Animals, particularly dogs and cats, love exploring things. They may mistake a pill holder for a plastic toy and chew on it, or may scavenge food out of trash and eat something poisonous. Being a responsible pet owner, it is important to keep chemicals and poisonous foods away from your pet. However, regardless of your efforts to make your home pet-proof, there is always a risk that your pet may get exposed to something harmful because of their notoriously curious nature.

In the event of accidental pet poisoning, knowing what to do can make a difference between life and death for your pet. To help you provide prompt first aid in case of accidental poisoning, we are listing 5 things that you must do if you think that your dog or cat has ingested something poisonous.

Don’t Panic!

Your prompt and intelligent response to the situation is of great importance. Therefore, do not panic, think clearly, and consult a veterinarian immediately.

Remove Your Pet from The Source of Poison

Remove your pet from the source of poison if it’s safe to do so.  If the poison is on the paws or fur of your cat or dog, prevent the pet from grooming himself further. If the fur of your pet is contaminated with poison, AFTER consulting your Animal Poison Control to confirm it is safe to do so, use gloves, dawn soap and water to remove it.

Collect Evidence

Prompt and accurate identification of the source of poisoning can help the veterinarian provide effective treatment to your pet and limit the side effects of poisoning. Look around your home for any empty bottles, containers, or other packaging materials. If possible, take samples to the veterinarian.

Do Not Induce Vomiting

Unfortunately, many pet owners believe that inducing vomiting can limit the absorption of the poisonous substance and prevent their effects and side effects. While, vomiting does reduce absorption of toxic substance, its inherent dangers may exceed its benefits. Therefore, do not use it as a home remedy to pet poisoning unless directed by a Veterinarian.

Also, do not attempt to neutralize the toxic substance by administering milk as this may promote its absorption and do more harm than good to your pet.

Consider Your Own Safety

While providing first aid to your pet is important, you should first determine if it is safe to do so. Wear gloves when touching your dog or cat, especially if they have the poisonous substance present on their body.

These tips can help you limit the dangers of accidental poisoning, but remember, preventing poisoning is all about preventing access to toxic substances. Therefore, make sure you make your home pet-proof and seek assistance from a professional pet sitting service when going out of town for business or on vacation.