First aid for poisons and toxins


  • Many different house and garden items can be dangerous for pets.
  • It can sometimes take hours or days for your pet to show signs of poisoning/toxicity.
  • Phone your vet ASAP if you think your pet may have eaten something poisonous.
  • Acting fast can make a big difference to your pet - it could even save their life.

What to do if your pet comes into contact with something poisonous

Step one: Remove the item/substance

  • Remove the poisonous/toxic substance.
  • If they still have any in their mouth, tempt them drop it by using a treat or toy.
  • If they have any of it on their fur, remove it.

Step two: Check if it’s poisonous/toxic

Step three: If the item is poisonous/toxic

  • Phone your vet straight away- they will tell you what to do and book you an emergency appointment if needed.
  • Don’t try to make your pet sick unless your vet tells you to - sometimes it can cause more damage than good.
  • If you have any packaging/remains of the item, take them or photos of them to the appointment - it might help your vet.
Published: March 2020

Written by vets and vet nurses. This advice is for UK pets only. Illustrations by Samantha Elmhurst.