Unfortunately, each year thousands of dogs and cats suffer from accidental ingestion of household poisons. March is National Pet Poison Prevention Month, so the team at Bark Avenue Animal Enterprises would like you to keep in mind what to do if your furry pal has been in contact with a potentially toxic substance. First, try not to panic, and then follow these step-by-step instructions.

Step 1: Find the potential toxin’s packaging

Your pet will have a much better prognosis and easier treatment if you know exactly what substance they may have ingested or touched. Find the packaging of the poison, toxin, chemical, or food, and gather the following information:

  • Active ingredient
  • Percentage or concentration of active ingredient
  • Size in ounces 

For example, knowing what type of mouse poison your pet has eaten is critical to ensuring they receive the correct, potentially life-saving treatment.

Step 2: Contact a pet poison control helpline

Before calling our hospital, contact a pet poison control helpline. The ASPCA has an Animal Poison Control Center, as does the Pet Poison Helpline. Their teams of veterinary toxicologists have the most up-to-date, specialized information regarding toxicity and poisoning in pets. 

Step 3: Follow the instructions provided by the pet poison control helpline

Your first instinct may be to induce vomiting in your pet, but vomiting may not always be the ideal solution. Caustic substances and harsh chemicals can create more harm as your pet vomits, so call the pet poison control helpline before administering any treatment.

Step 4: Save the case number for our veterinarian

While discussing your pet’s situation with the poison control helpline, you should receive a case number. This number allows faster treatment when you arrive at our hospital since our veterinarian can call the helpline with the case number and discuss the optimal treatment plan with their veterinary toxicologist.

Step 5: Call us to let us know you’re on your way with a sick pet

Before heading out the door, call us to let us know you’re on the way with your pet, which will help our team prepare for a toxicity case. We will jump into action as soon as you walk through the door, giving your four-legged friend the best chance for a successful outcome.

Now that you know what steps to take if your pet has ingested poison, one other thing you can do to prevent your pet from coming in contact with a poisonous substance is to be prepared by poison-proofing your home and surroundings. It’s also essential to recognize the signs and symptoms of pet poisoning so you can take the necessary actions needed to save your pet.

Unsure if your pet ate a poisonous substance? Contact your nearest Bark Avenue Enterprise location or the Animal Poison Control Center.

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