Home Dog Health What to Do If a Dog Eats Rat Poison

What to Do If a Dog Eats Rat Poison

What to Do If a Dog Eats Rat Poison

Rat or mouse poison is a very common substance used for getting rid of rodents in homes or backyards. It is very efficient in killing rats, but also in poisoning or ultimately killing your dog if he finds it first and decides to give it a taste. This is a situation that many pet owners have previously found themselves in, and it's crucial that you know what to do should this happen to your pup.

As a rule of thumb, dogs and rodenticides never make a good mix, and if you are a pet owner, you are probably aware of that. And even if you don't use these around your home or yard, dogs being dogs, they like to run around snooping and adventuring, particularly puppies, and they might end up in a neighbor’s yard or garage where they can find these dangerous substances and ingest them.

Dog poisoning is not a rare occurrence, and rat poison is one of the most common reasons dogs get poisoned, and at the same time one of the most dangerous ones, too. To put things into perspective, PreventiveVet reports that Animal Poison Control Center receives between 140 000 to 170 000 calls annually regarding some form of pet poisoning. Over 6500 cases per year are related to rat poison.

Poison for control rats or rat killerEven with our best care for the dog, it is impossible to predict every misfortune and be on the constant lookout for dangerous substances in your neighborhood. The most important thing in these situations is that you are well-informed, prepared and ready to react quickly, and we will help you with this.

Don’t Panic

It can seem nearly impossible to avoid panicking in the situations when you are scared for your dog’s life, but it's crucial to stay calm. When you become aware that your dog got poisoned, repeat to yourself that in many cases, this is treatable when you react quick and proper. There's a good chance that he will get out of this unscathed.

If your dog ingested rat poison, he will rely on you to get him the cure. If you find yourself panicking and not knowing what to do next, take a few deep breaths and focus on getting your pooch the help he needs.

Recognize Poisoning Signs

In most cases, the dog owner won't see the pet eating rat poison. So you have to learn to recognize the symptoms which come after ingesting it. There is a wide variety of rat poisoning causing different side-effects, and they can be classified into 4 groups:


This is probably the most common type of poisoning. In dogs, it often causes a lack of appetite and bad mood. The dog will be unwilling to play with you. It can also cause cough, blood in mouth, nose or urine, vomiting and diarrhea.

Cholecalciferol (Vitamin D3)

This is the most dangerous one for your pooch. The alarming signal is when your dog is overly thirsty and has the need to urinate more often or has trouble urinating afterward. Additionally, there are symptoms of tiredness, sleepiness and lethargy. It requires quick reaction because it causes kidney failure within a couple of days.


The symptoms of bromethalin poisoning in dogs usually surface quickly, within a couple of hours from ingestion. It causes loss of coordination and balance, trembling and seizures or even the disability to move.

Zinc and Aluminum Phosphides

This type of dog poisoning can affect both you and your canine because it’s dangerous to inhale it. The effect on your dog is vomiting and stomach pain, immobility and collapse. It can also lead to liver failure.

Don’t Delay Calling the Vet

If you notice the signs of rat poisoning don’t postpone calling the vet or animal poison control hotline. Sometimes, people decide that it is better to wait a little and make sure that it is really something serious. Thinking in that way can cost your dog his life.

Call the experts and ask them for an opinion. Let them tell you that you can wait a little bit longer. The main problem with rat poisoning in dogs is the fact that when serious symptoms appear, it might already be too late to prevent the damage.

If you notice any strange behavior of your dog, have him checked up at the clinic. If it happens over the holiday, weekend or during the night, call an emergency vet ambulance. Calling the vet on time is the only way of keeping your dog safe and sound after he ingested rat poison.

Be Prepared

When going to the vet, bring the poison package with you so that he can see what poison your dog ingested. It is crucial to know the type of poison because this will decide the course of treatment as they are very different. If you have forgotten to bring the package, ask somebody to read the EPA registration number from it and send it to you because this would also help the vet to recognize the type of poison and react quicker.

Also prepare the responses to the your vet's questions, such as: When did this happen? When did you notice the symptoms? What are the symptoms? Do you yourself feel any different?

How To Make A Dog Throw Up

An efficient, first step cure is to make your dog vomit. Induced vomiting can be a very effective way of helping the poisoned dog. While a professional will do this better than you, it may be necessary for you to induce vomiting in your dog by yourself, and that's likely something your vet or animal poison control will tell you over the phone.

Here's how to do it at home: How to Make a Dog Throw Up


When your pet ingests rat poison, the situation should not to be taken lightly and the dog must receive the necessary medical care as quickly as possible. It is important to remember that it is treatable and avoid panicking.

Other than when advised to induce vomiting in your pooch, don’t try to provide any other type of medical assistance to the dog yourself – simply call your vet or animal poison control hotline. After that, your goal is to provide as much information as possible to the vet treating your dog.

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Shelly lives in Iowa with her husband and Australian Shepherd named Tex. She's been an animal lover since she was a child. Currently, she enjoys reading and writing about dogs, and spending time with her family and getting involved in all things pets.