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Most dogs love to get their snouts into just about anything they can, which is a big issue when it comes to the risk of poisoning in canines.
From a bar of chocolate left lying around, to plants growing in the garden, to household cleaning products, many everyday substances are harmful to dogs.
As a responsible dog owner, you should know a little bit about how to spot signs of poisoning in dogs, as well as what to do if the worst should happen.
Contents & Quick Navigation
- What Might Have Poisoned Your Dog?
- Symptoms Of Poisoning In Dogs
- What To Do If You Suspect Your Dog Has Been Poisoned
- How To Prevent A Poisoning
- Top Picks For Our Dogs
What Might Have Poisoned Your Dog?
The vast majority of poisoning cases are unintentional poisonings, when a dog has ingested or otherwise been exposed to something toxic.
That said, there are about 200 cases of intentional poisoning of dogs per year, according to the National Animal Poison Control Center, so you shouldn’t completely rule out that possibility.
Within your average house and garden, there are all sorts of things that could potentially poison a dog, so you should try to be aware of what your dog’s getting up to while your home.
According to the UK Kennel Club, these are some of the most common substances in the home and garden that are poisonous to dogs:
- Xylitol (a form of sweetener used in low-calorie products)
- Oven cleaner
- Laundry detergent
- Snail, slug or rodent poisons
- Yew trees
- Spring bulbs
UPDATE: We sometimes fill our KONG Extreme chew toy with peanut butter to give our puppy. Some peanut butter manufacturers are putting Xylitol in their peanut butter which is toxic to dogs. If you use peanut butter make sure it DOES NOT have Xylitol as an ingeredient.
Be aware that this list isn’t exhaustive. There are many other common items that can prove poisonous to canines, but these are among the most common and will give you an idea of the types of things that could be harmful to your pup.
Symptoms Of Poisoning In Dogs
If you know your dog has ingested a potentially toxic substance, don’t wait to see if any symptoms show up, seek veterinary advice and/or attention right away.
However, there are situations in which your dog make have eaten something poisonous without your knowledge, and this is when it’s important to be able to recognise the symptoms of poisoning.
PetMD explains the symptoms of poisoning can vary wildly depending on the type of poison that your dog is exposed to, but common signs to look out for include:
It’s worth noting, the average amount of time that it takes for symptoms of poisoning to show up is three to four days.
Although occasionally symptoms show up right away, some types of poison can take months to cause any damage.
So, if your dog has eaten something that may be poisonous, just because they aren’t showing symptoms, it doesn’t mean that it hasn’t affected them.
If you’ve seen your dog ingest something suspect, seek veterinary attention right away.
What To Do If You Suspect Your Dog Has Been Poisoned
Hopefully, you’ll never have to go through this, but on the off chance that your dog does eat, or is otherwise exposed to, something poisonous, it’s important that you know what to do.
Forget Everything You Think You Know
We can’t stress this enough, if your dog has ingested something poisonous, you should forget everything you think you know about what to do in this scenario.
This is not the time for any DIY doggy first aid, unless you’ve talked to a vet and have been told to take action, because what works for one kind of poison can do more damage to your dog if they’ve been exposed to a different kind of poison.
For example, some people believe that the best thing to do if your dog has ingested something poisonous is to induce vomiting but, as PetMD points out, if you induce vomiting in a dog who has eaten something petroleum-based, they can easily aspirate into their lungs, causing acute pneumonia.
Likewise, if the poison is caustic, giving any home remedy could cause a chemical reaction that could make your dog far worse.
So, in short, don’t try to treat your dog for any kind of poisoning unless a veterinary professional has directly instructed you to do so.
Get Your Dog Away From The Poison
It might seem too obvious to mention, but in times of worry and crisis, all common sense can go straight out of the window.
The absolute first thing you should do if you see your dog eating something potentially toxic is to either get the poisonous thing away from your dog or move your dog away from the poison, whichever makes the most sense at the time.
As soon as your dog is securely away from the dangerous substance, move on to the next step right away.
Seek Veterinary Advice
Again this might seem obvious, but if you suspect your dog has been poisoned, call the vet right away.
You should never take a “wait and see” approach with suspected poisoning, because the longer you wait the more damage the toxic substance could be doing.
By the time any symptoms show up, it could be too late.
Call your vet and, if you know what your pet ingested, they should be able to tell you whether or not it’s toxic and what your next step should be.
If you’re not sure whether what your dog has been exposed to is poisonous or not, it’s best to err on the side of caution and call up the vet anyway, as they’d much rather answer a silly question than have you come in with a severely sick dog.
