Nicotine can be found in many products and can be harmful to your pets. Nicotine is a rapid-acting toxin and pets can show symptoms within just 1 hour of ingestion. Nicotine can be found in tobacco products such as cigarettes, vapes, gum, chewing tobacco, and more. Nicotine can be found anywhere which makes the risk of your dog or cat encountering it high. Learn more about the negative effects nicotine ingestion can have on pets by reading below.  

Symptoms of Nicotine Poisoning in Pets 

Nicotine poisoning in pets has a rapid onset of symptoms. Clinical signs generally occur within 15 to 60 minutes following ingestion. Symptoms of nicotine poisoning for dogs and cats include: 

  • Vomiting 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Agitation 
  • Elevations in heart rate  
  • Elevations in respiration rate 
  • Depression 
  • Tremors 
  • Ataxia 
  • Weakness  
  • Seizures  
  • Cyanosis  
  • Coma  
  • Cardiac arrest 


Nicotine poisoning can happen so quickly following ingestion. Seeking immediate medical help can mean the difference between life and death for your pet. Even with just a small dose you need to take your pet to the nearest vet clinic or animal hospital right away due to the severity of nicotine poisoning. Act immediately by contacting a veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline® at (855) 764-7661. Giving your dog antacids is counterproductive, because the acid in the stomach slows down the absorption of nicotine naturally. Your veterinarian may have to induce vomiting and administer activated charcoal to stop further absorption of nicotine from the stomach. Your veterinarian may administer IV fluids to aid excretion and stabilization. 

It might be difficult to rid the environment around you and your pet completely of substances that contain trace amounts of nicotine, but you can most certainly monitor the environment of your beloved animal companion to ensure that they do not ingest any products containing nicotine. Prevention is always better and cheaper than cure.