Your pet can encounter poison from numerous sources. Some of these poisons may be found around your home, such as unsafe foods and medications, and some may be well out of your control like rat poison from a neighbor’s yard or encounters from venomous creatures. In any case, you might have heard of some popular remedies that work wonders should your pet come into contact with poisonous substances. Some of these remedies work, and some are not always practical or effective. In this article, we will be shedding light on five first aid misconceptions about dealing with pet poisoning.

  1. Always Induce Vomiting – Inducing vomiting is a common first aid treatment for poisoned pets, and it can work because it helps your pet to reduce the toxicity. However, inducing vomiting is not always a helpful solution. In a situation where your dog or cat has ingested a poisonous solid food like chocolate or raisins, inducing vomiting can help, but if your dog or cat ingests a fast-acting drug or liquid chemical, inducing vomiting may be unneeded because the drug is already working in the bloodstream. In some cases, this solution can even cause more harm than good. For example, if your dog ingested an acidic liquid, vomiting could cause burns as well as damage to the throat and esophagus.
  2. Milk Works as a Magical Antidote for All Poisons – This one is common but cannot be further from the truth. In most situations milk is not an effective antidote, and it could even make things worse, especially if your pet is lactose intolerant.
  3. Hydrogen Peroxide Can Be Used to Induce Vomiting in All Pets – While hydrogen peroxide in controlled doses works for inducing vomiting in dogs, but it is never safe to use hydrogen peroxide in cats. Cats can develop irritation and intestinal bleeding, which can be potentially fatal from ingesting hydrogen peroxide, so under no circumstance should you administer it to them as an emetic.
  4. Salt Can Be Used to Induce Vomiting – Using salt as an emetic is never advised, and the risk far outweighs any benefit you can get. Salt can cause electrolyte abnormalities  leading to brain swelling, seizures, and tremors.
  5. Oily Substances Like Butter, Grease, And Mineral Oil Can Help Your Pet Pass Stool – Giving your pet butter, grease, or mineral oil to aid decongestion can worsen the situation. These substances can cause inflammation of the pancreas, pancreatitis, a life-threatening disease in pets. If these substances are ingested, there is also a risk of diarrhea and aspiration from vomiting.

What To Do If Your Pet Is Poisoned

Before you take any action that involves home remedies, always call your veterinarian or talk to Pet Poison Helpline® at (855) 764-7661 for advice on home treatments that might be effective as a first aid measure. Trust the experts first and save your pet’s life.