Skip to Main Content
Ask About Financing

Top Signs of Pet Poisoning

Pet poisoning is sadly a very common occurrence. The U.S. Humane Society estimates that as many as 10,000 cats or dogs die each year as a result of ingesting a toxic substance. One of the main reasons for this is that many owners aren’t fully aware of which things could be harmful to their pets, nor do they necessarily recognize the signs that their pet may have ingested something poisonous and needs medical help.


March is Pet Poison Prevention Month and to help educate owners who may feel that their knowledge of this subject is lacking, here’s what you need to know about some of the most common pet toxins and the top signs that your pet may have been poisoned.

Top pet poisons

There are many different substances that are known to be toxic to pets. These can typically be divided into groups based on their types.

Common human food pet poisons

  •  Chocolate
  • Candies and sweet foods containing xylitol
  • Anything containing caffeine
  • Grapes and raisins
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Avocado
  •  Pits and seeds from fruits and vegetables
  • Milk and dairy products 

Common indoor pet poisons

  •  Human medications
  • Animal medications (taken without supervision has the potential for overdose)
  • Cleaning products
  • Toothpaste
  • Indoor plants and flowers such as lilies, begonias, aloe, and Bird of Paradise

Common external pet poisons

  • Antifreeze
  • Pool cleaning chemicals
  • Insecticides and rodenticides
  • Paint
  • Engine oil and other car fluids
  • Fertilizers
  • Outdoor plants and flowers, such as tulips, daffodils, and rhododendrons

Top Signs of Pet Poisoning

Every animal responds to poisoning slightly differently, and this can vary depending on their breed, size, age, and how much of the toxin that they have ingested. The symptoms of poisoning can also progress if they aren’t noticed fairly quickly. Some of the most common signs of pet poisoning that owners should be aware of include:

  •  Vomiting and diarrhea
  •  Excessive salivation
  • Loss of appetite
  • Racing heart rate
  • Pale gums
  • Coughing up/vomiting blood
  • Excessive thirst
  • Inability to urinate
  • Black, tarry stools
  • Confusion
  • Lethargy
  • jaundice
  • Collapse

If you suspect that your pet may have ingested something toxic, it is essential to obtain advice from our veterinary team as soon as possible. Please refrain from inducing vomiting unless explicitly instructed to by a professional. For more advice and support surrounding pet poisoning, please contact our veterinary clinic in Poway.

Experienced Emergency Vet Care in Poway

Animal Emergency Clinic of San Diego is a family-run after-hours and critical care hospital, providing veterinary emergency care since 1985. If your pet is experiencing an emergency, contact us to get the help your pet needs.

Contact Us

Contact (858) 748-7387