning occurred after your veterinarian’s business hours, such as on a night or weekend, you should call the Pet Poison Hotline at 855- 764- 7661. This service costs $59 per call, but the operators are available 24/7 and can provide you with immediate steps to take. 

In both instances, the veterinarian or operator of the Pet Poison Hotline might suggest that you induce vomiting in your pet, depending on symptoms as well as the ingested poison. However, you should never induce vomiting unless specifically directed to do, as this can make the situation worse in some instances. Always keep a vomit-inducing agent on hand, such as hydrogen peroxide, should you find yourself in this situation. 

If you discover that your dog is displaying any of the above symptoms but you do not know what your dog has consumed, always err on the side of caution and take your pet to the veterinarian or emergency veterinarian. Many times poisoning can be reversed when caught in time. If you find your pet unresponsive, begin emergency medical treatment as soon as possible, such as artificial respiration or CPR.

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Please note: all dogs should be treated as individuals. The Actijoy™ blog is for educational and entertainment purposes only. In the case of emergency, always seek qualified healthcare from a local veterinarian or emergency facility. Actijoy™ blogs are not designed to treat, diagnose, or prescribe medication for your pet.

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