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Poison Alert

(888) 426 4435


APCC (Animal Poison Control Centre) is your best resource for any animal poison related emergency, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If you think that your pet may have ingested a potentially poisonous substance, make the call that can make all the difference.

Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pet

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Avocado
  • Chocolate (all forms)
  • Coffee (all forms)
  • Fatty foods
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Moldy or spoiled foods
  • Onions, onion powder
  • Raisins and grapes
  • Salt
  • Yeast dough
  • Garlic
  • Products sweetened with xylitol

Warm Weather Hazards

  • Animal toxins—toads, insects, spiders, snakes and scorpions
  • Blue-green algae in ponds
  • Citronella candles
  • Cocoa mulch
  • Compost piles Fertilizers
  • Flea products
  • Outdoor plants and plant bulbs
  • Swimming-pool treatment supplies
  • Fly baits containing methomyl
  • Slug and snail baits containing metaldehyde


Common examples of human medications that can be potentially lethal to pets, even in small doses, include:

  • Pain killers
  • Cold medicines
  • Anti-cancer drugs
  • Antidepressants
  • Vitamins
  • Diet Pills

Cold Weather Hazards

  • Antifreeze
  • Liquid potpourri
  • Ice melting products
  • Rat and mouse bait

Common Household Hazards

  • Fabric softener sheets
  • Mothballs
  • Post-1982 pennies (due to high concentration of zinc)

Holiday Hazards

  • Christmas tree water (may contain fertilizers and bacteria, which, if ingested, can upset the stomach.
  • Electrical cords
  • Ribbons or tinsel (can become lodged in the intestines and cause intestinal obstruction—most often occurs with kittens!)
  • Batteries
  • Glass ornaments

Non-toxic Substances for Dogs and Cats

The following substances are considered to be non-toxic, although they may cause mild gastrointestinal upset in some animals:

  • Water-based paints
  • Toilet bowl water
  • Silica gel
  • Poinsettia
  • Cat litter
  • Glue traps
  • Glow jewelry

What To Do If Your Pet Is Poisoned

Don’t panic. Rapid response is important, but panicking can interfere with the process of helping your pet.

Take 30 to 60 seconds to safely collect and have at hand any material involved. This may be of great benefit to your vet and/or APCC toxicologists, as they determine what poison or poisons are involved. In the event that you need to take your pet to a local veterinarian, be sure to take the product’s container with you. Also, collect in a sealable plastic bag any material your pet may have vomited or chewed.

If you witness your pet consuming material that you suspect might be toxic, do not hesitate to seek emergency assistance, even if you do not notice any adverse effects. Sometimes, even if poisoned, an animal may appear normal for several hours or for days after the incident.

Call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center 

The telephone number is (888) 426-4435. There is a $60 consultation fee for this service.

Be ready with the following information:
- the species, breed, age, sex, weight and number of animals involved
- the animal’s symptoms
- information regarding the exposure, including the agent (if known), the amount of the agent involved and the time elapsed since the time of exposure.

Have the product container/packaging available for reference. 

Please note: If your animal is having seizures, losing consciousness, is unconscious or is having difficulty breathing, telephone ahead and bring your pet immediately to your local veterinarian or emergency veterinary clinic. If necessary, he or she may call the APCC.

Be Prepared
Keep the telephone number of the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center—(888) 426-4435—as well as that of your local veterinarian, in a prominent location.

Invest in an emergency first-aid kit for your pet. The kit should contain:
- a fresh bottle of hydrogen peroxide, 3 percent USP (to induce vomiting)
- a turkey baster, bulb syringe or large medicine syringe (to administer peroxide)
- saline eye solution
- artificial tear gel (to lubricate eyes after flushing)
- mild grease-cutting dishwashing liquid (for bathing an animal after skin contamination)
- forceps (to remove stingers)
- a muzzle (to protect against fear- or excitement-induced biting)
- a can of your pet’s favorite wet food
-a  pet carrier

Always consult a veterinarian or the APCC for directions on how and when to use any emergency first-aid item.


Put together a pet first-aid kit you can access easily at home. Here's what should be included: latex gloves, tweezers, a rectal thermometer (digital if possible), adhesive tape, gauze pads, cotton balls or swabs, a penlight or small flashlight, ice packs, towels, hydrogen peroxide, petroleum jelly, nail clippers or small scissors, an eyedropper, saline solution, antiseptic lotion or spray, styptic powder, materials to make a splint.

