What to Do if Your Pet Is Poisoned

March 20, 2019

a briddled puppy being held

Pet poisonings can be scary. However, taking the right action quickly can make a big difference in helping your pet. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control (APCC), is always on standby when you need information concerning potential pet poisonings, but we want you to be as prepared as possible should something happen to your furry friend. So we’ve complied APCC’s top actions you should take if you think your pet has ingested something toxic:

1. Check on Your Pet  

Remove your pet from the area and prevent further exposure. Next, check to see how your pet is doing. Are they acting normal? Is there any evidence of vomiting or diarrhea? If you have multiple pets in your home, make sure to check each one, even if you don’t think they were involved. If your pet is unconscious, having difficulty breathing, bleeding or having seizures, it is best you take your pet directly to a veterinary clinic for immediate care.  

2. Gather the Evidence 

Information can be very helpful in determining how much danger your pet may be in. Gather any leftover packaging or pills to help identify what and how much your pet may have ingested. If your pet vomited, check to see if any of the poison/substance is present in the vomit.     

3. Call APCC at (888) 426-4435 or Your Local Veterinarian Immediately    

When you call APCC, our veterinary staff will ask you a series of questions about your pet, such as how they are doing, breed, age, weight and health, as well as questions about what your pet got into. This information will help us understand what the immediate concerns are and the best treatment for your pet. Many times, we are able to manage poisonings at home, but sometimes they are serious and we may direct you to take your pet into a local veterinary clinic. From there, we will speak with your local veterinarian and assist them to make sure your pet gets the best treatment possible.   

Even if your pet is acting normal, don’t wait to contact APCC. Many poisons can have a delayed effect and it can be harder to treat once your pet is symptomatic.  

4. Don’t Panic

It is hard to keep a clear mind when you are worried about your pet, but it is important to try your hardest to remain calm. Unfortunately, making rash decisions, particularly ones based on information from the Internet, can sometimes cause more problems for your pet. It’s best to talk to a veterinary professional, like APCC, before taking any steps or giving your pet anything after a possible poisoning.

If you have any reason to suspect your pet has ingested something toxic, please contact your veterinarian or the Animal Poison Control Center’s 24 hour hotline at (888) 426-4435. For additional up-to-date information, download the APCC Mobile App today!