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A poisoned pet: first aid for a poisoned dog or cat

Antifreeze, chocolate or a certain plant; these can be dangerous things when pets decide to have a nibble or a lick. Has your pet ingested something poisonous? Apply first aid treatment yourself. We will tell you what to do to help your dog or cat.

Your dog or cat may ingest something that isn’t good for them. The extent of the damage depends on the substance and the amount your pet has ingested. It is vital to consult a vet, but there are a few things you can do in the meantime.

Poisoned pet, call the vet!

It is important to contact a vet without delay. They can recommend the best course of action and indicate whether an emergency visit is necessary. It helps if you’ve got the packaging of the product that your pet had a taste of. In the case of a plant or mushroom, try to find out the variety. Make your description to the vet as detailed as possible, so they can formulate a tailored recommendation.

Why vomiting isn’t always a good idea

Your initial response may be to induce vomiting as quickly as possible. People sometimes do this by giving the animal salt; a dangerous practice that may cause potentially lethal salt poisoning. Generally speaking, it isn’t necessarily a good idea to induce vomiting, since the substance may cause even more damage when it travels back up the oesophagus. The vet will know exactly what to do, so get their advice first.

Poisonous substances

There is a long list of potentially harmful substances for your dog or cat. We have listed a few:

• Chocolate
• Medication such as Tylenol and ibuprofen.
• Pesticides (including rat, mouse and snail poison)
• Antifreeze and refrigerant
• Various plants, flowers and mushrooms

How to recognise poisoning?

How to recognise poisoning, depends on the substance and the amount ingested by the animal, among other things. Pay attention to:

• Vomiting
• Diarrhoea
• Agitation
• Respiratory problems
• Elevated heart rate
• Excessive drinking and peeing
• Excessive drooling
• Apathy

It is always smart to observe your dog’s or cat’s behaviour. You’ll pick up on symptoms more quickly if you know what your pet is usually like.

A safe environment in and around the house

As a pet owner, there are some things you can do to create a safe environment for your pet. A dog-friendly home or a cat-friendly home is a place where your pet feels comfortable and safe. Make sure you don’t leave any chocolate lying around the house and keep medication and other potentially hazardous substances closed off in a place where your pet can’t reach them. Take a critical look of the plants around the house and make sure they are all safe for your pet. Some beloved plants that are dangerous to pets are Monstera, Sansevieria, Dieffenbachia and Calla.  A dog-friendly garden or a cat-friendly garden is equally important! Store refrigerants and antifreeze in a safe place and keep the garden free of poisonous plants.

First aid for pets

Do you keep a first aid kit for yourself? It is smart to prepare one for your pet as well, including bandages, iodine, tweezers, a pocket knife and much more.

Bring the first aid kit whenever travelling with your pet.

In addition to poisoning, other accidents can happen to your pet as well, such as a wound or bruise. We will tell you all about first aid for your dog or cat.

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