What to Do if You Think Your Pets Been Poisoned

Scan the Surroundings

  • Safely remove any remaining poisonous materials from your pet’s reach.
  • Gather the container or substance to bring to the veterinary hospital or to describe to a Pet Poison Helpline expert.
  • Collect a sample of any material that your pet may have vomited up. Your vet may use this for sample testing.
  • The sooner you bring in your pet to the veterinarian or call Pet Poison Helpline, the better the prognosis for your pet. It’s safer for your pet and less expensive for you to treat before your pet has developed symptoms. That’s because treatment (like vomit inducement, stomach pumping or activated charcoal) can only be performed within a narrow window of time. Even if your pet is not immediately exhibiting signs of poisoning, it’s important to seek professional advice if you suspect that your pet has ingested a poisonous substance.

If you can’t go your regular veterinarian, make sure you have the following information:

  • What your pet ingested and when
  • How much your pet ingested (how many tablets, tablet strength, etc.)
  • Pet’s current weight
  • Pet’s known medical history, including any medications (prescriptions and supplements

Home Remedies

In the panic of a poisoning emergency, do not give your pet any kitchen staples such as milk, peanut butter, vegetable oil or salt—none of which should be given to a pet in distress. Pets can experience adverse reactions from these remedies without veterinary instruction or supervision.

Transporting a Poisoned Pet

Handling an ill pet requires extra precautions. If your pet is sedate, carefully transport him in the car or, better yet, have someone drive while you watch your pet.

If your pet ingested a pesticide that contains zinc phosphide, be extra aware of the need to immediately seek help as byproducts of these poisons can also be extremely harmful to humans too.

Inducing Vomit

Many pet owners assume that they should induce vomit if their pet has ingested something poisonous. However, forcing your pet to vomit can actually cause more harm or even be dangerous if done improperly or at the wrong time. Keep the following guidelines in mind:

  • If your pet is already showing signs of poisoning, it’s too late to induce vomiting.
  • If your pet has certain medical problems (like laryngeal paralysis or brachycephalic syndrome), inducing vomiting is not recommended and can make your pet’s conditions worse.
  • Certain toxins (such as corrosive cleaners and hydrocarbons such as gasoline, paint thinners and kerosene) shouldnot be brought back up. Inducing vomiting after the ingestion of a corrosive material may ultimately cause more harm to your pet. Hydrocarbons can easily be inhaled into the lungs, resulting in a more severe pneumonia.

Most importantly, always seek veterinary advice before administering any kind of treatment yourself.

If you suspect your pet has been poisoned, it is best to immediately take your pet to your Banfield veterinarian or an emergency veterinarian. In the event that you are unable to do that, you can contact pet Poison Helpline at 1-800-213-6680 for initial information about the potential toxin your pet may have been exposed to.

Pet Poison Helpline is a service available 24 hours, seven days a week for pet owners, veterinarians and veterinary technicians. Staff can provide treatment advice for poisoning cases of all species, including dogs, cats, birds, small mammals, large animals and exotic species. As the most cost-effective option for animal poison control care, Pet Poison Helpline’s fee of $35 per incident includes follow-up consultation for the duration of the poison case. You can also find additional information on poisonings at www.petpoisonhelpline.com.