Dealing With Toxin Scares

In another post, we discussed some of the surprising and not so surprising foods you should you
should keep away from your dog. If you’re on this website, you obviously care for your furry
friend and want to be as good a caretaker for him/her as possible. However, no one is perfect
and accidents do happen. So, what should you do if, despite your best efforts, your dog has
eaten something toxic?

The first step may be easier said than done, but it might be the most important one to
remember: don’t panic! If you come home from work to find your dog vomiting and sick, with
chocolate wrappers all over the floor, it can be a scary experience. But you have a responsibility
to keep your wits about you, so you can make the right moves. Knowing what’s expected of you
(and reading blogs like this is a good start) will make everything else come easier.

If you know your dog has eaten something dangerous, and you think his immediate life is in
danger, your first instinct might be to induce vomiting immediately. This is a hard one to control
but you never want to induce vomiting without first talking to a vet. If this happens at a time
when the vet is closed, you can always call a 24-hour veterinary hospital or the ASPCA’s
emergency hotline (1-800-426-4435). The reason you want to talk to a professional is that not
all toxic items are safe to be thrown up – they can cause more damage coming up once they’ve
already gone down.

Another important reason to talk to a professional over the phone is that they are familiar with
these experiences and might talk you off a mountain of your own making. What seems like a
life or death situation might just require a couple charcoal pills or some patience. We can make
some dangerous decisions when we’re panicked, and veterinary professionals act as a barrier to
that.

Of course, toxins don’t only get inside a dog. Depending on the substance, you might have to
deal with a dog that has dangerous chemicals on his fur, skin, and paws. The first thing you’ll
want to do is stop the little guy from grooming himself or herself. This could spread a
dangerous product even further. In most cases, the best thing to do is to give your dog a bath
but, once again, check with a professional first. Some chemicals, like those found in medicated
flea collars, can actually be absorbed even more heavily once the animal gets wet.

You should never blame yourself if you’ve done everything you can to create a safe home for
your dog – accidents can happen to anyone. You can make these scares a lot less likely by
keeping any dangerous foods or chemicals in a place your dog can’t ever access or open. As
long as you stay calm, have a plan, and know who to talk to, you should be able to handle even
scary situations like this