Toxins Your Pet Ate What

If you know your pet has eaten something he shouldn’t have, call us for advice, or you can call the ASPCA Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435. The Animal Poison Control Center charges a $65 fee, but they might be able to tell you that your pet does not require an emergency visit, which makes $65 sound pretty appealing. Should your pet still require a trip to the ER, however, this gives you a bit more information to provide to the doctor.

For any visit to the veterinarian for a toxin, it is important to bring the packaging with you!

Toxins that will require trips to the ER:

  • Antifreeze – bring your pet to the veterinarian as soon as possible, as the treatment window is short – 3 hours in cats and slightly longer in dogs. Prognosis is very good for dogs treated with the antidote within 5 hours of ingestion. Dogs treated after this “golden window” may still have a good prognosis depending on the amount of kidney damage that has occured.
  • Many human medications (for these we will refer you to the Poison Control Center to assess whether your pet requires an ER visit). Note – almost all medications with pseudoephedrine will overdose cats and most dogs with one tablet.
  • Chocolate and caffeine – large amounts of milk chocolate, or ingestion of dark chocolate, cocoa, caffeine pills, cocoa mulch, coffee beans, and other related products are toxic to dogs and cats.
  • Rat Poisons
  • Lilies in cats – any part of a lily can be fatal to a cat, including the pollen.
  • Xylitol (the sugar substitute)
  • Overdoses of pet NSAIDs (like Rimadyl, Metacam, Deramaxx, Previcox)

Other toxins that also require a veterinary visit include:

  • Permethrins/pyrethrins topical flea medication applied to cats
  • Grapes / raisins
  • Moldy foods
  • Playdough
  • Acetominophen (Tylenol)
  • Marijuana
  • Alcohol
  • Amphetamines, including ADD/ADHD medications
  • Ibuprofen
  • Naproxen (Alieve)
  • Mushrooms
  • And many other common household and environmental toxins


Two great resources are available for more information on poisonings in pets:

ASPCA Animal Poison Control

Pet Poison Helpline


Some helpful tips to keep your pets safe:

Poisonous Household Products

People Food to Avoid Feeding Your Pets

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