What to Do If Your Dog Ingests Poison

Finding out that your dog has eaten something poisonous can be a very frightening time. However, knowing what to do in these kinds of situations can allow you to act quickly. In this article, we will explain what dog owners should do if their dog ingests poison, what common items are poisonous to dogs, and the signs of poisoning in dogs.

If your dog has eaten something toxic, it is important to stay calm and quickly assess the situation. This is crucial because knowing what your dog has eaten and how much can help the vet understand the situation and give you proper instructions when you call them.

Here is what you should know if your dog ingests poison.

Dog looking at poison plants

What Common Household Items Are Poisonous to Dogs?

There are some things that are commonly found in homes that are also poisonous to dogs. Here are some common household items that are potentially poisonous to dogs.

Cleaning Products

Cleaning products like bleach are poisonous to humans and animals alike. As a result, all cleaning products should be kept well out of your dog’s reach due to their high toxicity. For areas that need to be near your pet such as their kennel, it is recommended that pet owners use pet-safe cleaning products whenever possible.

Insecticides, Rodenticides, and Herbicides

Like cleaning products, chemicals like herbicides, insecticides, and rodenticides are toxic to both humans and animals alike. As a result, all of these products should be kept well out of your dog’s reach. Similarly, you should never let your dog eat things like dead rats or mice as there is a fairly good chance that they have rodenticides in their system.

Other Products for The Lawn and Garden

There are many other products used in our lawns and gardens that are poisonous to dogs as well. As a result, it is a good idea to keep all fertilizers, potting soils, and other products used in gardens out of reach from pets as well.


Medications are possibly one of the most common dangers to our pets in the home. This is because most medications for humans are toxic to dogs. This includes both prescription and over-the-counter medications that are made for humans.

Even medications that are made for our pets could potentially be toxic to them in large amounts. As a result, it is very important to keep all medications out of your pets’ reach even if they are intended for them. Additionally, you should also be very careful to give your dog the right dosage of their medications no matter if it is a prescribed or over-the-counter medication.

Some Houseplants

Some houseplants can be toxic to dogs as well. This includes many different species of flowers and leafy plants including:

  • Aloe
  • Jade
  • Many species of Lilies
  • Eucalyptus
  • Lavender
  • English Ivy
  • Oleander

Please note that these plants have varying levels of toxicity in dogs, which means that some are much more dangerous than others. Similarly, there are also many common houseplants not mentioned in this short list that are toxic to dogs as well. As a result, you should always research if a plant is toxic to animals before having it around your pets.

What Common Foods Are Poisonous to Dogs?

There are some foods that humans love to eat that are toxic to dogs as well. Here are some foods that are toxic to dogs.

  • Chocolate
  • Macadamia Nuts
  • Avocados
  • Caffeinated Beverages (tea, coffee, etc.)
  • Alcohol
  • Foods with xylitol
  • Grapes and raisins
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Almonds
  • Wild cherries

Due to their toxic nature, any of the above foods should be kept away from dogs.

What Are the Signs of Poisoning in Dogs?

If your dog has eaten something poisonous then there is a chance that they will show signs of poisoning later on. It is important to note that these symptoms of poisoning can take a long time to show up in dogs. As a result, you should always call your vet if you believe that your dog has eaten something toxic, even if they are not showing any signs of poisoning. Here are some of the signs of poisoning in dogs that you should look out for.

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Unusual lethargy or hyperactivity
  • Having difficulty walking
  • Seizures
  • Tremors
  • Collapse

If you notice any signs of poisoning in your dog, then you should call your vet immediately. If your vet is not open, then call your emergency vet or poison helpline instead.

What Should You Do If Your Dog Ingests Poison?

Step 1: Take A Deep Breath

The first thing that you should do if your dog ingests poison is to take a deep breath. Doing this will allow you to gather yourself and be able to make decisions quickly and clearly.

Step 2: Quickly Assess the Situation

Next, you should quickly assess the situation. You should take a mental note of what your dog has eaten and how much. You should also take a note of your dog’s behavior and check for signs of poisoning. Knowing your dog’s weight can be helpful as well. All of this information is important for a vet or poison specialist.

Step 3: Call Your Vet, Emergency Vet, Or Poison Hotline

The next step is to call your vet, emergency vet, or poison hotline immediately. You should do this before you make the trip out to the vet or emergency vet. This is because your vet may have you do some things that could potentially save your dog’s life before leaving. The only exception to this rule is if your dog seems to be needing immediate medical attention.

Step 4: Follow an Expert’s Instructions Exactly

When calling your vet, you should follow their instructions exactly. This is because they may or may not have you do some CPR to stabilize your dog before going out to the vet clinic.


When owning a pet, it is important to be aware of toxic and poisonous items that can harm them. If you suspect that your dog has ingested poison, take them to the emergency vet right away or call poison control.

If you have questions regarding your pet’s health, call Parkway Veterinary Emergency Clinic at (863) 665-3199. We’re always here when you need us.

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