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Ask the Vet: How to Make a Dog Throw Up?

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Make a Dog Throw Up

Knowing how to make a dog throw up is important considering that it may happen one day your dog ingests something potentially harmful and it is safe to bring it back up. Notice the word "safe' because there are substances and items that may be particularly risky if vomited up because of their damaging effects. Important is to therefore be aware of when dogs shouldn't be induced to vomit and when it's recommended. Veterinarian Dr. Ivana Crnec discusses risks and why it's best to consult with vet before making your dog throw up. 

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How to Make a Dog Throw Up With Hydrogen Peroxide 

We are all very well-aware that dogs eat things they should not have. Some of those things can be digested or successfully eliminated through the poop. Sadly, other things need to be thrown up before they can cause further damage.

How to make a dog throw up with 3 percent hydrogen peroxide? If you are planning to make your dog throw up, it's important using only 3 percent hydrogen peroxide. This is for safety as stronger formulations aren't suitable. If you buy a more concentrated solution it will therefore need to be diluted to down to 3 percent.

The 3 percent hydrogen peroxide induces vomiting by fizzing in the stomach. Fortunately, hydrogen peroxide is easily accessible – you can buy it from any drugstore.

The dosage required to induce vomiting depends on the weight of your dog. Generally speaking, the relation between the dog’s weight and the appropriate dosage is as stated below:

  • Under 5 lb (2 kg) – ½ tsp
  • 5-10 lb (2-5 kg) – 1 tsp
  • 10-15 lb (5-7 kg) – 2 tsp
  • 15-25 lb (7-11 kg) – 3 tsp
  • 25-35 lb (11-15 kg) – 4 tsp
  • 35-45 lb (15-20 kg) – 5 tsp
  • 45-55 lb (20-25 kg) – 6 tsp
  • 55-65 lb (25-30 kg) – 7 tsp
  • 65-75 lb (30-35 kg) – 8 tsp
  • Over 75 lb (35 kg) – 9 tsp.

To successfully induce vomiting with 3 percent hydrogen peroxide, follow the instructions below:

  1. Check the hydrogen peroxide’s expiration date. The trick will work only if the substance is bubbly and if expired it will not bubble.
  2. Put the appropriate amount of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide in an oral syringe. Alternatively, if you do not have a syringe, you can use a turkey baster.
  3. Put your dog in a comfortable, sitting or standing position, and then pull its upper lip back. Insert the end of the syringe or baster into the left or right corner of the mouth.
  4. It is important to hold your dog’s head upright while slowly administering the hydrogen peroxide into its mouth. As the peroxide fills the mouth, the dog will slowly start to swallow it.
  5. Once the whole dose is administered, take your dog for a light walk. This will encourage the peroxide to start bubbling and eventually irritate the stomach enough to cause vomiting.
  6. If the dog fails to vomit within 15 minutes of administration you can safely give it a second dose (of the same amount).
  7. If the dog fails to vomit after giving it two consecutive doses, take it to the vet’s office as soon as possible.

When Should You Not Make a Dog Throw Up?

Vomiting should not be induced in the following cases: 1) In cases of acid or alkali poisoning, 2) In cases of swallowing sharp objects and 3) If the dog shows signs of neurological problems. Let's take a closer look into these and why you don't want your dog to throw up.

Acid or Alkali Poisoning 

Acids, alkalis and petroleum products are classified as either corrosive or caustic substances. The most commonly swallowed items belonging to this group are: batteries, bleach, carbolic acid, caustic soda, chlorine for swimming pools, dishwasher detergents, drain cleaner, fertilizer, furniture or floor polish, gasoline, glue, household cleaning fluids, kerosene, laundry detergent, lye, motor oil, nail polish, oven cleaner, paint stripper or remover, paint thinner, paintbrush cleaner, pine oil cleaners, plaster, putty, turpentine and wood preservatives.

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If your dog has swallowed some of the above listed items, do not induce vomiting, because the chemical will cause as much or even more damage coming back up as it did going down. Instead, you need to neutralize the poison in the stomach.

For acid poisoning, give egg white, bicarbonate of soda, charcoal powder, or olive oil by mouth. To relieve mouth burns, apply bicarbonate of soda mixed with a little water to form a paste. To relieve skin burns, flush for 20 minutes with clean water.

For alkali poisoning, give egg white, or small amounts of citrus fruit juice or diluted vinegar by mouth. Apply diluted vinegar to any mouth or skin burns. Epi-otic ear wash (a salicylic acid solution) is also excellent for alkali burns to the skin.

Sharp Objects 

The concept is similar as in the previous case. If the sharp object reached the stomach without damaging the digestive tract, forcing it to make another trip through the digestive system increases the risk of damage. The sharp object can cause lacerations or punctures which only aggravate the already serious and potentially life-threatening situations. Do not induce vomiting therefore if your dog ingests your mouthguard or other sharp objects.

Neurological Signs 

Vomiting must not be induced if the dog shows signs of neurological problems such as disorientation, loss of balance or seizures. If a dog in such condition vomits, some of the vomit may enter the dog’s windpipe, causing aspiration pneumonia (inflammation of the tiny air sacs inside the lungs). Aspiration pneumonia is an extremely serious and life-threatening condition that requires immediate veterinary attention.

Useful tip: It should be noted that there is no reason to induce vomiting if it has been more than 4 hours after the dog ingested a poisonous substance. This is because the ingested content stays inside the stomach for around 4 hours and then it goes into the small intestines. It is also unreasonable to induce vomiting if the dog is already vomiting. Last but not least, vomiting induction can be dangerous in brachycephalic breeds such as Pugs and Pekingese dogs.

When Should You Make a Dog Throw Up?

Vomiting should be induced if the dog swallowed:

  • Over-the-counter medication
  • Human prescription medication
  • Toxic foods
  • Poisonous plants.

Why it is advisable to consult with a vet before inducing vomiting? As stated, there are situations when vomiting induction is advisable and situations when it can only aggravate the condition.

When faced with something as stressful as watching your dog struggle with a poison, chances are you will not think clearly. Therefore, it is advisable to talk to your vet before taking actions on your own. Consult with your trusted vet and let him successfully navigate you through the whole situation.

About the Author

ivana crnec

Dr. Ivana Crnec is a graduate of the University Sv. Kliment Ohridski’s Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in Bitola, Republic of Macedonia.

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