This article was updated on May 18th, 2022
Many times, I see dogs who come into my clinic that have eaten something toxic. This may be grapes, rat poison, dark chocolate or a foreign object such as a sock. If you catch your dog eating these things sometimes you can stop them in time, other times you are just a tad too late. These are instances where your dog really needs to go to a vet right away for them to induce vomiting. Sometimes this is not possible due to you not being able to be there or being late at night and there is not a ER vet around you.
When Your Dog Needs to Throw Up
If your dog ate something that they should not such as socks, toys or rat poison, they do need to try to vomit these things back up. This will help prevent them from absorbing more of these toxins or these foreign objects from becoming obstructed.
If you have no open vet near you or within an hour drive, you can try to induce vomiting at home. There are some ways to make your dog vomit at home, but you do need to be careful as they can cause your dog to aspirate and damage their lungs.
When Do You Need a Vet’s Help?
Many times, it is best for your vet to induce vomiting at the vet clinic. There are certain chemicals that you do not want your dog to throw back up. These are things such as bleach or another toxic that can burn the esophagus.
Things that are very sharp and can damage your dog’s esophagus such as a fishhook or sewing needle should not be vomited back up.
5 Best Ways to Help a Dog Throw-Up At Home
There are a few things that you can try at home to help your dog vomit such as:
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1. Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide is commonly used to clean wounds in people. This will usually cause your dog to vomit. This is the most common way for people to induce vomiting at home. It is best to start off with a very small amount of 2 to 3 mls per 10 pounds at a time until your dog vomits. When giving this medication make sure to give it very slowly to prevent your dog from developing other issues.
Many times, it takes 5 to 10 minutes before your dog will vomit. If your dog has not vomited after 10 minutes you can give more hydrogen peroxide. If they have not vomited after 2 to 3 dosage of hydrogen peroxide, it is best to see your vet.
There are some risks of using hydrogen peroxide at home. Some dogs will aspirate the peroxide causing more harm
2. Sodium Carbonate
Sodium carbonate is commonly found in other counties but harder to find in the US. This can cause your dog to vomit but it is not the best or easiest to use. I do not advise that owners try to use this to induce vomiting in their dog.
Many dogs will vomit if they eat mustard. This is a common condiment that many people have. It can take a few teaspoons for your dog to vomit from mustard. Some dogs love this condiment and will not vomit after eating it.
4. Spin them in a chair
Just like with people some dogs can become motion sick and vomit if you spin them in a chair. If you have a small dog placing them in a cage and secure it to the chair then spin the chair very fast can cause your dog to vomit.
5. Stick your fingers in their mouth
If your dog ate a foreign object it may have gotten stuck in their throat. Sometimes sticking your finger in their back of their mouth can cause them to gag and vomit
Before You Start… Here Are 5 Steps to Take
Step 1: If your dog ate something toxic, the first step should be to call your vet or pet poison hotline. They will be able to tell you if your should induce vomiting or if this is something that is toxic to dogs. When you call make sure you have all the ingredients that they ate. There are different chemicals that make up these products so knowing the exact chemicals is best.
Your vet will also need to know the weight of your dog and any other health information that you may have. You will need to tell your dog of any side effects that you are seeing and how long it has been since they ate these toxins. All of this will allow your vet to give you the best advise on what to do next.
Step 2: Induce vomiting with one of the methods listed above. Most people start with hydrogen peroxide. If your dog does not vomit after a few dosages of hydrogen peroxide many of the other methods may not work
Disclaimer: This content is not a substitute for veterinary care. Always consult with your vet for health decisions. Learn more.
Step 3: See your vet. If you have tried all these methods at home and your dog has still not vomited, it would be best to see a vet. They can quickly cause your dog to vomit. Many times the quicker that your dog vomits these toxins the better the outcome as they cannot absorb these toxins. Usually after 2 hours inducing vomiting at home or at your vet is not going to help.
Step 4: After your dog has vomited, it is best to monitor them for other side effects. Some dogs will continue to vomit. After 15 to 20 minutes your dog should not be vomiting, or they should see your vet right away. Make sure that your dog is drinking water to replace the fluids that they are vomiting.
Step 5: After your dog has vomited it is still best to talk to your vet. If they ate something toxic their body starts absorbing these toxins right away. They still can have some of the toxin side effect and your dog can still become very sick and even die from these toxins. Your vet will be able to tell you the next signs to look for and what to do next.
How Can The Vet Help Your Dog Throw-Up
They can start your dog on medications to help decrease their body from absorbing these chemicals and start them on IV fluids.
Some dogs will not vomit with any at-home measure and your vet will be able to give stronger medications to help induce vomiting.
If your dog at a chemical that will burn skin, you vet can pass a stomach tube and remove all the stomach contents safely. They can also give your dog activate charcoal to help bind to these toxins to help prevent your dog’s body from absorbing these toxins.
Some dogs can have other complications from ingesting toxins. Depending on what your dog ate they can have seizures or blood pressure issues.
What to Watch For / Important Considerations Before Helping Your Dog Throw Up
These are some important facts that you need to consider when trying to decide if you should induce vomiting at home or see your vet.
• Seeing your vet is usually the best. They can safely induce vomiting and treat any other issues that were caused by what your dog ingested
• Giving the right dose is critical. Giving your dog too much can lead to other issues. Your dog can aspirate on anything that you give them causing damage to their lungs and esophagus
• Following-up with your vet after your dog has thrown up is still important in case of your dog ingesting a chemical or medication
• There are complications that can be seen after ingestion of a foreign object or toxin.
When You Need to Visit Vet Emergency Services
There are many reasons that you should see an emergency vet or your vet if your dog needs to throw up, including:
1. If your dog eats a caustic chemical: If your dog ingests a chemical that burns skin, you should see your vet right away. You do not want your dog vomiting these chemicals back up.
2. If you do not know how long, it has been since they ate the toxins: If you are not for sure how long ago, they ate these toxins, it would be best to see your vet.
Always make sure you get veterinary help. If not through emergency services, live chat options and calling animal poison help line can help. They will be able to guide you thorugh things that you can do to help treat your dog and advise you when it is best to see a vet in person.
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