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 occurred.
  • 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