How To Treat A Poisoned Dog

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A sick dogDid your pet eat chocolate or get into the antifreeze in the basement? Act quick! It’s toxic, and you need to break out the poison patrol actions ASAP. But what do you do?

Here are the five steps you need to take to get Spot back into good health in no time.

Five Steps To Treat A Poisoned Dog

1. Do Not Panic

It is natural to panic when a loved one is in trouble, but this is the time when you need to take charge of the situation and act with purpose and speed.

2. Dog Poison Symptoms

Is your dog acting lethargic, or more hyper than usual? Are there signs that he got into something he shouldn’t have that might be toxic, like a poisonous plant? Then you need to start by figuring out exactly what your pet’s poison is and how much he consumed. If it’s food related, you may have a little more time to act and treat than you would with chemical poisons. But, do not assume this. Take notes (literally) of what the poison is and your pet’s symptoms so you do not forget once you are in panic mode and talking to someone who can help. You may even want to take a quick video with your smartphone of strange behavior.

3.  Call The Vet

If you have a pet, you should always have your vet’s phone number programmed into your cell phone and in a place in the home where you can quickly find it (refrigerator door perhaps). This way it is easy to locate when you need it most. It’s also a good idea to have the contact details for the 24/7 emergency vet that is closest to your home in case something goes wrong on the weekend or late at night.

So, since you know right where the number is, do not delay. Call your vet right away to explain the situation and ask advice for next steps. If the office is closed, call the emergency vet. Be sure to have your notes in hand and be prepared to jump in the car to head for help immediately.

4. Pet Poison Hotline

In an emergency, when you cannot reach your veterinarian, immediately contact your local animal emergency clinic or call one of these hotlines to speak to a toxicology specialist and vets who are able to assist 24/7. 

  1. Pet Poison Helpline 1-855-764-7661
  2. North Shore America / ASPCA Hotline 1-888-232-8870
  3. ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 1-888-426-4435

Note: They charge a small fee of $59-75 per incident and will ask for age, weight, medical history of pet, what they were exposed to, amount, when it happened and current symptoms.

Tip: Try using our “Ask a Vet” chat feature that is available 24/7 (see lower right-hand corner of your browser window). You’ll get answers from a doctor within minutes.

5. Do Not Search For Answers On The Internet

If you are reading this, it is probably too late to warn you against this but remember, that you need to act quickly. A local vet or poison expert is better suited to do this than your computer. And, they can help you treat your specific situation while keeping you focused on your dog versus all the random horror stories you will find online. So, step away from the computer right now and CALL THE VET. Do not administer home treatment unless directed by a professional as you may cause more pain than assistance.

What has your dog gotten into that created a poison scare?

About The Author:

Michelle holds an MBA from Vanderbilt University and has worked in marketing at Bank of America, Mattel and Hanes. She is the proud co-founder of Canine Journal and a dog lover through and through. Since the day she was born, she has lived in a home full of dogs. Her adult home is no exception where she and her husband live with Bella and Lily, their two adorable rescue pups. In addition to her love for snuggling with dogs, she also has enjoyed working professionally in the canine field since 1999 when she started her first dog-related job at a dog bakery.

Disclaimer: The information provided through this website should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or a disease. It is not a substitute for professional care. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, you should consult your health care provider.

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My dog ate ant poison and no vets are open near me because of covid-19. I’m 13, I told my mom what happened and she doesn’t know what to do either. We are still under quarantine and the vets are

Apiffany Gaither Billings (Admin)

Please contact a vet or an emergency vet as soon as possible. If you are unable to reach a vet, please call a poison hotline such as ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 1-888-426-4435.


Hi I’m 11 and I am curantly deling with a poisend lab and I’m in ergent help plz help

Kimberly Alt (Admin)

Tell a parent or guardian and ask them for help. Wishing you luck and hope your dog recovers.

Gaylen Phillips

Try a raw egg


get some Pepto bismsl to coat thrre stomache and stop diareshha


all u say is to call your vet we need answers thst will help us at home. like how much antibiotic and whst will help them not throw up snd what csn we do at home .

Kimberly Alt (Admin)

Only a vet can answer this. You should not be taking advice for how to treat a life-threatening issue from a stranger online. If you suspected a child you loved was poisoned would you search for answers online? I would hope you would seek out medical help from a professional, not trust a stranger with no medical degree online. Please contact your vet if you think your dog has been poisoned and get it the help it deserves and needs.


