Dog Medical Emergencies Survey: Ingestion of Poison

94.59% survey participants feel that ingestion of poison is an emergency.

In fact, there is no single item on the survey list that got 100% people check it and that includes those that absolutely, definitely are an emergency.

Yeah, I suppose it might depend on what people think of as a poison; which one and how much of it was ingested ... Yeah, a dog can survive eating chocolate, depending on the type, amount, and size of the dog. And yeah, with something like chocolate you might get away by inducing vomiting at home. But you still better deal with it before you finish whatever chocolate your dog left or before the end of your favorite show. Isn't that still a definition of an emergency?

With anything toxic, time is of the essence.

Ideally, your dog gets help before it absorbs into the body. Which in general is under 2 hours of ingestion. The sooner the better. Like right now.

But I didn't say chocolate, I said poison.

You know, rat bait, snail bait, antifreeze, poisonous mushrooms ... poisons.  Things where the tiniest amount can kill your dog.

Plus making your dog vomit is not always the best idea.

Here are emergency instructions from Pet Poison Helpline:

  • Remove your pet from the area.
  • Check to make sure your pet is safe: breathing and acting normally.
  • Do NOT give any home antidotes.
  • Do NOT induce vomiting without consulting a vet or Pet Poison Helpline.
  • Call Pet Poison Helpline at 800-213-6680.
  • If veterinary attention is necessary, contact your veterinarian or emergency veterinary clinic immediately.

"Did your dog or cat just eat something poisonous? Call your veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline at 800-213-6680 for help immediately!" ~Pet Poison Helpline

"Call your veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline immediately."

It's an emergency. Period.

Related articles:
Dog Medical Emergencies Survey
Dog Medical Emergencies Survey Results
Is Unproductive Retching an Emergency?
Is Difficulty Breathing an Emergency?
Is Panting an Emergency?
Is Severe Pain an Emergency?
Is Limping an Emergency?
Is Vomiting Bile in the Morning an Emergency?
Is Profuse Vomiting an Emergency?
Are Convulsions or Seizures an Emergency?
Is Loss of Appetite an Emergency?
Is Reduced Activity an Emergency?
Is Severe Lethargy an Emergency?
Is Inability to Stand an Emergency?
Is Inability to Urinate an Emergency?
Are Cuts and Abrasions an Emergency?
Is Bleeding an Emergency?
Is Blood in Vomit an Emergency?
Is Fresh Blood in Stool an Emergency?
Is Black, Tarry Stool an Emergency?
Are Pale Gums an Emergency?
Is an Unresponsive Dog an Emergency?
Is Coughing an Emergency?
Is Choking an Emergency?
Is Head Pressing and Emergency?
Are Bug Stings an Emergency?
Are Spider or Snake Bites an Emergency?
Are Animal Bites an Emergency?

Do you know what your dog is telling you about their health?

Learn how to detect and interpret the signs of a potential problem.

An award-winning guide to better understanding what your dog is telling you about their health, Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog, is available in paperback and Kindle. Each chapter includes notes on when it is an emergency.


  1. You are absolutely right, home remedies or tactics are not always safe. Calling the vet/pet poison control helpline is always the best.

    1. Most definitely. Even inducing vomiting isn't always the best idea at all and can do more harm than be helpful.

  2. Poison is 100000000% definitely an emergency. That's not something to mess around with. I'd probably be calling the hotline on the way to the ER vet.

    1. Absolutely. One point is that calling the hotline is often a good idea as many vets do that anyway because not every vet knows what is the best thing to do with every poison.

  3. Poinoning pets - yikes this is a tricky one to tackle.

    I am glad you emphasise how important it is to act quickly - minutes can mean life or death to your pet.

    1. They certainly can; poisoning is not the time to mess around.

  4. I commented on your Facebook post about this, but LOVE that you touched on poison emergencies!

  5. How scary.... it's so important to act quickly in this situation, and it's definitely an emergency.

  6. Yes, poison is definitely an emergency whether it's a substance in the home or outside. I'd call my Vet first and if he isn't available to speak to immediately I'd call the poison help line.
    Love & Biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

    1. The Pet Poison Helpline has the advantage of having deep knowledge about all sorts of toxins and the best steps to be taken. Many vets in fact consult with them as well.

  7. Thanks for sharing this important topic. Keeping our pets safe is crucial and so is being prepared in the event of an emergency. Every minute counts.

  8. I am actually kind of surprised to learn that there were any survey respondents who didn't think ingesting poison constitutes an emergency. For me, this falls into the "call as you are rushing your dog to the car to get to the vet/emergency vet even if you're in your pajamas" category.

    1. I was too. In fact, not one item got 100%. Some of them perhaps might not be well-known but this one you'd think is a no-brainer. Obviously not, though.

  9. I would definitely call the vet or poison control if my pet ate poison.

  10. It is a little hard to believe that 100% of the respondents didn't think swallowing poison would be an emergency!


Post a Comment