Accidental dog poisoning is unfortunately a common experience. It's also one of the most terrifying thoughts for any dog owner.
Often curious and sometimes greedy, dogs tend to eat or drink anything that comes their way. And the dangers seem to be everywhere.
Whether they're household products or everyday items lying around the house, anything a dog can lick, put in their mouth or swallow can be harmful to their health, sometimes even fatal.
Below we’ve highlighted the key dangers to look out for; ways to detect if your dog has ingested something harmful; and how to get treatment quickly.
Dog poisoning: the dangers for your pet
A large number of indoor and outdoor products can be dangerous for your dog. Among the indoor products, the most dangerous are typically beauty products, prescription medication, laundry powders and detergents, and even some foods such as chocolate. General household products such as bleach, acid or ammonia should never be left within reach of your dog.
Products located outside, such as pesticides and rat poison, should be locked up and kept well out of reach of both animals and children.
How do you know if your dog has been poisoned?
It is important to know how to identify the first symptoms of poisoning in order to respond and get your dog to your vet quickly.
Some signs can also be the source of other common illnesses benign to the animal, so it’s important to pay close attention so you don’t miss critical signs of changing reactions/behaviours.
The first signs of dog poisoning generally manifest in the form of gastric problems with either vomiting and/or severe diarrhoea. You may also notice signs of blood, a sign of poor coagulation.
Your dog may start to lose balance, experience convulsions or start to tremor or shake. At this point you will want to get your dog to the vet as quickly as possible for it to treated.
Your dog has been poisoned: what to do
First and foremost, try to find out what your dog has ingested.
The sooner you see your vet, the better the chance your dog has to make a full recovery. If first-aid is administered quickly, your vet can help ensure the substance does not reach the dog’s intestines and blood.
It’s highly recommended you also call a poisons information centre with as much detail about what your dog has ingested and its condition so that they can provide you with relevant instructions. In some cases, you might be instructed to make your dog vomit, which is done by making the animal swallow salt water.
WARNING! If the ingested product is acid or an irritant, DO NOT induce vomiting as you may burn the oesophagus further. Give your dog a significant amount of water and take them to your vet immediately. If you do not know what has been ingested, your vet will be able to perform a stomach wash.
If in doubt, your poison information centre is available 24 hours a day by phone.