Project Description

If you have any reason to suspect your pet has ingested something toxic, please contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center 24-hour hotline at (888) 426-4435.

Nicotine & Tobacco

Ingestion of nicotine may be toxic to your pet. It can be found in many products including:

  • chewing tobacco
  • cigarettes
  • cigars
  • bidis
  • traditional nicotine replacement therapies (e.g., patches, gum)
  • newer replacement therapies (e.g., electronic cigarettes, nasal sprays, inhalers)
  • cigarettes

    Some nicotine products may be flavored, increasing the appeal to your pet. Note that nicotine gums may also contain xylitol, also considered a toxin to dogs.

    Ingestion of cigarette butts may also cause toxicity. Do not leave ashtrays or nicotine containing products within your pets reach.

    Birds are also indicated for this toxicity, particularly with inhalation of second hand tobacco smoke.

    Signs and symptoms of toxicity: Vomiting is common following ingestion. Other signs of toxicity include increased saliva production, diarrhea, increased activity and agitation followed by extreme depression, difficulty walking, seizures, tremors, and increased heart rate. Clinical signs often develop within 1 hour of ingestion.

    Toxic consumption: In dogs, a dose of 9-12 mg/kg is considered lethal. There is no established toxic threshold for cats. All incidents of accidental exposure should be reported immediately.

    Pets often vomit immediately following ingestion, making severe clinical toxicosis less likely to occur.

    Dogs: Nicotine Toxic Consumption
    Yorkie, Chihuahua
    Pug, Boston Terrier, Poodle
    Beagle, Scottish Terrier
    Boxer, Cocker Spaniel
    Retriever, German Shepherd
    Great Dane, St. Bernard
    1 – 10 lbs.
    (0.45 – 4.6 kg)
    11 – 25 lbs.
    (5 – 11.4 kg)
    26 – 40 lbs.
    (11.8 – 18.2 kg)
    41 – 70 lbs.
    (18.6 – 31.8 kg)
    71 – 90 lbs.
    (32.3 – 40.9 kg)
    91 – 110 lbs.
    (41.4 – 50 kg)
    dog1 dog2 dog3 dog4 dog7 dog6
    > 4 mg > 44 mg > 106 mg > 167 mg > 290 mg > 372 mg


    – Osweiler, G, et al. (2011). Blackwell’s five-minute veterinary consult clinical companion. Small Animal Toxicology. [Kindle version]. Retrieved from
    – Plumlee KH. Nicotine. In: Peterson ME, Talcott PA, eds. Small Animal Toxicology, 2nd ed. St Louis: Saunders, 2006; p 898.