Most pet owners who own a dog have probably gotten into the predicament of their furry friend eating something they shouldn't. Dogs eat things they shouldn't all the time, and the best surefire way to get something out of a dog's system quickly before it's digested is to make your dog vomit.
Inducing vomiting in a dog is not easy and is not fun for both pet and pet parents. There are situations when you shouldn't induce vomiting and let the veterinarian resolve the problem. Below is a how-to make a dog throw-up guide for pet parents with some dos and don'ts of inducing vomiting in dogs if it's necessary.
What To Do If Your Dog Ingested Something Harmful or Poisonous
While some items that a dog accidentally ingests are harmless and may not need any treatment, some can be deadly. If you find that your dog ingested something harmful or poisonous, call or see a veterinarian immediately. If that is not possible, call a pet poison control hotline or contact ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (888-426- 4435) for life-saving, 24/7 advice as needed.
The Pet Poison Helpline has a list of the top toxins that are accidentally ingested every year. These include chocolate, grapes, medications (prescription or over-the-counter), and raisins. If your dog has eaten any of those, you should take the foremost next step to help dogs vomit.
For various safety reasons, inducing vomiting at home should only be done under the guidance of a veterinarian or an expert, as they will guide you through the steps. It is not recommended for dog owners to do so without consulting an expert, as you can do more harm than good.
When NOT to Make a Dog Throw Up
Some objects can be very dangerous or lethal for a dog to throw up. While it sounds counterproductive, if a dog swallows sharp objects or poisonous items like batteries, gasoline, cooking oil, or drugs, the dog can very easily aspirate if regurgitated and cause serious health problems like pneumonia.
If your dog is having a seizure or is comatose, these are more instances where you should not try to induce vomiting. In situations like this, it's best to leave it up to the vet.
Another danger to inducing vomiting comes if the dog is a brachycephalic breed, like pugs, bulldogs, or boxers, as they are at a higher risk of pneumonia. If the harmful substance was ingested over two hours prior, the object has already been passed into the intestines, so vomiting is no longer an option. As a rule of thumb, here are times when you should not try to induce vomiting
- Already showing signs like vomiting.
- If the dog has consumed petroleum distillates, very oily substances that can be inhaled when vomiting.
- If your dog swallows corrosive chemicals like bleach or oven cleaner, these cause burns to their throat.
- Loss of consciousness or lethargy.
- Have underlying health conditions like megaesophagus.
- The swallowed object was pointy or sharp or was an illicit substance.
- Brachycephalic breeds (like pugs and French bulldogs) have a greater risk of aspiration pneumonia. For these breeds, it's best to see a veterinarian to avoid any serious complications.
If this sounds like your situation, call your veterinarian immediately or visit an emergency clinic as you will need immediate medical attention.
When to Make a Dog Throw Up
If you recently noticed your dog ate toxic substances or at an unknown time of ingestion (with no symptoms yet), it's best to induce vomiting to save a dog's life. The faster you help remove a harmful substance from a dog's body, the greater chance of recovery.
Depending on the seriousness of the incident, it may be best to take your dog to a veterinary clinic as it can be more effective and safer for a veterinarian to induce vomiting and avoid any potential risks.
Depending on the toxins, there's a limited window (roughly 30 minutes) between when a dog ingests the toxin and when it will experience severe complications. Approximately 50% of toxins can be removed from the dog's system if the peroxide is given within 30 minutes of ingestion. While this is the best option, it may cause gastric irritation, so if you notice your dog not acting like himself or not eating or drinking normally, consult with your vet about feeding him a bland diet for a few days.
Substances that Make Dogs Throw Up Safely
Apomorphine, Clevor, and hydrogen peroxide are the three substances that can make your dog throw up. The chances are that you most likely have hydrogen peroxide in your medicine cabinet. Both Apomorphine and Clevor are prescription medications designed to cause dogs to throw up and may be used under veterinary care.
During an emergency where you need to induce vomiting at home, hydrogen peroxide is the most recommended method. Be sure that it's a three percent solution, as higher concentrations can be toxic and may cause more harm to your pet.
What is Hydrogen Peroxide?
According to Plumb's Veterinary Drug Handbook, hydrogen peroxide is "a topical antiseptic that is used orally as a home-administered emetic in dogs when clients cannot transport the patient to a veterinary hospital in a timely manner."
If you cannot see a veterinarian, hydrogen peroxide can be the best at-home solution. However, there are potential risks that are associated with the action. If hydrogen peroxide gets into a dog's airway, it can potentially cause aspiration pneumonia.
How Does Hydrogen Peroxide Help?
Hydrogen peroxide can irritate the dog's intestinal tract, esophageal, and cause other gastric effects. When it's used as an irritant to the dog's stomach, it results in vomiting that will typically take 10-15 minutes to work and last for up to 45 minutes.
How To Make a Dog Throw Up Step by Step
Before you try the below steps and induce throwing up, it's best to call your veterinarian or Pet Poison Hotline for their advice first and on what you should do in your situation. It is highly recommended that you bring your dog to a vet's office.
- If the dog hasn't eaten within two hours, try feeding them a few treats or a small amount of food. It can be easier to induce vomiting if the dog has some food in its system.
- When vomiting is induced, dogs may vomit for up to 45 minutes, so make sure you're in a comfortable spot for both of you. Stay with your dog while they're throwing up.
- The recommended dose of hydrogen peroxide is between ½ to one teaspoon by mouth per ten pounds of body weight. So, for a dog's weight of around 50 pounds, you will give it somewhere between 2 ½ to five tsp. of the substance. It can be administered using a turkey baster or plastic dosing syringe, but you can just spoon it into the dog's mouth if you don't have either of those on hand. Best to aim at the back of your dog's throat or back of your dog's tongue.
- After ten to fifteen minutes, if your dog hasn't thrown up, you can give them a second dose of hydrogen peroxide. But if vomiting isn't induced after the additional dose, you'll need to get stronger medication from a vet to make it happen.
- If you successfully induce vomiting from your dog, move them away from anything they throw up, as many dogs will slurp up their own regurgitation. Keep an eye out for any adverse reactions like lethargy, diarrhea, etc.
- It's a good idea to see a vet as soon as possible for a proper examination after vomiting to determine if any medication or care is needed. Your dog can be dehydrated and need IV fluids, or there may be some toxins in your dog's body that will require medication.
If you find yourself in a situation where you need to induce vomiting from your dog at home, this is the recommended course of action and some pointers to help you out.
Make sure you stick with your dog during the whole process to observe his physical state and support him, as he is most likely as stressed as you are. Try to seek another opinion from a professional through a hotline or helpline. Whether you were successful in inducing the vomiting or not, you should follow up with a vet as soon as you can for any extra advice and to be sure he is back to his normal self.
Can You Make a Dog Throw Up With Your Finger?
Sticking your finger down a dog's throat will not make the dog throw up. Dogs do not have the same gag reflex as humans, and this will only cause trauma to their throats.
How To Make A Dog Throw Up With Other At Home Solutions?
There are many at-home solutions out there, but they may NOT be safe for your dog. Some of these methods include alcohol (toxic to dogs), saltwater (can be toxic), and syrup of ipecac (can cause heart complications). You can make your dog sicker, and it's best to see a veterinarian as soon as possible.