Pets Consuming Rat Poison Pellets  

Rat poison pellets, commonly used to control rodent populations, are highly toxic and can have devastating effects if ingested by our beloved fur babies. Below we’ll shed light on the dangers associated with pets consuming rat poison pellets, the symptoms to watch out for, and the immediate steps pet owners should take to address this emergency. By understanding the risks, being vigilant, and taking prompt action, we can help safeguard the health and well-being of our pets.  

Pets and Rat Poison: Unseen Hazards  

Rat poison pellets can be harmful to dogs and cats if they eat them. These pellets are commonly placed where rodents are often found, like garages, stables, farms, cars, parks, and nature areas. Rat poison pellets are available in different colors such as green, blue, tan, and red. Similar-looking products with similar names can contain different types of poisons in them, so do not assume to know the active ingredients. If the packaging does not clearly show the active ingredient, you can use the EPA registration number to identify it.   

There are four main active ingredients in mouse and rat poisons: long-acting anticoagulants, cholecalciferol, bromethalin, and phosphides. Each of these works differently, so the treatment options vary. It’s vital to know which active ingredient is in the product your pet ingested so that they receive the correct treatment. Corn cellulose and corn gluten are not commonly used in these poisons and don’t pose a poisoning risk.  

Rat Poison Toxicity   

Symptoms of toxicity in dogs and cats vary depending on the active ingredient in the pellets. It can take anywhere from 2 to 36 hours for symptoms to appear after ingestion. It is important to stay attentive and closely monitor your pet for any signs of poisoning. Look out for common symptoms such as:  

  • Vomiting   
  • Anorexia   
  • Incoordination   
  • Tremors   
  • Seizures   
  • Altered mentation   
  • Paralysis   
  • Increased drinking and urination   
  • Bruising   
  • Swelling   
  • Difficulty breathing   


Contact your veterinarian and Pet Poison Helpline at (855) 764-7661 immediately if your pet has consumed rat poison pellets. If possible, let your veterinarian know what the active ingredient is in the poison, otherwise, take the product with you to the veterinary clinic so your veterinarian can determine the appropriate course of treatment. Specific treatment will depend on the active ingredient, the amount consumed, and the symptoms associated. For the safety and well-being of your furry friend, you must seek treatment as soon as possible.