Depending on the type of poison ingested, the vet will need to perform one of several procedures.
According to Pet Place, these include, pumping the stomach, administering activated charcoal, or giving an appropriate antidote, if one is available.
Bring A Sample Of The Poison
It’s likely that your vet will ask you to bring your dog to their surgery right away. If so, you should bring a sample or the packaging of whatever it is that your dog has eaten, where possible.
If you’re not sure what your dog has ingested, but they have vomited, bringing a sample of the vomit could be helpful.
How To Prevent A Poisoning
Of course, the best medicine is prevention. While it’s not always possible to supervise your pup 100 percent of the time and keep them out of mischief, if you’re careful, you can largely reduce the chances of your pet being exposed to something toxic.
In the home, the main thing is being vigilant and extremely careful about what you leave lying around.
Even if you don’t think your four-legged friend is the kind of dog who would eat something unusual, you really can’t be too careful.
Make sure that any detergents, bleaches and other cleaning products are securely shut away or stored well above your dog’s reach.
Make sure that you never leave anything tasty, yet toxic, lying around — chocolate is a main offender here.
In the garden, check before you plant anything new that it’s not toxic to dogs. Identify any existing plants in your garden and check those too. Be mercenary. Anything potentially dangerous to dogs must go.
Finally, be careful about what you’re feeding to your dog. While canines can consume some people foods, you should be well-versed about what is and isn’t safe for dogs.
One Final, Final Note: If you ever have friends or family puppy sitting while you’re on vacation make sure they too know what foods your dog can an cannot eat.
I err on the side of caution and give my friends and family specific treats (Wellness Soft Puppy Bites) and dog food (Wellness Core Grain Free Dog Food) to give to my dog and tell them he’s on a specific diet and shouldn’t eat other foods because of his allergies.
If there’s one lesson you can learn from this article, it is to contact your vet right away if you suspect your dog has ingested anything poisonous.
Don’t try to treat your dog yourself, as this could cause more damage. And, definitely don’t wait and see what happens, because it’s much more likely your dog will make a full recovery if you act quickly.
All content on this site is provided for informational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to be nor can it be considered actionable professional advice. It must not be used as an alternative for seeking professional advice from a veterinarian or other certified professional.
LabradorTrainingHQ.com assumes no responsibility or liability for the use or misuse of what’s written on this site. Please consult a professional before taking any course of action with any medical, health or behavioral related issue.
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Good suggestions! Thank you..
What to do if he has most of the symptoms but I do not know what he ingested. If anything. what should be done.
Call your vet immediately. Tonight my German Shepherd was showing signs of lethargy and slight tremors in her legs. A few minutes later she showed signs of lack of coordination with her legs . I called my vet immediately and they said to bring her in. After about 10-15 minute drive I got her out of the truck and she collapsed in the parking lot – couldn’t stand or walk. I had to leave her lying next to the truck and run inside for help and a stretcher to take her inside. She is still in the hospital but improving. I dread to think what may have happened if I had not got her to the vet as quickly as I did. We are still not 100% sure what she ingested but the key is DO NOT WAIT. CALL YOUR VET IMMEDIATELY OR YOU COULD BE TOO LATE.
Sorry but if you’d read the article you know what you should do rather than asking advice from random unqualified strangers. Ridiculous.
THANKS FOR THE ADVICE
My toy Yorkies is in ICU we’re not sure if he walked in some snake away or eat cooked onions but he’s had water stool for six days I am so worried his but is red as fire the vet doesn’t seem concerned. What do I do they want to send him home he’s not ready
I think my English bulldog has gotten to some poison what can I give him
Help!! Not sure what is wrong with my dog. She became lethargic, I guess. She would just sit with her head down and eyes closed for about 2 days. She then had no coordination and walked with a slightly humped back. She would also whine slightly when getting into the car. After the 2 days passed she had 2 seizures. I immediately brought her to the veterinarian. They did blood tests and physical examination on her. Blood tests came back normal. When he did the physical examination he felt a lump on her abdomen. He did an X-Ray and saw a mass about the size of a softball. He did not know what it was. She doesn’t have diarrhea or vomiting. She eats and drinks. The doctor gave her antibiotics for the stomach mass and seizure medication. Now she is always falling down, drooling and urinating often. She doesn’t seem to feel well at times. In the mornings she seems to feel a little better than during the day. The doctor wants to do surgery to find out what is in the stomach. I dont have the money for surgery and find it funny that all of a sudden she would develop seizures and a mass in the stomach at the same time.
