How Can I Tell If My Dog Has Been Poisoned

How Can I Tell If My Dog Has Been Poisoned

Dogs will eat just about anything they see lying around so it is important to our Seattle vets to teach pet owners how to know if your dog has been poisoned and what to do to help them before it's too late.


Dog Poisoning

Poisoning can often be completely unintentional, as a result of an accident. Our pets are notorious for getting into things they shouldn't, leaving their loving owners panicking and concerned about what to do to help them. 

In other cases, dogs have been exposed to toxic substances or have been fed treats that just aren't appropriate for dogs to eat.

Common Household Items Toxic to Dogs

Your home and garden are filled with items that are potentially toxic or poisonous to your dog. That's why it's important to know where your dog is at all times and to keep potentially harmful substances out of reach of your dog's mouth.

Some of the most common household substances that are poisonous to dogs are:

  • Chocolate
  • Raisins
  • Xylitol (low calorie sweetener)
  • Laundry detergentBleach
  • Oven cleaner
  • Bleach
  • Tylenol
  • Alcohol
  • Tobacco
  • Gasoline
  • Furniture polish
  • Drain cleaners
  • Antidepressants
  • Snail, slug or rodent poisons
  • Fungi
  • Yew trees
  • Acorns
  • Spring bulbs

Signs & Symptoms of Poisoning in Dogs

Depending on the type of poison, the first signs and symptoms of your dog being poisoning vary tremendously but fall into a few categories: 

  • Symptoms caused by swallowed poisons can include: vomiting, diarrhoea, agitation and heart issues.
  • Inhaled toxins may cause breathing difficulties or loss of consciousness in dogs.
  • If your dog's skin comes in contact with a poisonous substance typical symptoms include irritation and pain.

It's important to note that the symptoms of poisoning typically take a number of days to appear, and can sometimes take months. 

Long-Term Symptoms of Dog Poisoning

If you've seen that your dog has eaten something harmful to them, it is essential that they receive treatment right away. A lack of visible symptoms does not negate the fact that your dogs could still be susceptible to the effects of the poison.

Some of the long-term symptoms of your dog coming in contact with poisonous substances include: irregular heart beat, kidney failure, liver damage, loss of blood, and neurological symptoms such as seizures.

What To Do If Your Dog Has Been Poisoned

If your dog has been poisoned stay calm and call your Seattle emergency vet, immediately.

Make sure to get your dog well away from the poisonous substance or move it far from your dogs reach. If your dog was attracted to it once, there's nothing stopping them from going back for more while your back is turned.

Do not try to administer doggie first aid. The actions required for treatment differ based on the poison injested. While some cases may call for inducing vomiting, in other cases inducing vomiting could make your dog even more sick. Get your dog to the vet as quickly as possible and let your veterinarian decide the best course of action.

If you know what has poisoned your dog, bring any packaging or a sample of the poison safely to your vet's office. The packaging will help your vet to get a full understanding of the situation, and how best to treat your dog.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.


If your dog is showing any signs of being poisoned come to our office right away during business hours. If your emergency is after hours trust our Seattle emergency specialists to help your pet in their time of need.

Caring for Pets in Seattle

Northgate Veterinary Clinic welcomes new and existing clients to our veterinary clinic.

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(206) 363-8421