Rat poison is incredibly dangerous for your dog, not to mention incredibly toxic. If your dog ingests rat poison, it could easily kill or endanger your pup. Rat poison has a very distinct scent, and your dog, being led by scent, is certainly going to be attracted to it. One whiff of these pesticides, one lick of this poison, and your poor pup could be a goner.
So, how can you tell if your dog has ingested rat poison? What can you do to avoid these issues? How can you train your dog to avoid rat poison? We've laid out all the answers to your questions below. Read on!
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Signs Your Dog Ingested Rat Poison
If you suspect your dog has ingested rat poison, look for signs of garlic-y or rotten fish breath (especially if your dog hasn't eaten these things recently). Zinc phosphide releases gases in an animal's stomach containing this chemical, which results in a terrible odor on their breath.
Also look out for rapid breathing, breathless panting, bloody vomit or diarrhea, systemic depression, convulsions, seizures, loss of consciousness, and extreme weakness.
- Body freezing
- Lack of focus
- Sweaty paws
- Tail tucking
- Ears back
- Slowed or increased heart rate
- Panting or breathlessness
- Extreme lethargy
- System depression
- Gastrointestinal issues
- Rotten breath
The History of Rat Poison and Pesticide
According to a report from Fisher Publications, early 19th and 20th centuries saw intense rat issues that required controlling, typically with arsenic and phosphorous powders. In the 1920s, even, cyanide was used in order to control rat populations, and following that was RedSquill, a toxic plant extract that was terminated with World War II.
Then, the "Miracle Rat Killer' was developed in the 1950s by scientists at Johns Hopkins University. Rat poison, though fairly developed and less poisonous than its initial forms, is still a toxic, dangerous substance if your dog gets his or her paws on it.
The Science Behind Rat Poison
The three most common types of rat poison are cholacalciferol, bromethalin, and anticoagulant rodenticides. Cholacalciferol raises the level of calcium and phosphorus in your dog's system, which leads to kidney failure and death. Bromethalin causes swelling of the brain and the anticoagulant prevents your dog's blood from clotting which can result in uncontrollable bleeding.
Training Your Dog to Avoid Rat Poison:
First, we suggest that you keep all poisons, especially rat poison and pesticides, out of your pet's reach. That means if you absolutely insist on using it, keep it somewhere your dog can't get to it - a high shelf in the garage or in a locked box in the shed. Just keep it somewhere your dog can't get to it, even if they're able to smell it. A carelessly placed poison can be fatal for your pooch.
That being said, we also recommend training your dog to understand that they're not to go in the area where you keep these poisons. Just as people train their animals not to lay on the sofa, you can train your dog to avoid the garage or the shed at all costs. Reward your dog when they abide by this and punish your dog accordingly when they do not.
Additionally, we recommend crate training your dog to eliminate any chance ingestion of rat poison when you're not home. If your pup is locked in his or her comfortable, cozy crazy, their curiosity cannot get the better of them, and it could save your dog's life.
How to React if Your Dog Ingests Rat Poison:
Call your dog-tor immediately!
Have a plan in action with your vet before your dog ingests the rat poison.
If instructed, induce vomiting.
Clean and sanitize the entire house to avoid repeat-poisoning.
Never include rat poison in your pest management plan again.