My Dog Ate Rat Poison – What Should I Do Now?

There are a few different types of poison out there that can harm your pet, but rat poison is one of the most common.

Rat poisons are typically made up of anticoagulants, meaning they prevent blood from clotting. 

That means any time your dog’s body takes a little damage – whether it’s from fighting with another animal or getting into something he shouldn’t have- there will be any mechanism for stopping the bleeding and healing itself.  

If you find that your dog has eaten rat poison, call your vet immediately to get him help as soon as possible!

Will Rat Poison Kill Dogs?

Typically, when a dog eats rat poison they have an anticoagulant active ingredient. 

To stop the dog’s blood from clotting, so it continues to bleed internally and pass out in their stool (and maybe vomit).  

The process of inducing vomiting at home can allow for some of the poison to come up before it has had time to be absorbed by the body. That means that if you take your dog to your vet as soon as possible there may be a chance that he will make a full recovery. 

But, there is no telling how much exposure your dog might have had if rat poison caused him to begin bleeding through his intestines or internal organs. 

That being said, any amount of contact with rat poison could cause death in your dog or even permanent damage.

What Happens If Your Dog Licks Rat Poison And Doesn’t Eat It?

dog extremely unwell

This is tricky. It’s all about whether or not your dog licked the poison before eating it. 

If they ingested the poison without licking anything, it should pass through their digestive system just fine. 

However- if your dog licked the rat poison after seeing them eat it first, then you could be dealing with stomach bleeding and other painful issues that might result from swallowing glass shards instead of actual rat poison (if there even was any within the container).

Of course, this isn’t a problem unless you know for sure that your dog licked up some of whatever they ate…and chances are pretty slim that he would have done so! 

Regardless of what happened between ingestion and consumption, always call your vet right away and let them make the final decision as to whether or not you should induce vomiting.

How Long Does It Take For A Dog To Be Poisoned?

It can take up to 36 hours for rat poison to have a full effect on the dog. 

That being said, if your pet is bleeding internally there could be signs of an issue very quickly. 

The most common symptoms include vomiting or diarrhea (which may contain blood) and lethargy. 

Of course, these are not always present and it’s best to call your vet if you suspect that he has been poisoned by rat bait.

How Long Does It Take For A Dog To Digest Rat Poison?

This one is typically more difficult to determine than most other questions about the effects of rat poison. 

That being said, it’s safe to say that it will depend on how much and what type of poison was ingested. 

If your dog is vomiting or showing any signs of anorexia (not eating) then there could be internal bleeding which means he will need immediate medical attention. 

Again: call your vet right away!

How Often Do Dogs Eat Rat Poison?

There aren’t statistics for this answer, but as far as I can tell the instances in which a dog eats rat poison are increasing due to the cheap price tag that comes along with them…and the fact that they are easily accessible at places like Home Depot. 

It also helps that there are now rat poisons that are meant to be put right out in the open, as opposed to being hidden from your pets.

Regardless of how it happens, or if they have to eat a relatively small amount or a container full of the stuff- any amount is enough to make them severely ill and possibly even cause death. 

So remember: call your vet immediately if you think your dog ate rat poison!

What Is The Difference Between The Second Generation And First-Generation Rat Poisons?

Most people will tell you that there isn’t much of a difference at all between these two types of deadly products, but we’ll go ahead and list the main differences between them anyway:

1st Generation Rat Poisons 

These are neurotoxins, which basically means that they disrupt the way your dog’s brain works. They will eat or chew on the poison when it is placed in areas where rats commonly hide…like behind walls, under houses, and in attics. 

The poisons are deadly to both rats and dogs, although that doesn’t always happen with first-generation rat poisons – it could! If you don’t get to your pet right away (within 24 hours) there may be permanent damage done to their bodily systems.

2nd Generation Rat Poisons 

As you can see by this paragraph alone, these products have a much higher risk of hurting your dog than the first-generation rat poisons do! 

That being said – we’re not perfect and mistakes happen more often than we’d like to admit. – If you notice that your pet has any of the symptoms listed above, take care of them immediately- don’t wait to see if they get better on their own!

How To Tell If Your Dog Ate Rat Poison?

sick dog with owner

If you see that your dog has eaten rat poison some telltale signs will let you know he’s in trouble:

Your dog may have vomited, either at the site where he ate the poison or hours later. This is because his body was trying to flush out the poison. 

Your pup could be bleeding internally. You may notice blood in his stool or vomit if he did eat it, but some dogs don’t vomit immediately after exposure but they are still bleeding heavily inside and becoming weaker by the minute! 

Weakness in your dog’s legs indicates a problem with circulation, especially when accompanied by any of the above symptoms or if he has begun to act lethargic.

How Are Rat Poisons Commonly Spread?

Rat poisons are available at home improvement stores and are often contained in ant traps. 

