Each year there are over 100,000 reported cases of pet poisoning in the USA. Last month I joined the club.

In February my dog Bella ate about 30-40 hip & joint vitamins. I was out for my evening walks when she got into the bag. Before I left for about 2 hours I gave Bella her vitamin and then put the bag on the lower shelf of my console table. I usually put her items on the top shelf. This mistake resulted in her (luckily) vomiting and being rushed to Friendship Animal Hospital when I got home. She was treated with fluids, activated charcoal, and given a prescription for Denamarin.

If need I had supplies at home to induce vomiting in my pet first aid kit, 3% hydrogen peroxide and a syringe to measure. I also have the ASPCA Poison Control App on my Iphone and their number in my phone. The Poison Control Center or your vet will advise on, if, and when to induce vomiting, and how much hydrogen peroxide to use, typically 1 teaspoon (5 ml) for every 10 pounds of body weight. Time is of the essence. Vomiting should be induced as soon as possible and within two hours to be effective.

If you think your pet may have ingested a potentially poisonous substance, call The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) (888) 426-4435 or Animal Poison Control Center: 855-764-7661. A consultation fee may be applied to your credit card but may be covered by your microchip membership.

As most pet parents know our best friends are curious, often to a fault. Dogs will put almost anything in their mouths and in the blink of an eye, something can get swallowed that should not have. Cats are equally curious about new things, and if it smells or tastes good – bingo – there is a good chance they’ll swallow it!

Each year there are over 100,000 reported cases of pet poisoning in the USA. If your pet gets into something don’t beat yourself up – this happens to even the most vigilant pet owners. The most important thing is to know what to do should it happen to your pet.

If you’ve seen your pet get into something this is a plus – you can call your vet, emergency clinic, or poison control immediately and tell them what your buddy got into. They will give you instructions on what you need to do to help your pet. Do not wait for signs of illness, by then it could be too late.

If your dog or cat is just acting “off,” but you’re not sure if they got into anything, look for these common symptoms of poisoning:

  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • drooling
  • twitching
  • lethargy
  • tremors
  • seizure

Do not induce vomiting unless you are told to do so by poison control or your vet. Some substances are best left in their tummies.

Make sure, especially if you have a new dog or cat, to pet-proof your home before they get there. Don’t use chemicals on your yard. Keep dangerous items, including trash, out of their reach. Don’t allow them access to your garage, laundry room, or workroom area as these often have a lot of chemicals in them. The #1 item that pets get into is people medications, so be sure that you put them away.

The links below go over things that are poisonous to our pets, take a moment and get familiar with them, some may surprise you.

ASPCA Poison Guide
Top Household Hazards for Cats
Top Household Poisons for Dogs

The best advice, of course, is prevention. Frequently do a walkthrough of the areas your pet has access to and put dangerous things out of their reach.

Put the phone number of your vet and poison control in your phone or on your refrigerator:

ASPCA Poison Control: 888-426-4435
Animal Poison Control Center: 855-764-7661

[email protected] 202-854-1776