What to Do If a Puppy Eats Rat Poison

Puppies can die from eating rat poison.

Puppies love to get into mischief, and they like to chew and taste foreign objects. Usually this is harmless, but sometimes they can ingest poison and create a crisis situation. Rat poison is dangerous, especially in a small puppy, because it is formulated to be fatal. If your puppy eats rat poison, you must take fast action to save its life and preserve its health.

Expert Advice

Call the 24-hour Animal Poison Hotline at 888-232-8870 before taking any action. For most rat poisons, vomiting is the preferred first-line treatment to prevent the poison from being absorbed into the puppy's system. However, certain poisons can cause damage to the throat, so you must be sure your puppy has not eaten one of those. Have the rat poison container ready when you call the hotline so you can read the ingredients to the attendant. The attendant will also need to know how much rat poison the puppy consumed and when it happened.

First Aid

In most cases, first aid will mean inducing vomiting in the puppy to get as much of the rat poison out of its system as possible. Puppies are small in size, so rat poison can affect them much more quickly and severely than it might affect a larger dog. Pet Place advises using three percent peroxide to make the puppy vomit. Do not use the stronger peroxide meant for cosmetic use. Give it to the puppy with a teaspoon or an oral syringe. If you are given different instructions by the Animal Poison Hotline, follow their instructions exactly.

Veterinary Help

Take your puppy to a veterinarian as soon as possible. Even though you may have done first aid, the rat poison may have a long-term effect on your puppy without medical treatment. If your puppy eats rat poison after your veterinarian's normal office hours, take it to a 24-hour emergency clinic. Bring along the rat poison container so your veterinarian can quickly decide on the proper course of treatment.


About the Author

Based in Kissimmee, Fla., Barb Nefer is a freelance writer with over 20 years of experience. She is a mental health counselor, finance coach and travel agency owner. Her work has appeared in such magazines as "The Writer" and "Grit" and she authored the book, "So You Want to Be a Counselor."