Let’s say you are in the kitchen cutting up some produce for dinner. You turn around and your cat jumps up and snags some onions and garlic from your cutting board. Oh no, those are poisonous to your cat! What should you do next to help your furry friend? Before acting, learn about these first aid poisoning misconceptions at home.

Five Pet Poisoning First Aid Misconceptions

You may have heard of some wonderful first aid measures that help relieve poisoning in pets, but these measures do not work the same for all pets. For instance, using hydrogen peroxide as an emetic agent to induce vomiting in dogs is a proven remedy for poisoning situations. However, using the same hydrogen peroxide on cats for the same purpose can have dangerous outcomes. To ease your worries, this article will debunk five common first aid misconceptions on pet poisoning.

    1. Milk is a magic potion that counteracts all poison: Should your pet eat poison, milk cannot serve as a magical antidote that neutralizes all toxins. Milk can even aggravate a poisoning situation as some pets are lactose intolerant. Giving milk as a remedy can result in worse stomach upset symptoms.
    2. Inducing vomiting is a cure for all poisoning situations: Causing your pet to vomit may not be the best course of action in some situations as it can be potentially harmful. Many poisons and medications, especially liquids, are fast-acting, so inducing vomiting several minutes or hours after may not expel enough of the poison to relieve the clinical signs. In a situation where your pet is poisoned by ingesting acidic substances like cleaning chemicals or a leaking battery, inducing vomiting can cause burns to the esophagus.
    3. Hydrogen peroxide can be used to induce vomiting in cats: A mixture of diluted hydrogen peroxide solution irritates the digestive tract of dogs, so it works as an efficient stomach irritant if your dog consumes poison. However, using hydrogen peroxide on cats is never safe as their stomach is sensitive to the substance; this could put your cat at risk of a bleeding stomach which can be fatal.
  • Salt is an efficient emetic medication: Giving salt to pets in uncontrolled quantities can lead to electrolyte abnormalities which can result in tremors and seizures. You should not consider salt for inducing vomiting as better and safer options are available to aid this procedure.
  • Butter, mineral oil, or grease can help your dog pass stool: Giving your pet oily substances to aid in egestion is not advisable in a poisoning situation. Ingestion of oils, butter, or grease can cause diarrhea and increase your dog’s risk of dehydration, aspiration pneumonia, and pancreatitis. This medical condition can be life-threatening.

If your pet is exhibiting any unusual symptoms, get them to a veterinarian immediately or contact Pet Poison Helpline® at (855) 764-7661.