Pet owners

The VPIS is not available to members of the public and is a subscription service for veterinary professionals only.

Pet owners should contact their
local veterinarian.

Not registered with a vet? Click here to find your local veterinary practice.

Imgae of skull and cross bones

Suspected poisoning

In case you ever find yourself in the position where you think that your pet has been poisoned we’ve compiled a list of Do’s and Don’ts to help you do what’s best for your pet.


  • Stay calm.
  • If you suspect your pet has been poisoned then contact your local veterinary practice immediately.
  • Retain any product packaging and take these with you to the veterinary surgery if required. Often your veterinarian will need to know the exact chemical which your pet has been exposed to, and bringing along this sort of information may help your pet receive appropriate specific treatment.
  • Retain any plant / fungi / other material samples carefully and take these with you to the veterinary surgery if required.
  • If your pet has a chemical on its skin or fur then if possible wash your animal thoroughly with lukewarm water and a mild detergent such as soap/ shampoo or washing up liquid, being careful to get none of the detergent in your pets eyes. Once you’ve done this ensure that your pet is thoroughly dried.


  • Do NOT attempt to treat or medicate your pet yourself. Some human medications may be poisonous to your pets.
  • Do NOT attempt to make your pet vomit. Some substance used to make your pet sick can themselves be poisonous e.g. salt water.
  • Do NOT ‘watch and wait’ in any case of poisoning or suspected poisoning.
  • Do NOT contact the Veterinary Poisons Information Service (VPIS) as we are not a public access service. Your veterinary surgery will contact us on your behalf if necessary.

General advice

Always be careful not to inadvertently contaminate yourself with any poisonous substance that your animal may have been exposed to; this is particularly important with respect to skin / fur exposures. Keep your animal away from any other domestic pets to avoid cross contamination.

In the case of suspected domestic gas poisoning (e.g. carbon monoxide), seek medical attention yourself before contacting a veterinary surgery regarding your animal.

Please report any case of suspected malicious poisoning to the RSPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals).