What to Do if Your Dog Eats Poisoned Bait

Advice for dog lovers: important facts about dogs and poisoning 


Dogs love to explore the world on long walks. But sadly, dangers lurk in the undergrowth. Some people lay out poisoned bait for dogs, which if ingested, can even lead to death.  

Every dog owner should be aware of the dangers of poisoned bait and take measures to protect their dog every day. This includes attentive and proactive behaviour. We also recommend that all dog owners complete a canine first-aid course.

FOUR PAWS has compiled a list of important facts on poisoned bait and dog poisoning. 

poisoned bait

Typical kinds of poisoned bait:

  • Meat balls studded with sharp objects such as razor blades and shards of glass
  • Meat balls containing rat poison
  • Slug pellets

Typical places where poisoned bait is hidden:

  • Thick bushes
  • Dog exercising areas
  • Footpaths edged with lawns

How can I protect my dog from poisoned bait?

  • Pay attention to warnings about poisoned bait (e.g. information on notice boards, distributed via social media groups or warning apps) and avoid these areas
  • Distract your dog if he or she sniffs an 'interesting' scent
  • Be proactive and keep your dog well occupied
  • Have food with you so that your dog does not start foraging
  • Train your dog not to eat any available food
  • Where necessary, use a muzzle

always hAve the number of your vet at hand!

You should also keep the telephone numbers of a mobile veterinary practice and the next 24-hour animal clinic within easy reach.

first aid in the case of poisoning

Symptoms that indicate dog poisoning: 

  • Nausea, diarrhoea, respiratory dysfunction, pale mucous membrane in the throat area
  • Intense salivation, a swaying gait, staggering, respiratory failure, cramps
  • A fast heartbeat, cardiac arrest, signs of paralysis
  • Vomiting, unconsciousness, excessive panting

Emergency measures:

  • Distance your dog from the poisoned bait
  • Do not stimulate vomiting if you do not know what your dog has eaten (caustic poisons burn the throat; sharp objects cause injuries)
  • Record what, how much and when something was eaten
  • Call your vet, report your suspicion and describe the symptoms (this will give the vet the opportunity to prepare an antidote already)
  • Get to the vet as fast as possible
  • If possible, take a sample of the poisoned bait with you

Additional measures:

  • Each dog owner should complete a canine first-aid course in order to be able to help their four-legged friend in an emergency
  • We recommend taking part in workshops dealing with the topic of poisoned bait
  • Dog owners should always have the number of a mobile veterinary practice at hand. Your vet will be able to inform you about the nearest animal clinic, or check the Internet

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