Dogs love to get into anything new, like boxes or bags left on the back porch – so keep them away from those and try and remove any possible dangers that you know your dog has access to.

Rat poisons take anywhere from 4-12 hours to begin affecting their body. 

The symptoms of poisoning can show up as much as 24 hours after ingestion, but more commonly reach maximum damage levels somewhere around 72 hours (3 days) after eating rat poison!

To completely avoid this problem, make sure all children in the home know not to leave anything unattended outside or just sitting around inside if there’s a chance your dog will find it. 

If your dog gets into something like rat poison by accident, make sure you call your vet immediately for treatment.

My Dog Ate Rat Poison And Nothing Happened – So Why Should I Worry?

Even if your dog doesn’t seem to mind, even for a day or two after they eat rat poison, you should still call the vet. 

If it’s caught early enough in the process, there may be something that can be done about it- but if it’s past 72 hours, chances are your pup is going to die without treatment.

Your best chance of survival comes within approximately four hours of eating rat poison. After that point, there is a higher risk for liver failure and kidney damage than there is for recovery from poisoning. 

Even with appropriate treatment, death rates remain high beyond six hours after consumption of the poisons. The sooner you see your veterinarian after ingestion of rat poison by your dog, the better your dog’s chances.

If you have any reason to suspect that your dog has eaten rat poison or other toxic substances, don’t hesitate! Your dog could be suffering from poisoning right now and requires immediate veterinary attention.

My Dog Ate Rat Poison And Threw Up – What Should I Do?

dog vomited

If your dog immediately throws up after eating rat poison, you may be able to save his life. If he ate the poison within the last hour or two, call your vet and ask them if they will recommend inducing vomiting at home.

When it comes down to it, this is probably going to make him throw up again – but that’s okay! 

The more of the poison he gets out of his body, the better off he’ll be in the end. 

Induce vomiting by mixing one teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide with one tablespoon of soda for every ten pounds your dog weighs (every 5 kgs). Give him only a small amount of water after giving him these medications and see if he continues throwing up. 

If not, contact your vet and follow their advice carefully.

If your dog ingested rat poison over two hours ago, make sure he’s okay to vomit on his own (many dogs are fine after a day or so) before inducing vomiting yourself.

My Dog Ate Rat Poison And Is Acting Unusual – What Do I Do?

Depending on how much the medicine has affected him already, you might notice some very obvious symptoms right away. 

Some of these include vomiting, diarrhea, lack of appetite or water intake/output, bleeding from nose or gums, rectum and anus, and lethargy or even hyperactivity in cases of poisoning from anti-freeze (ethylene glycol). Other symptoms include seizures, tremors, convulsions, and even coma.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of symptoms for rat poisoning to mimic other conditions – so if you see something wrong with your dog, trust your gut (and confirmation from your vet) before proceeding forward!

My Dog Ate Rat Poison And Is Lethargic – What Can I Do?

If your dog is showing any signs of lethargy or lack of appetite/thirst, try tempting him with small amounts of food and water. 

Some dogs aren’t as affected by the poison right away and may still be able to ingest liquids without an issue. 

Unfortunately, this can sometimes lead them to thirstier later on…so hopefully, they’ll drink at least a little bit!

My Dog Ate Rat Poison And Is Having Diarrhea – What Should I Do?

Your dog will likely have diarrhea after ingesting rat poison and this is actually a pretty good thing as it helps them pass the poison out of their bodies quicker. 

However, if they’re also throwing up this could become a problem…so call your vet anyways! 

They can probably recommend some over-the-counter medications that will help settle their stomach.

If your dog doesn’t throw up within an hour, give him Pepto Bismol (one teaspoon per 10 pounds) to help keep things moving along swimmingly. 

If he’s still got no luck at all with vomiting after two hours, contact your vet to see if they recommend anything else.

Try putting a drop of vanilla extract on his paw and have him lick it off – this will often make dogs vomit. 

Another option is to administer 3% hydrogen peroxide (one teaspoon per 10 pounds) for every hour that he hasn’t vomited yet after eating the poison to help keep things moving along.

My Dog Ate Rat Poison And Is Bleeding – What Can I Do?

If you notice blood in your dog’s stool or vomit, contact your vet immediately as there may be internal bleeding going on. 

Your dog should call their vet right away as well and tell them about any symptoms such as lethargy, loss of appetite/thirst, vomiting/diarrhea, blood loss in stool, or vomit. They may need a transfusion if your dog had large amounts of rat poison within his system.

If you notice that there is severe bleeding coming from the anus or other parts of their body, place them in a warm bath with one tablespoon of salt per gallon of water to help get the blood out (make sure you don’t have any open wounds or rashes on your dogs back and keep his tail out of the water if he has one). 

Try gently scrubbing around the anus with scruffing pads and/or gauze – this may clean up small bits of glass or dirt stuck inside him that are causing the bleeding!

