Pet Poison Control FAQ

Studio City Animal Emergency Centre
Answers The Most Frequently Asked Questions about Pet Poison Control

To spite owners’ best efforts, pets sometimes eat foods, medications and plants that are harmful to them, and sometimes owners unknowingly let their dogs and cats eat foods that are potentially poisonous. Our veterinarian would like to help you prevent accidental poisonings in your pets.

What should I do if I think my pet has eaten something harmful?

If you suspect your pet has eaten something harmful, try to identify the substance. Look for chewed or torn packaging, missing food from tables, counters and cabinets and damaged plants. If your dog or cat has vomited, collect a sample in a plastic bag. This will help our veterinarians determine the source of the poisoning and provide countermeasures against the substance.

What plants cause poisoning in pets?

Several common household and landscaping plants can cause pet poisoning, including lilies, tulips, chrysanthemums, holly, mistletoe and poinsettias. These plants should be removed from yards and care should be taken to never bring them into the house.

What foods cause poisoning in pets?

Many foods and drinks that are safe for humans can be harmful or deadly to pets. You should never feed your dogs or cats anything containing xylitol or artificial sugar, caffeine or chocolate. Pets should also not eat grapes, raisins, cherries, hops, garlic, onions, tree nuts, salt, unbaked yeast dough or moldy or spoiled foods.

Can I give my pet medications like aspirin or Advil?

If your dog or cat is in pain, it may be tempting to give him or her half a tablet of human pain killer. However, you should resist the urge. Human medications, even in small doses can be fatal for pets. If your dog or cat has arthritis or appears to be in pain, you should call our animal hospital for advice and to make an appointment. Our veterinarians can diagnose the source of your pet’s pain and prescribe pet-safe medications.

What are the signs and symptoms of poisoning in cats and dogs?

The first sign of an accidental poisoning is torn open or damaged packaging. Symptoms of an accidental poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, rapid breathing, excessive panting and lethargy. Accidental poisonings can cause heart, lung, liver and kidney failure.

What should I do to prevent my pet from eating or drinking a poison?

All human foods should be kept in the refrigerator, in cabinets too tall for your pets to reach or in sealed containers. Poisonous plants should be removed from your yard and home. All medications, even animal medications should be kept locked up or in sealed containers that cannot be chewed open. All herbicides, pesticides, car fluids and other chemicals should be kept behind locked doors. Doing these things will help prevent your dog or cat from eating a poison.

If you think your dog or cat has eaten a poison, call our Animal Emergency Centre at (818) 760-3882. We are open overnights during the week and 24 hours on the weekends.


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Open 24 hr


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Read What Our Clients Say

  • "Sammers is an 11 year old, Black, Domestic Short Hair Cat. His owner noticed that Sammers was pacing, walking around in circles at home and crying out in pain.

    "I would like to thank all of the staff who helped with Sammer's UTI. He was miserable, and you guys made him better. I cannot thank you enough for helping him. It is great to have a place to go when all the other vet clinics are closed.""
    Roxanne & "Sammers"- June 2012
  • "Kahlua is a very special service dog. He was brought in by his owner when she noticed that Kahlua was acting very painful and didn't want to jump. After a thorough exam Kahlua went home with some pain meds. Kahlua's mom stopped by our Facebook page to send us a note on his progress.

    "Just wanted to thank Dr. Cavanaugh, straight from the heart for seeing our Kahlua and putting our worries to rest. It was hilarious trying to get him to take his Tramadol.... cheese would not work but the Chunky Skippy did the trick. WE THINK YOU ARE AWESOME!!!!!!!! So thank you, straight from the heart.""
    Michelle & "Kahula" - July 2012