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Safety Alert! Dogs and Rat Poison, What You Need to Know!

Posted Jan 11 2012 10:49am

Rat poison is a very effective way to rid your yard and house of rodents throughout the winter. However, not only is rat poison toxic to rodents, but to dogs as well. Rat poisons are designed to “taste good” for rats and dogs will eat rat poison if they get the chance.

Unfortunately, dogs eating rat poison is not uncommon. Rat poisons and other rodenticides can be fatal, even in small amounts. Rat poison may be ingested directly, through a pellet, or indirectly by consuming a rodent who had been poisoned.

Sometimes, symptoms of rat poisoning may not show until up to 24 hours. However, this all depends on how much rat poison was eaten, the size of your dog and the type of poison used. 

Information About Rat Poison:

Rat poison comes in different forms, and under many different names and brands. Basically, most rat poisons use blood thinners (commonly known as warafin) which will cause slow internal bleeding in the rodent. Some rodenticides work within 24 hours, and some will not affect the rodent until 2 or 3 days later.

Rat poisons are designed to cause internal hemorrhaging in rodents, and the same thing will happen to a dog if he consumes it. Rat poison will interfere with the blood clotting factors inside your dog’s system and leak into the organs, stomach and other cavities. 

Even small amounts of poison may affect your dog. Always take your dog to the veterinarian or call the emergency animal poison control hotline if you suspect your dog may have consumed pellets or poisoned rodents.

Symptoms Of Poisoning: 

There are a few things to consider when dealing with dogs eating rat poison. Some things to keep in mind are the size and breed of your dog, how much your dog consumed, and what type of poison was used. The more information you know, the faster your dog will be able to be treated.

 Some symptoms to look for when dealing with dogs eating rat poison include:

  • Pale gums
  • Bruising
  • Coughing up blood
  • Loss of coordination
  • Blood in urine or feces
  • Blood excreting from different cavities in the body
  • Low body temperature
  • Abnormal breathing
  • Weakness

Symptoms of rat poison consumption may be similar to other illnesses. Always be aware of where you used rat poison in your home, and keep dead rodents clear from the yard as often as possible.

 What To Do:

If you suspect your dog has consumed rat poison, take him to the veterinarian immediately. If you cannot get to a vet in time, call your local poison control hotline. They will help you induce vomiting and give tips on treatment until you can bring your dog to the veterinarian.

For more information about rat poison, tips on prevention and more, visit


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