Contact your vet right away about this and make sure they can help you treat the wound if needed. 

Ask them if it’s okay to use hydrogen peroxide on the wound as well- 3% (one teaspoon per 10 pounds) every 30 minutes for up to 4 doses may help promote blood clotting and tissue healing, but always check first!

What If My Dog Ate Rat Poison And Is Having Seizures?

Seizures are a scary business…but chances are they’re not related to rat poison ingestion unless your dog ate a significant amount of it. 

However, rats often eat poisons themselves so if you know that your dog got into a rat’s stash it could have been laced with epilepsy medications or other compounds designed to give them tumors.  

If this is the case then you should definitely take them to the vet as soon as possible, but if not then there is a good chance that they’re just experiencing regular old seizures (yes, I’m sure you’ve heard all about how dangerous and life-threatening these can be!).

If your dog has had no rat poison in his system at all or only consumed a little bit of it, chances are their seizure activity will come to an end within 6-24 hours. 

However, if they ingested large amounts and/or have eaten nothing at all during this time period, contact your vet immediately! 

Seizures lasting more than 24 hours could cause brain damage or death so get them to help immediately!

When Should I Call My Vet?

dog with the vet

Depends on how quickly the dog is affected by the rat poison, but it should be as soon as possible! 

If your dog shows any of these symptoms after eating rat poison, make sure to call your veterinarian right away! 

You may also want to ask them if there’s DMSO available at the office – that can be used in emergencies and works incredibly well.

You’re probably going to feel horrible about what happened, so try not to blame yourself or get too upset – accidents happen sometimes, and it’s more important that you do whatever needs to be done so they can safe!

Resolving Rat Poisoning in Dogs

While some dogs can make a full recovery from eating something like rat poison, there is no telling how long it will take until the blood has had time to clot and do its job again. 

That being said, consulting with a veterinarian will help you determine the severity of poisoning and what the best course of action is.  

Your vet may opt to induce vomiting, give an activated charcoal supplement (after inducing vomiting), administer DMSO liquid, or monitor your dog until the blood has had time to clot. 

Without treatment, you may have a dead dog that has bled out.

How Soon Can I Feed My Dog After Inducing Vomiting?

This question isn’t so much about whether or not you should induce vomiting in your pet (which we already covered above), but rather how long he has until you need to re-feed him again. 

As most vets recommend at least waiting 2 hours between ingestion and hoping for the best, you should also wait a few hours after your dog vomits and then re-feed him. 

Food within 1 hour of vomit will most likely cause more problems and issues within the stomach/intestines, so keep that in mind.

If your dog shows any signs of being severely panicked or upset (whining, panting, aggression) after vomiting you should probably wait a little longer before trying to give him food again. 

Although his health is more important than anything else, it’s much safer for you to be able to approach him without worrying about him biting or attacking if necessary!

How Long Will My Dog Have Diarrhea?

It’s impossible to tell exactly how long your dog may experience loose stools and puddles from rat poison ingestion due to differences between breeds and other factors like weight (obesity goes hand-in-hand with more severe diarrhea). 

However, it should be less than a few days at the most and usually only ends once all of the poison has been flushed from their system. 

Make sure to consult with your vet if you suspect they have consumed rat poison as the information listed in this article is for general knowledge purposes only!

How Long Will My Dog Continue To Vomit?

The severity of vomiting that your dog experiences after rat poisoning can last anywhere between several hours and several days. 

Usually, dogs are fully recovered within 48-72 hours or so but there is no way to tell exactly when it will stop occurring on an individual basis. 

Keep a careful eye on them just in case!

How Much Does The Treatment Cost?

The cost of treating rat poisoning will vary from one situation to another based on factors like severity and amounts needed/used. 

The most common price range seen for a veterinary visit is usually somewhere between $50+$100, which is enough to have bloodwork done, an x-ray (if necessary), treatment of any problems, and other services. 

If your dog does require a blood transfusion or surgery you should expect to pay $600+ out of pocket. 

On average, the total cost for treating rat poisoning is usually between $300 and $1000 with the latter figure reserved for severe cases.

How Should You Store Rat Poison If You Have Pets?

If you do decide to purchase rat poison you should always keep it in a high place that your pets can’t reach. 

You should also consider putting the rat poison in a sealed container (like tin or jar) and keeping it out of direct sunlight to make sure that the product does not break down too quickly…and therefore become ineffective.

You may want to get some pepper spray for yourself, as well, so that you can protect yourself from having rats running around inside your house!


Rat poison is a dangerous thing for dogs to consume due to the fact that it can quickly lead them to death. 

You should always be sure that you follow your vet’s instructions on what to do after they consume rat poisoning and keep a careful eye on them just in case! 

Most dogs will recover within 48-72 hours, but there is no way of telling exactly how long their symptoms may last as each dog will react differently.

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