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Are you worried that your dog may have eaten something toxic? If so, you might be wondering how to induce vomiting in a dog. There are a lot of people who are wondering how to make a dog vomit, but the only safe method you can use at home involves hydrogen peroxide.
Even though you might be curious about how to make a dog throw up with hands, this is generally not a safe method. Hydrogen peroxide is your only home remedy, and even then, it is best to use caution because hydrogen peroxide is very caustic and irritating to the GI tract.
Take a look at a few important tips below to learn more about how to make your dog throw up at home and how to make them feel better after the fact. It’s always best to take your dog to a vet, but in case of an emergency, you may have to induce vomiting at home. Keep in mind that there are professionals who are willing to guide you through this daunting process, so do not hesitate to reach out to a vet as you try to make your dog throw up at home.
When Throwing Up Can Benefit Your Dog
If you are curious about how to induce vomiting in a dog, it is important to understand when it is a good idea to make your dog throw up. Even though there are a lot of concerns related to your dog throwing up, there are also situations where it can be beneficial.
For example, there might be a situation where your dog has ingested toxic dog foods, such as chocolate or grapes. Even though there is a chance of your dog vomiting after eating something toxic, there might be situations in which your dog needs a bit of help. You might want to learn how to make a dog throw up in case you cannot make it to the vet on time to get those toxins out of your dog’s system.1
It’s always best to exercise caution and not induce vomiting at home if you can get your dog to the vet in a timely manner. Even if you need to help your dog throw up at home, you still might want to have your vet on the line. If your regular vet is not available, keep in mind that there are veterinary telemedicine options like Dutch. A veterinary professional can guide you through the steps and make sure that everything you are doing is safe for your dog. At home, only a 3-percent hydrogen peroxide solution is safe for non-professionals to use.1
When Throwing Up Can Further Harm Your Dog
When we see our dogs suffering, we want to do everything in our power to make them feel better. When your dog has swallowed a sock or eaten something toxic, it’s only natural that you would want to help them throw up so nothing more worrisome can happen. However, there are many situations where making your dog vomit can cause them further harm. There is always the chance that forcing your dog to throw up exposes their esophagus to something dangerous a second time, which can cause more harm than good.
Some of the situations where making your dog throw up can be harmful include:
- If your dog has swallowed a sharp object, you probably do not want to make them vomit. There is a chance that that sharp object could puncture the esophagus, leading to a medical emergency.
- If your dog has swallowed something caustic, meaning something that can burn or corrode their body tissue, you probably don't want to make them throw up. Swallowing a battery is one example. Your dog’s saliva can trigger an electric current and cause a chemical reaction to burn and perforate the esophagus, erode into the airway, and even harm major blood vessels.
- If your dog is a brachycephalic breed, such as a Pug or Bulldog, you may not want to induce vomiting. It could lead to aspiration pneumonia, which is a serious lung complication. Brachycephalic breeds already tend to have breathing problems due to their anatomy, so forcing them to vomit can be very dangerous.
- If your dog is already vomiting, you don't need to encourage your dog to vomit more. You should let your dog do what they do naturally.
- If your dog is severely lethargic or comatose, you do not want to encourage vomiting.
- If your dog has trouble swallowing, you don't want to encourage vomiting. This might mean that they already have an inflamed or constricted esophagus.
- If you notice that your dog is having difficulty breathing, vomiting could make it worse.
- If your dog is suffering from seizures, vomiting will be nearly impossible to control. Get your dog to the vet as soon as possible.
- If your dog has undergone recent abdominal surgery, or if your dog has megaesophagus, it is best to avoid vomiting. This is a serious situation, and you should reach out to your veterinarian for help.1
These are just a few of the many situations where you do not want to make your dog vomit. Even though you might be anxious to make your dog throw up a sock or something toxic that they ate in the heat of the moment, you should reach out to a veterinarian for more information about how to do so safely.
Dangerous At-Home Remedies
Even though you might be interested in inducing vomiting at home, there are several common remedies that are actually very dangerous. Some of the most common examples include:
- Salt is one of the most common ingredients people try when they want to induce vomiting and their dogs. This is actually dangerous because it can increase salt levels in the blood, which can cause your pet to develop seizures or go into a coma.
- While you might be interested in how to make a dog throw up with your hands, you should not try to gag your pet. They don't have the same gag reflex, and your dog could bite you.
