First aid for dog poisoning

Poisons can enter the body in 3 ways; through the skin, by being inhaled, or by being eaten. Because of the dog’s curious nature, they are usually poisoned by ingestion. In order to prevent your dog from accidental poisoning, you must keep all household chemicals that are potentially toxic out of his reach. These include insecticides, alkaline household cleaners such as paint strippers, shampoos, flea collars, batteries, and medicines.

Removing paint and tar from the dog’s coat

To remove either paint or tar from your dog’s coat, soften it with petroleum jelly or another similar product that is safe for human skin. Cut off any heavily contaminated and matted fur. The next step is to wash the contaminated area with canine shampoo or baby shampoo, then rinse thoroughly.

Poisoning through ingestion

If you catch your dog eating something that you think is dangerous, restrain him and examine the package or substance carefully for instructions. Contact the vet or your local poison control center immediately for advice. With the help of another person, give your dog hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting. Getting him to vomit will eliminate some of the poison that has already entered his body and will buy you some time until he gets treated by the vet.

To make your dog vomit, draw the hydrogen peroxide into a syringe or a turkey baster. Tip your dog’s head back and squirt it toward the back of his tongue. Generally, your dog will start to vomit within a few minutes. If he does not vomit after 5 minutes, wait for another 5 minutes and then try again. Do not give your dog more than two doses of the solution because administering too much hydrogen peroxide can cause potential complications. Also, do not use ipecac or other over-the-counter products that are used by humans. While it is safe for us, it can be toxic for our pets.

Do not induce vomiting if your dog has eaten caustic chemicals such as drain cleaner because the poison will cause a double burn as it is going down and then coming back up. If he got into something alkaline like drain cleaner, what you need to do instead is to give him something to neutralize the chemicals, such as 3 teaspoons of vinegar or lemon juice diluted in the same amount of water. With poisoning, every minute counts. If the poison has already taken effect and the dog has collapsed, you need to take him to the vet immediately along with a sample of whatever it is that has poisoned him. Treatment is most effective if the vet knows the type of toxic substance that the dog has ingested.