Last year, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) in Urbana, Illinois, handled nearly 180,000 cases about pets exposed to possibly poisonous substances. Check out our top 5 tips for what to do in a pet poisoning emergency.

1. Be Prepared

  • Before an emergency arises, save your veterinarian’s phone number, the phone number to the closest emergency veterinary hospital, and the number for APCC (888) 426-4435, on your phone.
  • Make a Pet First Aid Kit. You can often provide important initial treatment at home. This is especially easy if you have a first aid kit for your pet. (link to pet first aid kit on

2. Stay Calm

  • If you are calm, you will able to provide the information that will be vital to providing the appropriate medical care for your pet, and you will help your pet to stay calm, too!

3. Assess Your Pet

  • Take a good look at your pet. Is she showing any unusual behavior? If your pet is unresponsive, having any trouble breathing, is bleeding, or having seizures or convulsions, your pet needs immediate medical attention. Call your veterinarian or local veterinary emergency hospital to let them know that you are on your way with your pet.

4. Gather Information

  • What did your pet consume? Get an exact name of the product that was involved. For medications, write down the name of the medication and the milligram strength. For herbicides, and pesticides, be sure to get the name and concentration of the active ingredients and an EPA registration number.
  • When did it happen? Was there a time frame that you were gone or did you catch your pet in the act?
  • Has your pet vomited? If so, look to see if he or she vomited up any of the poison or any packaging eaten at the same time.

5. Be Proactive

  • Don’t wait for your pet to start showing signs before you seek help. Often one of the best things that we can do for your pet is to prevent symptoms before they happen by preventing the poison from being absorbed.
  • Contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center to see if there are things that you should do for your pet at home, or if this will require medical treatment at a veterinary hospital.