I DID call the vet! The vet said to watch my dog overnight, and bring my dog into the clinic in the morning. No other place is open! Meanwhile, I feel like my dog may be dying. Scared.


i think that is awful for someone to tell you to tske your dog to the vet after you say u have no money we all know most vets are only in it for yhe money and will not save your dog or even care if you have no money


My dog is acting like hes dying but I don’t know. I have no money and I think he may have ate some rat poison a week ago but I’m not sure. How do I know if hes really dying or just sick? He also had had seizures now and in the past to boot.

Kimberly Alt (Admin)

If you think your dog is dying you should contact your vet.


We had a terrible ant problem in yard. My husband went to store & the clerk assured him the Ortho home defense products were safe for pets when dry. He sprayed the yard late that evening. We had light rain in the a.m. Within a couple days my dog was having seizure like activity, was completely disoriented, tried to hide & climb in my lap. She would go sit in corner & stare at wall. She sat out in the rain for 20 mins because she didn’t know how to come back to the house. She had very labored breathing. I called emergency vet & told them I thought it was the ant stuff we used. They asked me her age, 11 yrs they said Oh, well it’s prob ok to wait til morning to see her own vet. It was a long night, thought she was gonna die. Brought her to our regular vet who did a well check exam & ran basic labs but not a poison panel. They did abdominal x-ray because of lumps ( most likely her cancer is back) . The vet said to see a neurologist. While I was on phone with neuro she had another mild seizure. Neuro told me to call my vet back to have her seen immediately for irregular heart beats. Again, my vet would not see her that day. In fact when the tech called me back at 4 pm she said they couldn’t do anything more & to go to neuro. It was a nightmare! For two weeks my dog suffered seizures & neurological issues. Needless to say I spent a ton of $$$ and no answers. I called them to give an update that my dog has been fine now for approx 7 days which leads me to believe it was a poisoning & not an age related issue. Vet said glad to hear she’s doing better however if happens again go to a neurologist.


My dog seems weak and drooling. He already vomited a day ago. He does drink water and has been resting. Eyes are NOT dilated. Dont know what else I can do. Need advice

Legend Killa

um did did you get help?


My puppy just keeps vomiting and he is loosing weight plss what do i do

Kimberly Alt (Admin)

If you think he has been poisoned, call you vet now. His life could be at risk.


My dog has been whining and twitching and shaking a lot since last night , she seems to be fine she eats and gets excited then she starts to cry and shake and twitch idk what it is ican do to help

Anonymous Dog Lover

FOR THOSE THAT NEED HELP! FIRST try to get your dog to vomit. (HYDROGEN PEROXIDE) This too is a poison to your dog, but will induce vomiting sometimes takes up to 3min depending on how much you got them to drink. Next you need to get your dog to drink as much water as possible. Then get your dog to eat some activated charcoal pills as much as possible and as quickly as possible, keep some ready in case your dog continues to vomit, continue having your dog drink water if they can. This is not a cure to poisons but hopefully it saves your dog. The local vet is your best bet to save your animal as they can pump your animals stomach. SYMPTOMS CAN BE LOSS OF BALANCE, SCIZURES, and AGGRESSION(This is cause your animal is scared) Hope this helps!


What if you aren’t sure. My dog just licked the ground. He seems for the most part, like himself. I don’t know what to think. It’s December. I can’t afford a vet.

Kimberly Alt (Admin)

I don’t mean to be harsh with my response, but if I thought my dog had ingested poison I would take her to the vet immediately. In the worst case scenario, I wouldn’t want to risk her suffering and dying. I completely understand that finances are tight for you right now and realize that you don’t want to make an unnecessary visit to the vet. But keep in mind that if poison was ingested, and you didn’t take him to the vet, how would that make you feel?

Again, I’m so sorry if that comes off harsh, I just want to help you in case this happens in the future. Your comment was made Friday evening and we don’t moderate comments over the weekend. I hope this was a false alarm and he didn’t ingest any poison and is a healthy, happy dog. 🙂

Brittney A Abney

Pretty f****d up for you to say im in the samd position … No credit bad credit shit. So I don’t appreciate” oh if it was my dog ” like yea well im sorry we all aren’t like you and have good credit. Thanks for making the worse manner, worse

Kimberly Alt (Admin)

I’m sorry you are in the same position. To be fair, the original commenter asked “What if you aren’t sure?” and I took that as “What would I do if I were in their shoes?” So that is why I answered it the way I did. I don’t know our readers’ exact financial situations
and my intention was not to make things worse. My intention is to help dogs in need and I feel that my answer puts the dog’s health first. I hope your dog is doing well.

