As responsible pet owners, it is important to safety-proof your home to prevent your dog from getting into any potentially hazardous or toxic substances. Nonetheless, given dogs are notorious for eating just about everything, the need to induce vomiting in your dog may occur. Fortunately, as long as you are prepared with the proper knowledge and resources, inducing vomiting is an easy and safe procedure that can save your dog’s life. If you suspect your dog may have eaten something hazardous, follow these three guidelines.
Contact a veterinarian right away.
The veterinarian will be able to further instruct you based on the individual circumstances. While inducing vomiting can save your dog’s life, it can also make matters much worse depending on what your dog has ingested and how long it has been since they have eaten it. According to Dr. Jennifer Coates, inducing vomiting two or more hours after the substance has been eaten can exacerbate the situation. Additionally, in the event the ingested substance was petroleum based or potentially caustic, you should never induce vomiting. That is why it is important to first call a veterinarian or animal poison control center to seek further assistance.
Only induce vomiting when water-soluble or digestible toxins, such as chocolate or pharmaceuticals, have been consumed.
Never induce vomiting in a dog that has eaten solid items such as tinfoil, tinsel, bone shards, etc. For this, take the dog to the vet immediately, as surgery will need to be performed to remove the foreign objects. Inducing vomiting in such instances will only make matters worse by increasing the risk of organ puncture or internal bleeding.
If you have determined that inducing vomiting is the best option, then retrieve hydrogen peroxide and a device to administer it such as a turkey baster, straw, or needleless syringe.
A needleless syringe is preferable, as it contains measurements on the sides, allowing you to safely administer the precise amount of hydrogen peroxide. Measure out one milliliter of hydrogen peroxide for every pound, with the maximum being 45 milliliters. Extract the necessary amount into the syringe.
If possible, have a second person hold your dog for you, while you force-feed it the hydrogen peroxide. Your dog is likely to put up a fight, and it will be difficult to administer the hydrogen peroxide on your own. Have your friend hold your dog with one arm firmly around the dogs’ waist, and the other arm positioned around the head in a headlock. If you need to hold the dog yourself, use your non-dominant arm to restrain the dog and your dominant arm to administer the hydrogen peroxide.
Tilt the dog’s head back and open its jaw. Position the syringe in the far back of the dog’s mouth and release all of the liquid at once. Withdraw the syringe and clamp your dog’s jaw shut with your hands until you are certain they swallowed the liquid. Stroking the dog’s throat and nose will encourage swallowing. The vomiting should occur no more than 15 minutes after swallowing the hydrogen peroxide. If the dog hasn’t vomited in that time, call your veterinarian for further instructions.
Pet Health Network: Inducing Vomiting in Your Dog: Dr. Justine Lee, DVM, DAVCECC, DABT
Pet MD: How to Make a Dog Vomit: Dr. Jennifer Coates, DVM