- You should not try to use olive oil to induce vomiting in your dog. It can lead to pancreatitis in dogs, and your pet could inhale olive oil into their lungs.
- Even though ipecac can make your pet vomit, it is also not safe for dogs. It can lead to difficulty breathing, a decreased heart rate, and cardiac arrhythmias.2
Step-By-Step Guide To Induce Vomiting In Dogs
If you are wondering how to make a dog throw up chocolate or some other toxin, there are a few steps you should follow. Remember that you should only induce vomiting for something that your dog ate within the past 2 hours. Steps to induce vomiting include:
- If your pet has not eaten recently, you may want to give your dog a small meal. This could make it easier for your dog to vomit later.
- Check your hydrogen peroxide solution and make sure it is only 3 percent. If it is any higher than that, it could be very dangerous.
- You should give your dog 1 tsp of hydrogen peroxide per 5 pounds of weight. The max dose is 3 tablespoons, but only to be given to dogs that weigh at least 45 pounds. You should reach out to a veterinarian to make sure you have the correct dose.
- You should give hydrogen peroxide to your dog using a feeding syringe or turkey baster. You should push the solution into your dog's mouth from the side. You do not want your dog to inhale the solution, as it could lead to the fluid accidentally getting into the lungs.
- You should stay with your dog as the vomiting begins. If your dog does not vomit within 15 minutes, you can give them a second dose. Be sure to catch the vomit when it comes out because your vet may want to analyze it.
- You should watch out for complications if your dog continues to vomit. Possible complications include lethargy and gastric ulcers. If your dog's stomach is bloated, it could be an emergency as it could block the blood flow to their heart.1
Once the process is done, you should follow up with your veterinarian to see if there are any other steps you need to follow.
Vomiting Aftercare For Dogs
Once your dog is done vomiting, give your dog a small amount of water. Your dog will want to rehydrate after the episode. Then, after six hours have gone by without vomiting, you can start giving your dog some bland food once again. You should increase the amount of food your dog eats gradually, with each meal, until your dog is back to their normal diet. Remember that you need to follow up with your veterinarian to see if there are any other steps you need to take.
How Veterinarians Induce Vomiting In Dogs
Hydrogen peroxide is the only safe method to use at home, there are some other emetics, or medicine that causes vomiting, that vets use. For example, some veterinarians use an emetic called apomorphine because it is easy to administer.3 It is more effective in dogs than it is in cats and can be administered in many ways including orally and applied directly to the conjunctival and gingival membranes.4
There are also situations where veterinarians may use xylazine. It is more often used to induce vomiting for cats and can result in sedation and low blood pressure, so animals who use it need to be closely monitored after.4
How To Make A Dog Throw Up: FAQs
How long can objects stay in a dog’s stomach?
It is not unusual for objects to stay in the stomach of a dog for 24 hours. You may want to reach out to your veterinarian if the object has not passed in a day, as imaging might be required.
How soon will dogs show signs of poisoning?
It depends on the substance that was consumed. Some will show symptoms right away, While others might take a few hours to appear.
What are signs of poisoning in Dogs?
It depends on the substance that was consumed. Some of the most common symptoms include vomiting, seizures, and agitation. If your dog has diarrhea, it could be a sign of poisoning as well.
There is a lot of information to understand regarding vomiting in dogs. At Dutch, we provide you with access to licensed veterinarians and behaviorists who can help you take care of your dog. You might have questions about the best dog food, or you might be wondering what to do if your dog has an upset stomach. Contact us today to learn more about veterinary telemedicine at Dutch.
Burke, Anna. "How to Make a Dog Throw Up." American Kennel Club, 23 May 2019, https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/how-to-make-a-dog-throw-up/.
"Is It Ever Safe to Induce Vomiting?" American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, 19 Nov. 2019, https://www.aspca.org/news/it-ever-safe-induce-vomiting.
"Proper Use of Emetics in Dogs and Cats." ASPCApro, https://www.aspcapro.org/resource/proper-use-emetics-dogs-and-cats.
Dowling, Patricia M. "Drugs to Control or Stimulate Vomiting (Monogastric)." Jun. 2016, https://www.merckvetmanual.com/pharmacology/systemic-pharmacotherapeutics-of-the-digestive-system/drugs-to-control-or-stimulate-vomiting-monogastric#v3329953.