The Great Rat Poison Debate: D’Con versus Bar Bait

How many times have you been worried that the measures you take to prevent pests will end up harming your pets and wanted animals? Maybe it’s never, but we really encourage you to take a look at what you have at the ready to kill those pesky rodents messing up your property. Just recently, Cloud Peak staff has had some fatal cases when dogs or cats get into a product with no remedy. In the cases we have seen and dealt with, there are typically two poisons that we have to treat, which are D’Con and Bar Bait. If you want to learn about why we prefer the former, this blog will go over the basics for both so you have more information the next time you’re looking for something to stop pests. However, if you are having a medical emergency and need immediate care, call us anytime and we will do everything we can to aid your situation. Our number is (307) 347-2781, and we are willing to help in any circumstance! 


The first step to making sure your pets (and other family members) are safe is proper storage! Make sure to keep the bait locked away and far from food-grade items, like pet food. That includes quickly disposing of any poisoned pests to protect wildlife and your animals. We highly recommend locking away any products that could be harmful to pets; if you don’t want to put locks on all your cabinets, just make sure that the items are definitely out of reach and put away. When using something like rat poison, the traps should be as inaccessible to dogs and cats as possible. 

If you’ve done your best to keep the products away from your pets and you’re still worried about your curious furry friends getting hurt, we recommend that you take a look at the product itself. In this specific blog, we’re going to focus on why you should choose D’Con over Bar Bait. In our Cloud Peak clinic, we have seen many poor pups and kitties pass away from consuming Bar Bait, as there is not much we can do to help your pet bounce back. Instead of having to worry about whether or not your pup will get into the poisons, focus on what steps can be made just in case they do find a little snack. Like we mentioned, there is not an antidote for Bar Bait, but there is one for the D’Con brand! Let’s talk about the pros and cons of both products. 

Bar Bait Information

This rat poison is very effective at killing small rodents and mammals, including household pets. In fact, it might be a little too effective. The main killing agent in Bar Bait is bromadiolone, which prevents blood clots and causes internal bleeding. This chemical is specifically designed for killing mammals and rodents, and will often settle in the liver and kidneys. In these organs, the chemical will slow down or mess up their function, which causes extreme pain and discomfort. When any organs fail, the body will start to overcompensate and the blood will not have a structured place to go; this causes internal bleeding. When experiencing internal bleeding, the host will have many symptoms including: 

  • Loss of appetite
  • Bleeding from the mouth, nose, or gums
  • Vomiting
  • Bulging eyes

There are many more symptoms, and we encourage you to take a look at a previous blog containing more general information about poison and what symptoms to be on the lookout for. 

Do not wait until your pet is showing symptoms because by then it is usually too late for us to take any measures. If your pup chows down on Bar Bait, bring him to the vet IMMEDIATELY! There is a possibility that we could purge the bromadiolone from the pet if brought in quickly enough. Even with your animal getting immediate medical care, there are no promises of any sort of recovery because of how the poison works. Because of this lack of remedy, we do not recommend using Bar Bait.

D’Con Bait Information

Just like Bar Bait, D’Con is very effective at taking down small animals, but there is an important difference between the two: the active ingredient. Like we discussed, Bar Bait uses a neurotoxin that causes internal bleeding and does not have an antidote. In D’Con, the main active ingredient is Cholecalciferol, which is not a toxin, and is based on vitamin D! When a small mammal ingests the chemical, there is too much vitamin D for the body to digest it properly. Often, the kidneys will shut down due to higher levels of blood calcium, which leads to the mammal’s death. Because the main ingredient is NOT a neurotoxin, medical professionals can reverse the internal problems. If your pup ingests D’Con, we are able to give them intravenous vitamin K to counteract the Cholecalciferol, which will allow them to safely go back home with you, and continue leading a happy, healthy life.


When your pup has ingested too much vitamin D (Cholecalciferol), here are a few of the tell-tale signs:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Increased drooling
  • Weight loss

Oftentimes, these symptoms will not arise unless your pet has been consuming the D’Con consistently over a long period of time. If you are looking for answers about vitamin D poisoning, the FDA has provided some great information about that! Check out this link

Our Conclusion

Bottom line, please use D’Con over Bar Bait to ensure that your pets have a chance of recovery. If you have any concerns at all about your pet’s health, Cloud Peak staff has a lot of information and advice for you and your family unit. We know that rodents can cause problems, but we do not want your furry friend to suffer because of an infestation. If you need any medical help, give us a call at (307) 347-2781, and we will do everything we can for your little guy. If you need more information about our clinic and who you’re entrusting your animals with, check out our staff page! We hope that the information we provided was helpful, and you’re able to make more informed decisions in the future!



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