Please any suggestions on what may be happening to my dog. At first I thought she was poisoned. But, she has not been throwing up nor had diarrhea.
What did you do for your dog, did they survive?
I wonder if someone can help me.
I took my dog to the emergency vet when I woke up my dog having a seizure of some sort.
When the vet saw her, they said she had signs of toxicity.
Blood work showed a lot of white blood cells meaning inflammation. High sodium meaning dehydration. They kept her for 12 hours at the hospital and then called us when she was doing better.
Next day she was SUPER WEAK. So we took her to the vet.
Vet said it might be the heat and to keep her in a cool room and put some pedialite in her water. Then recommended a neurologist because she appears healthy despite her lack of coordination.
It has been nearly three days. She barely eats or drinks. We have resulted to feeding her wet food through a straw and getting her water the same way very carefully. But I am at a loss. If the vet can’t help me who can I ask??
I am in the same situation which my French bull dog. What was your dogs out come did it get better as the vet can’t find any thing wrong with him. But he won’t drink is very weak had a seizure last night. Vet took bloods they came back fine and kept him for 12 hours but he is no better. I’m so worried
DOG food (Kibble) is Toxic. The kibble is killing our dogs. Have it tested and you will see.
Feed cooked beef or chicken and scrambled eggs with some fruit and veggies with a balancing supplement like Dr. Mercola Meal Mix.
my 3 dogs died less than a day what could of killed them that fast
What some dog owners may not know is that there are some plants and flowers that are dangerous to our furry family members. It is better to do some research about our garden and plants to prevent dogs from getting poisoned. Also, train your dogs not to eat anything else. In the worst case, call your vet once your dog got poisoned.
how do you train an 18 month hound dog not to eat anything else? He is constantly sniffing.
this pitbull and he’s simply beautiful, but is not my dog and I feel extremely uncomfortable telling this owner anything pertaining to his pittbull, but now he’s giving him chocolate cream cookies, which I thought is extremely dangerous to the dog, and he started this last week, at least two cookies per day, omg, how dangerous is this. please help ! what can I do or say without hurting his feelings?
Yes, chocolate is not good for dogs. I think you can be straightforward and let him know it’s not a good treat for dogs. If it were me with my dog I would want to know.
Plz tell this man that chocolate is very poisonus. Look it up online on your cellphone and show him. I told someone i know and they said they’re going to give it to their dogs anyways. That is sad. Some people are ignorant. But if I see it, I’m going to tell others. Don’t worry about them getting upset, at least you did something about it. If it’s going to put you in danger, don’t say it.
MY PUPY GOT AHOLD OF BLEACH I THINK ITS RUNNING AROUND CRAZY AN SHE IS WOBBLY AN DIARREA WHIMPERS LOOKS CONFUSED OR DAZED EMERGANCY VET TURNED US AWAY FOR LACK OF FUNDS SHES ONLY 6 WEEKS OLD WHO AN WHAT DO I DO PLEASE SOME ONE HELP ME ASAP SHES FADING FAST
You need to get your dog to the vet asap. If you don’t have the funds then you can try contacting different vet offices to see if they will help you finance the vet fees.
my dog honey is a border collie and she was poisoned when we took her to the vet it would cost 800 dollars which we did not have at the moment so we started to give her pills she did not eat or drink and we forced her to sadly the next morning we came home from work to find her dead she was foaming out the mouth drooling ALOT and very skinny we only had her 4 months and she was only 7-8 months old. 4/13/2020-8/7/2020 rest easy baby girl
I have a 9 year old Labby/Border Collie. Has been very healthy all his life, nothing wrong, like Ever
6 weeks ago i noticed he was cautious about going down stairs, and thought he was maybe starting to go in the legs
Got worse over the coming days, til finally after about 6-7 days, worked out he’d become Completely blind
He couldn’t actually see the stairs. And no when you look into his eyes, they’re cloudy and vacant. Can’t see anything, even shadows
Wondering if this is a common occurrence or if it’s something a bit more sinister
My gut tells me, this didn’t JUST happen
Could he have been poisoned ??
So my mom just fed my 3 month golden retriever a cheese hot dog (not the whole thing but a piece of it) and I feel extremely paranoid that she could be poisoned from it because she had already had a car accident once, sooo is a piece okay or is it not okay? It’s been 2 hrs since she last ate it and she’s still normal.
All of a sudden my Border Collie won’t come to me, matter of fact runs away from me and his whole life he has adored me. Very close we are. I’m so sad and I pray it passes and that he doesn’t have something seriously wrong :(