5 Signs Your Dog Ate Something Poisonous

5 Signs Your Dog Ate Something Poisonous

As caring pet parents, we never want to imagine our furry friends getting into something they shouldn't. After all, we love them to pieces and in essence, we are responsible for their safety. But unfortunately, dogs can sometimes find themselves indulging in something that can seriously harm them, either by accident or out of sheer curiosity thanks to those strong noses. From chocolate and xylitol to THC, human drugs, household cleaners and rat poison, so many seemingly harmless items in our homes can be potentially fatal for our pups. Being able to recognize the signs of poisoning quickly can truly be life-saving. Here are five big signs your dog ate something poisonous, as well as something you can do to save your dog's life, before you notice these signs. 

Vomiting or Diarrhea 

Vomiting and diarrhea are two of the most common symptoms that a dog has been poisoned. Their body is trying to expel the toxic substance before it can cause further harm. Look out for repeated vomiting, diarrhea with blood or excessive mucus, and signs of abdominal pain like whining or panting. There are other things that can cause vomiting and diarrhea, so usually, one should corroborate these signs with other indications of intoxication (like empty bottles or wrappers). 

Excessive Drooling or Pawing at the Mouth

If your pup is drooling excessively or constantly pawing at their mouth, it could indicate they've eaten something acidic like a household cleaner or chemical that is burning or irritating their mouth and esophagus. Be extra aware of this symptom paired with vomiting, as this could mean they are at risk of a damaged esophagus. 

Lethargy and Weakness 

A sign that may not be as noticeable as the rest but deserves the same concern: lethargy and weakness in a dog’s demeanor. We’re not talking about deep post daycare sleep—keep your eye out for signs of weakness and incoordination when trying to walk or stand. In severe poisoning cases, tremors, seizures, or difficulty breathing may develop as the toxins spread through their system.

Loss of Appetite 

Depending on the breed, some dogs may bum rush their food bowl more than others. But generally, a sudden, complete disinterest in meal time could be a telltale sign that something is seriously wrong, especially if paired with other symptoms. A poisoned dog often loses their normal appetite entirely as their body tries to focus all its energy on fighting off the toxins.

Irregular Heart Rate and Low Temperature 

In extreme poisoning cases, a dog's heart rate may become dangerously high or irregular as their cardiovascular system is impacted. Their body temperature can also drop below normal levels as toxins cause their body to struggle to regulate itself properly. This, along with the other symptoms above, are very concerning and require immediate emergency veterinary attention.

It’s unfortunately possible for our dogs to eat something poisonous without us seeing or suspecting. The signs you read above are what a dog could experience after several hours of ingestion—likely 6 or more. Typically, we see other evidence of potential intoxication, like chewed up wrappers, bottles, or chocolate debris on the couch or their mouths. After all, their cleanliness and attention to detail is NOT one of the things that dogs are known for, so evidence is bound to be around. In these scary situations, prior to physical signs of intoxication, there is a product that can literally save your pets life: ReadyRESCUE™

When you catch them red-handed: Immediate action to take 

Golden retriever, Finn, with our Total Care Combo Pack!
Here’s Finn, with our Total Care Combo Pack! This includes all of our Heat-at-Home products in addition to ReadyRESCUE™. It’s the gold standard in at-home pet care.  

ReadyRESCUE™ is a life-saving oral antidote solution specifically designed for dogs and cats that have ingested toxic substances. It works best when administered shortly after toxin ingestion, before any clinical signs like vomiting or seizures are noted.  From Dr. Cuddles, this emergency response, anti-toxin, vet-designed product works to counteract poison by absorbing and deactivating a wide range of toxic substances like chocolate, medications, plants, chemicals and more. By absorbing and binding the toxin, ReadyRESCUE™ prevents it from doing permanent damage to your pet.

In an instance where you suspect your dog has eaten something poisonous based on evidence around the house, prior to them exhibiting symptoms, ReadyRESCUE™ can be administered to reduce or eliminate the effects of the poison.

Importantly, if you are wrong about your pet eating something poisonous (i.e. what you thought was poisonous actually wasn’t or the amount of something they consumed is not threatening to them), it’s okay! There is no harm or risk in administering ReadyRESCUE™ even if your pet was not in danger. In the event of poisoning, ReadyRESCUE™ can buy you and your pet crucial, potentially life-saving time allowing you to contact poison control or your vet or get them to an emergency veterinarian.

NOTE: Just like performing CPR doesn’t eliminate the need for medical attention, ReadyRESCUE™ is not a replacement for calling and/or visiting your veterinarian (for specific advice regarding your animal and the toxicity). When time matters most, ReadyRESCUE™ acts as a pause button to prevent the absorption of the poison while buying you time to investigate the issue and contact professionals before getting them physically checked out by a professional. 

At the end of the day, we are responsible for our pet’s safety, and no pet parent ever wants to go through the nightmare of having their best furry friend poisoned. But by being aware of the warning signs and keeping ReadyRESCUE™ in your home, just in case, you can be your pet’s first responder and act swiftly to mitigate the dangers. Your dog's health and safety are always our top priorities here at Dr. Cuddles. Empowering you to be a confident pet parent is the mission we put forward each and every day!

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