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What If My Pet Gets Into Poison?

March is Pet Poison Prevention Awareness Month! What better time to talk about what to do if your pet gets into poison.


In many cases, pet owners have no idea what could be poisonous to their pets. Especially products and foods in their own homes.

Following are some of the most common household products, and foods that can be harmful to your pets:

  • Chocolate
  • Avocado
  • Alcohol
  • Coffee/Caffeine
  • Citrus
  • Coconut and Coconut Oil
  • Macadamia Nuts
  • Milk and Dairy
  • Onions, Garlic and Chives
  • Xylitol found in many low-fat foods, candies, and gum.
  • Grapes and Raisins
  • Mouse/Rat Poisons
  • Vitamins/Minerals
  • Medications including cold/allergy medications, antidepressants, cardiac medications, etc.
  • Insecticides
  • Household cleaners

As you can see, a lot of these poisonous items may not be so obvious to the average pet owner. It’s important to know what is harmful to protect your pets from it.

Signs My Pet Has Been Poisoned

Depending on the poison your pet has ingested, he may exhibit a variety of symptoms. However, most of these symptoms will fall into one or more of these four categories.

  1. Gastrointestinal: Vomiting, diarrhea, drooling/hyper-salivating, lack of appetite, and nausea.
  2. Internal Bleeding: Coughing/Vomiting blood, pale gums, racing heart rate, weakness, lethargy, and or collapse.
  3. Kidney Failure: Lack of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst or urination, or the absence of urination.
  4. Liver Failure: Gum discoloration, weakness and or collapsing due to low blood sugar, vomiting, diarrhea, and or black stool.

The symptoms above may indicate your pet has been poisoned. It’s important to act immediately if your pet shows signs of the above.

My Pet Has Been Poisoned – What Now?

There is a multitude of resources available in the event your pet is poisoned. The first and most important step is to identify what your pet has ingested and to take note of his symptoms.

Immediately call your veterinarian. Take advantage of the Pet Poison Helpline at 800-213-6680 or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435.

The ASPCA also offers an Animal Poison Control Center App. This app will help you identify foods or substances in your home that may be poisonous to pets and the level of its toxicity.

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