Signs of Poisoning in Dogs

Your dog is your best friend, but you can’t always keep them from getting into trouble. If your dog has ingested something poisonous, there are a number of signs to look for that indicate it’s time to take immediate action:

Vomiting is one of the most common signs of poisoning in dogs, but there are others too

Vomiting is one of the most common signs of poisoning in dogs. It can be caused by several factors, including:

  • Eating plants or other foods that your dog shouldn’t eat
  • Ingesting paint, cleaning chemicals or other household products you may have left lying around the house
  • Contact with any number of toxins inside and outside your home


Vomiting is one of the most common signs of poisoning in dogs. It can be caused by many different toxins, and can happen after a single dose of poison or as the result of a buildup.

If your dog has recently ingested something toxic, he may vomit within five minutes or up to 24 hours later. Vomiting may also occur hours after ingestion if your dog’s body is trying to rid itself of toxins that have been stored in his liver, kidneys and/or blood stream.


It’s important to note that diarrhea is a sign of toxicity and can be a result of many different things. It may indicate the presence of parasites, stress, or other diseases. However, if you notice any of these signs in your dog or have reason to suspect that they have been exposed to something toxic, it’s important to see a veterinarian immediately:


Drooling is a common sign of poisoning. But it can also be the result of a digestive problem, neurological problem, dental problem, or respiratory problem. If your dog is drooling in conjunction with any other symptoms like vomiting or diarrhea (both of which may also be present with poisoning), then you should consider contacting your veterinarian immediately to rule out poisoning as the cause.

Lack of appetite.

  • Your dog may lose their appetite if they are feeling sick or not in the mood to eat. This is usually a sign of illness and should not be ignored. It can also indicate that your dog ate something that has made him feel ill, such as spoiled food or toxic plants or chemicals.
  • If your dog doesn’t want to eat, check with your veterinarian as soon as possible so that they can diagnose and treat any potential health problems.


Dehydration is one of the most common symptoms of poisoning in dogs. A dog that’s dehydrated will have a dry and sticky tongue, sunken eyes, dry gums, increased thirst and urination, decreased appetite and activity level.

If your dog shows any of these symptoms—especially if they’ve been vomiting or diarrhea—take them to the vet immediately!

Lethargy and fatigue.

Lethargy and fatigue are two of the most common symptoms of poisoning in dogs. If you notice that your dog is tired or slow to respond, this can be an indication of poisoning. Lethargy is generally not as severe as weakness, but both can be signs that something is wrong with your dog’s health.

The lethargic dog may also be sleeping more than usual, even when it is normally their active time of day (i.e., night). If the lethargy becomes severe and the dog begins sleeping for longer periods during the day or night, there could be a problem with his health.

Another sign of lethargy can occur when you call out your dog’s name or try to pet him: he may not respond at all or he might simply roll over onto his side and remain motionless for several minutes before getting up again on his own accord (or being pushed by another family member). This behavior could indicate that something is wrong with either their hearing or vision; however if it continues for more than a few days without improving then I would recommend talking with a veterinarian about possible causes.

Abdominal pain/distention/tenderness.

Pain, discomfort or swelling in the dog’s abdomen is often a sign of poisoning. If your dog is experiencing this symptom, he or she is likely experiencing abdominal tenderness and discomfort as well. This can be very dangerous because it can lead to internal bleeding, which can be life-threatening if not treated immediately.

Trouble breathing or swallowing.

You can tell your dog is having trouble breathing if you hear wheezing or coughing. The noise may sound like a cough, gurgling, snoring, wheezing or whistling.

If you’re unsure about what kind of breathing problem your dog is experiencing and it’s getting worse over time, take him to the vet immediately.

Skin irritation/redness/bumps/sores, including mouth and paw sores.

If you find that your dog has skin irritation, redness, bumps or sores that are combined with any of the following:

  • Mouth or paw sores. These can be a sign of pain.
  • Inflamed gums or sore teeth. These can be signs that he’s having difficulty eating and may need to see a vet soon.
  • Red dots on his skin (like from flea bites). These could indicate an allergy to something in his environment—and if you’re not sure what it is in there that’s causing the problem for him it’s best to get him checked out by a vet who knows about dogs’ health issues so they can figure out what might have caused this reaction and how best to treat it.”

Seizures, tremors and muscle weakness.

Seizures are characterized by loss of consciousness and muscle activity which may include rigid limbs or paddling movements. While this condition can occur naturally in dogs at times, it is more likely to be caused by poisoning if accompanied by other signs of poisoning such as tremors or muscle weakness (see below). Treatment for seizures must be sought out immediately so that further damage is prevented and complications are avoided.