11 Symptoms of Dog Poisoning

signs of poisoning in dogs

Your dog's surroundings are full of possible poisons. Toxin exposure is possible even if you do your utmost to keep hazardous items away from your dog. You might be able to save your pet from poisoning if you know what to look for.

1. Drooling or Foaming at the Mouth

After eating or chewing on anything hazardous, many dogs will develop mouth inflammation. This is especially prevalent if a dog ingests a harmful substance or chews on a hazardous plant. If you observe your dog drooling or foaming, try to figure out what he was chewing on or eating. Take it away from him and save it in case a sample is needed. Inquire with your veterinarian about the next steps.

2. GI Upset

Many toxins irritate the gastrointestinal tract, causing nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Before further symptoms appear, dogs may lose their appetite. Blood may be seen in the vomit or stool in certain circumstances.

Vomiting is frequently the first symptom of drug, dangerous plant, or toxic food intake. It is important not to disregard your dog's unexpected vomiting. Look for signs of toxin consumption and get in touch with your veterinarian.

3. Lethargy

Toxins can cause organ and body processes to malfunction, making a dog ill and unpleasant. When a dog is unwell, they often get weary and listless. Some poisons, such as rat poison, can also induce internal bleeding. Lethargy may result from the blood loss. Artificial sweetener xyliltol can produce low blood sugar, which can make dogs drowsy.

4. Seizures and Muscle Tremors/Spasms

Toxins that harm the nervous system and/or muscles are common. Seizures, tremors, and involuntary muscular spasms may result. Prescription drugs and hazardous plants are frequently to blame. If your dog starts to shake or twitch uncontrollably, it's a good idea to record the indications. Look around to see if any poisons can be found. Unless your dog already has a problem like epilepsy, toxin intake should be explored. If you see muscle spasms, tremors, or seizures, call your veterinarian right away. Many poisons have a short half-life and can cause death or serious disease.

5. Collapse

Certain poisons work quickly and can cause a dog to collapse before any other symptoms appear. This is most prevalent with any poison that affects circulation or cardiac function, such as prescription drugs, illegal substances, and chemicals, although plant ingestion and snake bites can also cause it. This is an emergency condition if your dog suddenly falls or loses consciousness. Bring your dog to the nearest veterinarian who is open.

6. Trouble Breathing

Wheezing, hard breathing, shortness of breath, delayed breathing, and trouble breathing are all symptoms of toxins that impact the respiratory system. The gums may also become blue in hue. Any type of respiratory difficulty in your dog should be addressed as an emergency. Get your dog to an open veterinarian as soon as possible.

7. Abnormal Body Temperature

Your may increase or fall as the poison takes action in the body. Hypothermia is defined as a drop in body temperature below 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Hyperthermia is defined as a fever and a high body temperature (over 103 degrees Fahrenheit). Continuous muscular tremors or seizure activity can produce a fast rise in body temperature. Check the temperature of your dog if you believe it is excessively chilly or hot (rectally, if possible). If your pet's temperature is higher or lower than normal, contact your veterinarian.

8. Sores or Burns

Sores or burns on the skin and in the mouth can be caused by caustic chemicals. If a dog comes into touch with several toxic substances, they might irritate the skin and mouth. Certain plants can potentially cause skin irritation or injury when eaten. Although rinsing the afflicted area will help to reduce inflammation, you should still seek guidance from your veterinarian.

9. Pale, Blue, or Yellow Gums

Some poisons have an effect on the mucous membranes that may be observed (gums, tongue, eyelids, oral cavity). Onions, for example, can cause anemia and if consumed. Gums will seem pale due to blood loss from rat poison and other chemicals that induce bleeding. Gums can become yellow due to some poisonous plants and drugs that damage the liver (jaundice). Blue gums can be caused by toxins that impair the circulatory or respiratory systems.

10. Swelling

Following toxin exposure, a dog's face and/or limbs may swell. When a dog gets or stung by an insect, this is the most usual occurrence. If you detect swelling on your dog's body, it might indicate a problem. For more information, speak with your veterinarian. If the situation is difficult to convey, a photograph may be useful.

11. Behavior Changes

After swallowing a poison, your dog may become hyperactive or agitated. This usually happens when a dog consumes a stimulant like chocolate, coffee, or medicine. In contrast, if your dog has consumed a sedative or alcohol, he or she may become despondent or even nonresponsive. In the early phases of anti-freeze consumption, dogs are frequently characterized as acting "drunk." In many toxicities, time is of the importance, therefore symptoms should not be overlooked. Any significant change in behavior necessitates a visit to the veterinarian.


If you believe your dog has been exposed to a poison, call your veterinarian first. If this happens after your regular veterinarian has closed, get guidance from the nearest emergency veterinarian.

Provide as much information about the poisonous material as possible, including the package information (if applicable/available), when the exposure happened, how much was consumed or touched, and any indicators your dog is exhibiting. You'll also need an estimate of your dog's weight and information on his medical history. Make a list of all of your dog's meds and vitamins. Prepare to talk about the indicators you've noticed in your dog.

You may be told to come in immediately away or given home care instructions by your veterinarian. Never unless a veterinary specialist instructs you to do so, as certain poisons cause more damage when they are vomited back up. If the skin comes into touch with one of these locations, you may need to cleanse your dog's coat, eyes, or mouth.

You or your veterinarian may need to contact a poison control center for assistance. The caller will be charged, however these services will provide the greatest treatment alternatives based on evidence. There may be an antidote for the poison. In certain circumstances, supportive therapy in a hospital setting is required.

  • ASPCA Poison Control: (888) 426-4435
  • Pet Poison Helpline: (800) 213-6680
If you suspect your pet is sick, call your vet immediately. For health-related questions, always consult your veterinarian, as they have examined your pet, know the pet's health history, and can make the best recommendations for your pet.