Sick of sniveling people

If you can’t afford your pet when it really needs you give it to someone who does


things happen in life unexpected things do don’t judge people and its like telling them to give there child away because you are haveing a tough time st the moment get real

Angela C Wattler

I have a 8 month puppy Gunter I notice that his eye was swollen and within minutes in triple in size to the point he couldn’t open it and he then started to vomit I got a ice pack and put it on his eye his other eye was a little swollen but nothing like his other eye I called my vet and she had to me to do ice pack every 30 mins for 5 mins at a time and gAve him bendrly he was having a allergicl to something. But my landlord called and said that she had sprayed the yard with some poision to kill weeds. So now here almost 24 hrs my baby is lathargic not eating but drinking water and my vet is closed pls I hope some one on here can answer my concern is it a allergic reaction or did he get into the poison that was out side

Kimberly Alt (Admin)

Sorry Angela, we don’t moderate comments over the weekends and holidays. How is Gunter doing today? Hope he is feeling better!

Faustina garnica

I think my dog drank some degreaser deluged with water that was used earlier to clean some metal oven thing and now she’s panting and laying on her side I can’t afford the vet what do I do.for her

Elizabeth Samaniego

There was bug poison on the grass and my puppies got a hold of it. What can I give them to help them by pass it

Kimberly Alt (Admin)

Call your vet to get your puppies help immediately.

Sandra Garcia

Strichnine. And I am going to make damn sure that my Landlord pays. He just said the other day that he hated dods and offered us some strichnine to kill a dog who git in our trash. Now my beautiful little dog is dying I hate the landlord and pray that he dies.

My Westie who is almost 14 years old had gotten into an unknown poison Sunday…today she won’t walk open her eyes or eat/drink
What can I do??

Kimberly Alt (Admin)

If you think your dog was poisoned you should contact your vet ASAP.

George K

My dog just ate about 4 oz of mouse poison and nobody is in there office right now my dog is scewed?

Kimberly Alt (Admin)

Call an emergency vet immediately.


get some Pepto bismal yo coat its belly . he will probly get diareahha but it will help stop it

Sandra Molnar

If you didn’t take him back to the vet or animal emergency because of lack of money don’t let that stop you. No vet will turn a poisoned pet away. They will make arrangements for you to pay later, or make time payments. In the USA today when half the population is in poverty no one has emergency money put aside and if anyone knows this it is veterinarians. They will make a deal with you about payments. It is worth making payments to save your fur baby. I’d sell my blood and anything else I could to pay a vet who tried to save my dog or cat.

Amber Pruitt

My vet turned me away. She wanted 1200 up front no payment plan. He is really sick. They have him antibiotics and told me good luck.

Kimberly Alt (Admin)

That is terrible. I would find a new vet immediately. Fortunately, I’ve never had a large vet bill like that but my vet has never asked for payment in advance (perhaps she would if it reached a higher amount). How can someone be a vet but turn away an animal who has been poisoned?

How is your pet doing? I hope all is well.


Not true. Vets have no problem turning you away if you don’t have the money. I was at an emergency vet. They showed me the bill before treatment. Asked me to pay first, then they would treat. I had been waited by for nearly two hours to see the vet because my dog ate any killer. She ended up charging me for the “chat” and sent us home. And I had to pay poison control $59 to talk to the vet. Your advice to call a vet is shameful. We clearly love our animals more than any vet and should be empowered and encouraged to handle their care in many situations.


Yup. Bill in advance. No pay no stay. Our emergency vet wanted 900.00 UP FRONT to treat my dog with heart failure symptoms. My own vet would never have done that but they are closed at 10pm. My dog died at 2am. Emergency vet is a money grubbing heartless jerk. Now my other young dog is acting lethargic and may be poisoned but I am reluctant to go see those jerks ever again


I agree. I called the only open vet clinic, and was turned away.


