Signs of Pet Poisoning

Bulldog lying on the floor with its tongue sticking slightly out

Every year there are more than 100,000 cases of pet poisoning in the United States. Poisons can be inhaled, swallowed, or simply come in contact with your pet, which can cause internal bleeding, kidney failure, liver failure, and even death.

Common poisons include medications, human foods like chocolate and grapes, household substances, rodenticides, and certain plants. Not all poisons will have an immediate effect on your furry friend. Some could take days for symptoms to appear. Although symptoms vary and can be signs of other conditions, it’s important to recognize when your pet is in distress.

What to Look For

The symptoms of pet poisoning vary depending on the poison ingested. Signs of poisoning include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy
  • Excessive drooling
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Inability to urinate
  • Labored breathing
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Seizures

Poison Prevention

The best way to ensure your pet stays safe is by preventing her from getting into anything poisonous. Keep medications, household chemicals, and other toxic hazards out of reach and securely closed. If you have plants in your house, make sure they are pet-friendly.

What to Do

If you think your pet has been poisoned, contact a veterinarian or the Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 immediately. If you know which substance your pet ingested, bring it to the vet. And if your pet has vomited, bring along a sample to aid in quicker diagnosis and treatment.