Animal bites

If your dog or cat has a bite, do not bandage the wound. Shave or trim the hair around the wound. Use clean water or a saline wash to flush the blood from the wound, and let it drain until bleeding stops. If the bleeding persists, cover the wound with a sterile cloth and apply firm pressure, repeating as needed. If possible, wear latex gloves the whole time to avoid infection. 

If the blood is bright red and keeps coming in spurts, it is arterial bleeding–and life-threatening. See a vet immediately. Deep wounds might also require immediate stitches at the vet. The other main danger from a bite is rabies. It’s important to check with the biter’s guardians to make sure the animal is inoculated against the disease. If your pet’s shots are not up to date, again get to the vet as quickly as possible.

Bee stings

Scrape the stinger off with a dull knife or other object without pinching the area. If the area around the sting is swollen, apply cortisone cream and then an ice pack. Next give the animal an antihistamine, but only one milligram for each pound of the pet’s weight. If your pet has trouble breathing or experiences swelling, there may be an allergic reaction–get to the vet immediately.

Swallowing dangerous objects

If your pet eats chocolate or another food that can cause internal problems, you can use hydrogen peroxide or a teaspoon of salt to induce vomiting.


If the animal ingests poison–such as household cleaner, battery acid, or nail polish–do not induce vomiting. Instead, find out what she ate and call the Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.


Open your pet’s mouth, gently pull her tongue forward and examine the throat. If you see the item causing the choking, use a tweezers to remove it. Make sure not to push it farther back and don’t be afraid to use your index finger to sweep the area if you don’t think tweezers will cut it.


If your pet isn’t breathing, and removing the obstruction doesn’t work or isn’t possible, you’ll need to perform CPR. Make sure your pet’s windpipe is clear, then hold her tongue out of her mouth and gently close her jaws. Holding them closed, breathe six times into both nostrils. If that doesn’t work, continue artificial breathing, with 12 breaths per minute for large animals (more than 60 pounds), and 30 for pets smaller than 10 pounds. We recommend taking a pet CPR course beforehand. Classes are offered at many local Red Cross chapters as well as at local shelters.


Immediately run cold water over the burn (for chemical burns, brush off any dry chemicals before using water). Then wrap an ice pack in a shirt or towel and apply it to the burn for 15 to 20 minutes at a time.


Diarrhea has a number of causes, and it’s important to find out which is at play. First, withhold food (not water) for between 12 and 24 hours. Then provide bland food, easing the animal back to its regular diet as the stool returns to normal. Call your vet if the diarrhea contains blood or lasts more than a day, as it could be a sign of infection.

This page is dedicated to the memory of  'KOA"  - July 1st, 2005 - April 27, 2007

Our little Koa boo came into our lives when I was feeling pretty sad about life. Koa made me happy again, he made me smile and I loved him so. He was such a dog...he loved to play with other dogs, go to the beach and roll in the sand, dig holes in the grass and all those other things dogs like to do. He was 8 months old when I gave birth to twin boys and I am convinced that it was because of his being there that I was able to have these sweet boys. It was hard those first months with 2 little babies and a puppy who was used to being number one. I am sure he had a bit of a hard time adjusting but we did o.k.  

We decided to move from Half Moon Bay to Hawaii where our parents lived so we could be close to family. We did everything for Koa to be able to come with us without having to go into Quarantine (which Hawaii has). Koa came to Hawaii on April 3rd. I don't know if he was happy with this move or not but he seemed to be. I found him a new friend since he had to leave all of his behind in California. He went to his new friends house often to play and eat her bones. What I didn't know was that their yard was not safe for my little curious Koa and 24 days after Koa arrived in hawaii he passed away from ingesting Rat poison. 

This has been the saddest month of my entire life. I miss my puppy so much it hurts. I want so badly to go back in time and change things, protect him. He was my dog and he trusted me until the end. I hope he doesn't think I let him down. His life was short but he did have a lot of fun but there was so much more for us do do together that I morn the lost time. Koa sweet Koa...I love you with all of my heart. 

I will love you forever, Your Mommy always