MY 14 year old Lab left the house went to unknown place and came back 40 mins later and instantly fell over and started the first convulsions and yellowish/frothy foam coming out mouth. This went on for 5 mins or so then he slowly came to. Then seemed disoriented in house attempting to walk up the wall and such. Then later in the day he had violent seizure/convulsions and seemed exacerbated by noise and sunlight outside. I took him in house and that lasted 30+ mins. I literally gave him some Hash infused coconut butter and THANkFULLY HE calmed down and his breathing slowed. I took him to vet but he was “out of it” from butter. The vet just checked to see if he was responsive when she touched him and he jerked his leg and she told me to “keep the seizures down with the butter” NEXT morning I didnt have chance to give him more butter before I awoke and he then started sets of what seemed like convulsions, paddling, kicking his feet, seems like he was suffocating, head back and lying on his side the whole time. THIS WAS THE START OF MY 24 HRS OF HELL. I could not get any HI butter down his throat as he would not open mouth/ as seemed “locked” so the tremors and heavy breathing continued. I took temperatures when heavy breathing and it was 105’s + I poured cold water on him got all the ice out of fridge and tried to cool him down. It did come down but STILL not able to quell the tremors/convulsions etc. I accidentally stepped on his arm while stepping over him with AC unit and he pulled it back as if he felt it [during a “seizure too]. His eyes were watery etc. but seemed he could see and all but his body was out of control and it went in cycles. I was torn between checking on him and leaving him alone because every time he heard my seemed the convulsions got worse. MY NIGHT OF HELL ended just before noon next day and he died with his head back. He never had a seizure before this episode in his 14 years+. I PAINFULLY TOOK VIDEO OF HIS ACTIONS AND OFFERED IT TO THE VET BUT SEEMS THEY JUST CALLED IT “BRAIN ISSUES GOING ON FROM HIS AGE” DESPITE MY VET ASKING ME IF HE HAD ACCESS TO STRYCHNINE ON THREE DIFFERENT OCCASIONS. [THAT actually seems odd]. If strychnine poisoning, would the tremors be continuous or come and go? PLEASE GIVE ME SOME INSIGHT OR A COGENT WEBPAGE EXPLAINING THESE UNANSWERED QUESTIONS as I promised my dog while SUFFERING BEYOND ANYTHING I COULD IMAGINE that I would GET ANSWERS FOR HIM AND HIS DEATH WOULD NOT BE IN VAIN. please help me find closure for my VERY TOUGH BOY.



Hi Brad, dog poisoning in south africa is a daily phenomonim. My beloved Uno was poisoned with two step poison, you can find it on google. We keep activated charcoal in our homes as a remedy. Charcoal doesnt absorb, it binds with more than 28 of the most deadliest poisons on the market. You can google that too. They even use it in hospitals as a treatment for poisoning. Safe for humans and anials. Unfortunately it didn’t help in my beloved Uno’s case. I sincerely hope you find assistane in my advice ? Kindest regards, from a fellow dog lover, Elna


Unfortunately this poor dog had to suffer horribly for your 24 hours of hell. He should have been rushed to the vets to get Iv meds. Our animals count on us to take care of them. They can’t speak and can’t take care of themselves. It’s like having a 2 year old running around. He/ She should have been taken to a veterinarian or emergency vet to receive the proper medical treatment instead the poor thing died a miserable death. So sad.


Hey dummy read it again, it said that he took him to vet multiple times.

Dianne Parker

Honestly how does help, firstly lets be very clear-that poor dog went thru 24 hours of suffering because the vet failed in his duty of care to not only in his advice/investigation of a possible cause to then not only diagnose something so serious correctly in order to give that poor owner (who has taken their precious furbaby/companion of 14 years) to a certified licenced medical doctorate of animal science- THE ONE PERSON, AND “LITERALLY THE ONLY PERSON” qualified (that a pet owner relies upon & puts all there trust in), especially at such a heartbreaking time with such serious symptoms to be given such generic advice and possibly negligent information/treatment options is the reason the poor lab went thru such a painstaking horrible and inhumane death…and the poor owner might have well been handed a double edged sword from that so called veterinarian doctors recommended treatment for an unknown illness that presented with cluster of red flag symptoms of toxin/poisen,how hard and how devastating that 24hours must have been for the owner to go thru and something that your heart never gets over….im not saying ur intention was to be condescending and your comment to be anything other than helpful in ur mind but just like the vet ur advice is based on assumptions and ignorance not factual information…
And being unable to afford upfront large fees for sick/injured pet does not make an owner a bad person or an irresponsible pet owner…whats irresponsible is that sadly money has become the priority of whether the pet u love gets even basic medical attention or necessary life threatening treatment…and the owner is then shamed and deemed irresponsible…seriously ???? Go shame the industry, cast your comments and judgements to that irresponsible vet. Not the pet owner who cared and loved that pet for 14 years….my thoughts and respect to all pet owners who love and care for any pet regardless of their financial status or income….❤


yes that’s whats up!!!!!!!!!