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I Think My Neighbor Poisoned My Dog, What Can I Do? Vet Approved Advice

Written by: Ed Malaker

Last Updated on April 12, 2024 by Dogster Team

sick dog lying on the floor

I Think My Neighbor Poisoned My Dog, What Can I Do? Vet Approved Advice


Dr. Chyrle Bonk Photo


Dr. Chyrle Bonk

DVM (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Discovering that your pet is the victim of poisoning is a terrifying and heart-wrenching situation, especially if you believe that your neighbor is to blame. Many of us feel that our pets are members of the family, and our initial reaction to someone hurting them might be one of anger, confusion, and a deep sense of helplessness. However, you’ll need to approach the situation with a level head and informed actions so you can get your pet the help that they need. Here’s a list of things that you can do to put this emergency behind you while keeping your dog safe.

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Here’s What to Do

1. Consult a Veterinarian Immediately

At the first sign that your dog has consumed poison, try not to panic, but contact the vet immediately, as only a few minutes can mean the difference between life and death. Signs of poisoning can vary but often include vomiting, diarrhea, excessive salivation, lethargy, incoordination, and seizures. Explain the situation to your vet, who will provide instructions on what to do next, which will usually include taking your pet in for tests and treatment.

Image Credit: Pressmaster, Shutterstock

2. Gather Evidence

If you suspect foul play, try to gather any evidence that you can find, which often includes suspicious food or treats in the yard. This can be useful if legal actions become necessary. If possible, instruct someone else to do it while you contact the veterinarian, as it might help the vet determine what type of poison your dog ate.

3. Report the Incident

Once your dog is safe, report the incident to the local authorities. Filing a report is crucial because it creates a formal document that might be important in future legal actions and alerts the right people about potential dangers in the community.

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Image Credit: cocoparisienne, Pixabay

4. Install Cameras

Consider installing cameras on your property to catch any poisoners in the act. In many cases, cameras can also deter crime, even if they aren’t properly connected.

5. Communicate With Your Neighbor

If you have reason to suspect that one of your neighbors is behind the attack, it can be helpful to have a direct but calm conversation with them to see if there is a reason behind it. In many cases, the neighbors didn’t know that they were putting a dog in danger and were only trying to eliminate a rodent problem or another pest. A calm conversation can help you determine your neighbor’s intent and allow you to inform them of how their actions hurt your dog so that they can use other methods to fix their issue that won’t endanger your pets.

brown and white concrete house under blue sky during daytime
Image Credit: Dillon Kydd, Unsplash

6. Seek Legal Advice

If a calm conversation is not practical, it only leads to hostility, or it turns out that they were indeed trying to harm your dog, you may choose to seek legal advice from a lawyer who specializes in animal law. Legal professionals can advise you on how to proceed from there.

7. Brush Up on the Law

Learning and understanding your local laws is vital when it comes to the legal actions that you can take, and they can vary depending on where you live. Check your state and local government websites, and talk with local animal shelters and officials to learn more about the laws in your area.

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Image Credit: Christin Hume, Unsplash

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Frequently Asked Questions

Should I Induce Vomiting If My Dog Eats Poison?

No. The best thing to do when you discover that your dog has ingested poison is to contact the vet immediately and follow whatever advice they provide.

Is It Illegal to Poison Dogs?

Yes, poisoning a dog is considered to be animal abuse and is illegal in all 50 states, with punishments varying from time in prison to hefty fines.

sick old dachshund dog lying on the floor
Image Credit: Renko Aleks, Shutterstock

How Can I Protect My Dog From Poisoning?

Keep a constant watch on your dog when they are playing outside and install security cameras around your property. Secure the yard with a tall fence if possible.

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Even if you suspect that a neighbor has poisoned your dog, don’t panic or do anything rash. Consult your vet immediately to get advice on what steps to take to get your pet out of danger. Then, scan your property for any clues and evidence about what might have happened and collect whatever you find to give to the vet or authorities later. Once your pet is out of danger, you should report the incident and install cameras around your property. If you can keep your cool, talk with your neighbor to hear their side of the story to see if it was an accident, but if it only leads to hostility, you may need to seek legal advice and brush up on the law to prevent any future actions against your pet.

Featured Image Credit: EugeneEdge, Shutterstock

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