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Nathalie Sari - Tiertraining & Verhaltensberatung

This article was written by TOBALIE in cooperation with Nathalie Sari - Tiertraining & Verhaltensberatung

A horror scenario: You go for a walk with your dog and notice that your darling has “found” something along the way and eats it. At first you don’t think of anything bad, but after a baiwhile you unfortunately notice that your dog starts to show certain symptoms. Poisoned bait? If this is the case, it can be fatal. In the following article you can read about how to behave in case of emergency, what symptoms are typical for poison intake and what to look out for during future walks.

Facts about posisoned baits

Where: Most baits are reported in urban areas. Especially in public places, parks, dog areas, walking paths, in bushes and unfortunately also in your own garden.

For ” calming down “: A large part of the circulating toxic bait reports are fake news. You can recognize them by the fact that there is no exact information on them. So pay attention to the following things: If the author is known, is there a date (often the same reports haunt the net for years), does the picture match (e.g. text: dog ate rat poison, picture: sausage with blades)?

About 97% of poisonings are accidents, caused by carelessness in the household, and not by deliberate poisoning.

Motives for the crime

What kind of people are they who are capable of such acts and why do they do such a thing? To the question why dog haters put poison or razor blades on treats, it is difficult to find a general answer. But almost half of the offenders act out of frustration or anger (dog excrement, increased barking or generally uneducated dogs, lead to these emotions). About 1/5 of the offenders feel a general dislike for dogs.

Such an act always has a trigger. Almost nobody wakes up in the morning and kills animals out of nowhere. Mostly negative experiences with dogs and their owners were made several times. Not seldom the perpetrators live near a dog with which there were difficulties.

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Symptoms and first aid measures by poisoned bait

It is difficult to find an answer to the question why dog-haters put poison or razor blades on treats and it probably goes beyond the general assumption that “dog excrement is everywhere”. Fact is, cases are brought to announcement again and again and unfortunately it is also that many dogs must die agonizingly at such “attacks”. For this reason, take quick action as soon as you see the first signs of your faithful friend to increase the chance of recovery.   

If your dog shows one or more of the following symptoms at the same time, act as quickly as possible and seek first aid. Beware, some poisons only take effect after up to two weeks after ingestion, so keep an eye on your pet. Then go to an animal clinic or veterinarian:  

  • Vomiting and choking
  • (bloody) diarrhea
  • Respiratory problems: shortness of breath, strong panting
  • Large or narrowed pupils, reddened eyes
  • Pale or discolored gums, increased salivation
  • Restlessness, tremor, cramps
  • Apathy, balance disorders
  • Unconsciousness, coma
  • Bleedings
  • Irregular pulse
  • Decreasing body temperature
  • Apathy

How to do first aid after dog eats a poisoned bait?

You can provide first aid by first of all keeping calm and paying attention to the following: 

  • Antidote bait training: The dog learns to indicate when he has found something to eat. Also “swap” is an important command here. For help in training contact a proofed Trainer.
  • Recognize dangerous situations: your dog should never be unattended outdoors, observe your dog’s behavior, avoid unseen places such as bushes, etc.
  • Avoid dangerous situations: Keep up to date on whether and where cases of toxic baits have been reported in your area. If cases are known, increase safety by keeping your dog on a leash or muzzling him at all times.
  • Avoid conflicts: Do not let dog run to strangers, avoid increased barking at the garden fence, remove excrement, basic education, etc.

If you find something suspicious, like a poisoned bait, take a picture, put it away (without touching it, with bag) and report it to the police.

How can i recognize a poisoned bait?

Recognize bait

  • balls of liver sausage or minced meat
  • pastries, bread
  • moist feed
  • Meat, sausage, …
  • toys

often spiked with …

  • blades, nails, shards
  • medications
  • pesticides, insect venom
  • rat poison
  • slug pellet


A real nightmare for every dog owner, the beloved dog has swallowed a treat filled with poison or razor blades/needles. As an animal lover an unimaginable and cruel act but still reality. Fact is, the faster you act on suspicion, the more likely your dog will survive. In general, TOBALIE advises you to keep yourself informed about current incidents and to report any findings to the police. There is nothing to worry about and panic about walking your dog, because he needs freedom in his dog life. But a certain amount of precaution for the emergency is certainly not wrong.