Dog Emergency 

8 Most Common Dog Poisons

We are a 24/7, 365 emergency animal hospital. We are constantly faced with the nightmare of the pet ER. One crucial pet emergency that can typically be prevented is poisoning. It is ALWAYS a severe emergency when a dog or cat or any pet consumes something poisonous. When a toxic substance is eaten by your pet, it’s imperative that you call the pet poison hotline at 1-800-213-6680 so they can assess the immediate actions needed. 

Acting fast is crucial, and once you’ve called the pet poison hotline, you should call an emergency vet immediately. Many of these substances seem perfectly harmless but can cause extreme harm to your animal. Depending on what the substance is, it could affect your dog’s gastrointestinal tract, respiratory system, neurological system, or cardiac system. Today on the blog we wanted to touch on 8 dog poisons that are the most common causes of a pet emergency, in hopes that we can prevent a future emergency.

Here are 8 Things that Commonly cause a pet poison emergency for your dog

1. Over-the-counter medications

Any and all medicines should be kept as far away from dogs as possible. No dog should ever consume human medicine, including acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and naproxen. Any herbal or nutraceutical products can be harmful as well.

2. Prescription medications

Repeat- No dog should ever consume or be in contact with any human medicine. This includes medicines that are prescribed for humans. Drugs that can be beneficial for people can kill a dog, and it doesn’t always take a large dose to cause serious damage.

3. People Food

As we have talked about here on the blog in the past, human food is not always safe for dogs. Do your best to ignore those begging eyes, as the wrong food can harm your pooch. Dogs simply have different metabolisms than we do, and some foods can be very dangerous and even fatal for dogs. Here are a few foods to AVOID at all costs.

  • Alcohol
  • Avocado
  • Macadamia Nuts
  • Grapes and Raisins
  • Xylitol
  • Tomatoes
  • Mushrooms
  • Seeds/Nuts

    4. Chocolate

    Many people are aware of this one, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be mentioned. Chocolate is extremely dangerous for dogs because they contain substances known as methylxanthines that can cause vomiting in small doses, and death if ingested in large quantity. The amount of chocolate consumed, and the size of the dog will impact how serious of a situation we are dealing with. Coffee and caffeine have similarly dangerous chemicals.

    5. Veterinary Products

    Being careful with treatments or medicines is imperative, as even things that are meant to help your pet can be harmful if misused. Some flea and tick treatments can be harmful to your dog. Painkillers and dewormers can also cause an issue. Thousands of animals are unintentionally poisoned by some of these products each year. If the dog gets into the medicine, or if they receive excessive amounts, you could be looking at a pet emergency. Ask your vet about the safety of any treatments.

    6. Household/Lawn and Garden Products

    It’s always important to treat your dog the same way you would a child with regard to chemicals and cleaning products. Our pets don’t know some of the dangers that present themselves when they see an interesting new colorful juice to try, so we must be protective of products like antifreeze, paint thinner and other chemicals. Pool chemicals are another common pet poison, as they are often found in yards along with other lawn and garden chemicals. Keep any chemicals properly secured in a safe place away from pets (and kids!).

     7. Rat Poison / Rodenticides / Insecticides

    Unfortunately, the baits used in many rodent “rat poison” is also attractive to our dogs. If a dog ingests rat poison, it can cause serious problems, depending on the nature of the poison. Symptoms may not occur for a few days after consumption. In some cases, a dog could have consumed part of or all of a poisoned rodent. If you ever even suspect rat poison has been ingested, or any other insecticides, always call the pet poison hotline and the emergency vet.

    8. Plants

    This may surprise you, but many dogs around the country every year are treated for plant poisoning. There are plenty of plants that are toxic for dogs, so try to prevent your dog from eating any plant. Here are a few plants you will definitely want to avoid, as they can be more toxic.

    • Azaleas 
    • Rhododendrons
    • Tulips
    • Daffodils
    • Sago palms


    These are 8 of the most common dog poisons that are found around the country. In no way is this ALL of the things that can be harmful for your dog, so remember that when in doubt, call the hotline. If you are concerned about a pet emergency, you can always call our 24/7 emergency line to speak with someone immediately. We do recommend that you call the pet poison hotline at 1-800-213-6680 first so they can ask you a few questions, but if in doubt you can always call us! Remember to follow us on Facebook for more tips and info for preventing pet emergencies!



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