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Poison Center Helpline 1-800-222-1222

Not sure what to do? Have an urgent question?

If your child is having symptoms or you don't know the exact substance or amount swallowed, call the Poison Center Hotline at 1-800-222-1222. This call is free and confidential.

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My Child Ate Pet Food

pet food
Pet Food is Usually Nontoxic .

If your child ate pet food, give them a few sips of water. If vomiting or diarrhea occurs, call IPC at 1-800-222-1222. This call is free and confidential.

What to know: Pet Food

  • Pet food includes dog food, cat food, bird food, fish food and more.
  • Pet food can be a choking hazard. If your child is choking on a piece of pet food, call 911 immediately.

Toxicity Level

What are toxicity levels?

My child ate pet food. Is pet food toxic?

Pet food ingredients may be lower in quality than human food ingredients, but they’re still considered nontoxic.

Pet foods contain a variety of plant- and animal-based ingredients like corn, rice, wheat, beef, poultry and fish.

Symptoms of Poisoning

Eating a small amount of pet food usually doesn’t cause any symptoms. However, eating spoiled pet food or food that’s past its “good by” date could cause vomiting, diarrhea or other symptoms.

If your child develops symptoms such as vomiting or diarrhea, call IPC at 1-800-222-1222.

Eye Exposure

  • Pet food may cause irritation if exposed to eyes.

  • If your child got pet food in their eyes, rinse by pouring clean, lukewarm water across the affected eye(s) for 15 minutes.

For more instructions, please see our page on eye exposure information.

Have an urgent question or need more help?

Don't hesitate to call IPC at


This call is free and confidential.

Poison Center HelplineCalls are free and confidential.

  1. In Case of Emergency

    Call 911 if someone is unconscious or is having difficulty breathing.

  2. Remain Calm

    Most poison emergencies can be resolved quickly over the phone.

  3. Call the Helpline

    Call 1-800-222-1222 if you are concerned that you or someone else has been exposed to a potentially harmful substance.