Food Poisoning - Symptoms in Dogs

Food poisoning is one of the most common problems in dogs so you must know how to identify the symptoms in order to ensure the well-being of your animal.
Food Poisoning - Symptoms in Dogs

Last update: 09 December, 2019

Food poisoning is one of the most common health problems seen in vet clinics, and is usually due to an animal’s exposure to spoiled or contaminated food.

Oftentimes, a dog’s natural tendency to gluttony leads them to stick their nose in every kind of food they come across. Of course, they’re not aware that some of it can make them sick or even lead to their death.

Animals sometimes run into these edibles during their walks. However, most food poisoning cases that end up in vet clinics happen at home, either because they ate leftovers or spoiled goods.

Symptoms of food poisoning in dogs

It’s crucial to be able to detect symptoms of food poisoning in time, and this way you’ll be able to take immediate action. So, pay attention to the following and consult your vet so they can indicate the most appropriate measures to take:

  • Diarrhea: This is the most common symptom and, although it doesn’t always mean you have an emergency on your hands, it does indicate that something’s wrong. It just means something’s happening in your animal’s digestive system, and that’s most likely caused by bacteria in spoiled food.
  • Vomiting: You’ll probably worry a lot more when your dog’s vomiting than when they have diarrhea. However, they’re of equal concern and you must consult your vet in both cases if the symptoms don’t go away soon.
  • Excessive drooling: This is a symptom that veterinarians will pay close attention to. This is because it offers important clues to help detect health problems — food poisoning, for instance.
  • Lack of coordination when walking: If you notice that your dog is dizzy and stumbling around then it may be a sign that they’re intoxicated.
  • Lethargy: If your dog is drowsy, lacks motivation and seems disoriented it might indicate intoxication.
A tired looking dog.

  • Tremors: This is another common symptom of food poisoning in dogs. You must immediately consult your vet if you notice it.
  • Fever: An increase in body temperature is quite common when there’s poisoning. Of course, a fever always indicates that something’s wrong.
  • Abdominal pain: Does your dog groan in pain when you touch their abdominal area? If so, then it’s very likely they’re intoxicated.


As you can see, the symptoms can vary depending on the type of poisoning and they’ll manifest differently in every animal. What’s important here is to pay attention and take immediate action if you notice your dog’s in trouble. Know that some forms of poisoning seldom go away on their own and will only worsen if you ignore them.

So, it’s very likely that you have a case of food poisoning on your hands if you notice any of the above symptoms. Again, you must consult your vet as soon as possible so they can do anything that’s necessary and rule out other possible diseases.

Trash is one of the most common sources of food poisoning in dogs

The most common situations in which a dog might poison themselves is when they rummage in the trash or when they eat food that they find on the street. However, they may also get sick when they eat human food that’s not suitable for their digestive system.

  • This one is very easy to solve. Just keep the garbage can far from the animal’s reach. It’ll make it harder for them to rummage through spoiled bacteria-ridden food.
  • Keep an eye on your animal at all times during your daily walks. Make sure they don’t pick up anything in the street. Dogs are highly attracted to spoiled food and won’t think twice before gulping it down.
  • And, finally, keep in mind that there are many types of food we eat that are toxic to dogs. Some of them are garlic, onion, coffee, grapes, etc. You must be careful with what you share, as large amounts could lead to serious food poisoning.  Also, keep them away from any food that contains too much salt. In addition, you should know that raw meat might contain Salmonella or E. coli.
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