Dogs are our best friends, which is why it’s so gut-wrenching when they put themselves in harm’s way. For instance, my “granddog” Milo (who belongs to my son and daughter-in-law) is highly food-motivated. He always wants to eat what the humans are eating, and he even wants to eat whatever the humans are holding, regardless of whether it’s actually edible or not.
These sorts of dog behaviors are usually silly and harmless, but occasionally they can lead to real emergencies. If a dog eats something that is toxic or poisonous, it could be very harmful or even fatal! So today I wanted to share some information that can help you navigate a serious emergency with your dog.
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I’ll start by going over what kinds of things can be toxic for dogs to eat, and what to do if your dog has eaten something he shouldn’t have. I’ve also provided specific instructions for how to induce vomiting in your dog in emergency situations. (And I know these aren’t particularly fun topics to think about, but it’s better to think about it now than to be unprepared in an emergency!)
9 Things That Dogs Should Not Eat
Here are some of the things your dog should not eat. These foods are either toxic to dogs, or capable of causing a significant amount of digestive distress:
- Certain nuts (including almonds, walnuts, and macadamia nuts)
- Xylitol (and anything that lists xylitol as an ingredient)
- Onions, garlic, and chives
- Grapes and raisins
- Medications they aren’t supposed to take (especially ones meant for humans)
A large dog may be able to tolerate a very small amount of the foods listed above if they accidentally eat it. But small dogs are likely to experience negative side effects such as weakness, shaking, fever, abdominal pain, lethargy, etc.
What To Do If Your Dog Has Eaten Something Toxic
If your dog has ingested any of the things listed above, the first thing you should do is call a veterinarian. Call your local vet, or one of the following helplines:
- Animal Poison Control Center – (888) 426-4435
- Pet Poison Helpline – (855) 213-6680
Be prepared to provide information about your dog, including their weight, their health history, what they ate, how much they ate, and when they ate it. All of these details can help a vet determine what steps you should take next.
In certain cases, your veterinarian or helpline operator may advise you to induce vomiting in your dog (or in less polite terms, they may tell you to make your dog throw up.) Simply follow the steps outlined below.
How To Induce Vomiting In Your Dog
Step 1 – Gather Your Supplies
Here’s what you’ll need to get your dog to throw up whatever they ate:
- A fresh bottle of 3% hydrogen peroxide
- A syringe (or teaspoon)
Hydrogen peroxide is currently the only substance that vets recommend for making dogs throw up in emergency situations. Some people used to use syrup of ipecac for this, but it is no longer recommended by vets. Plus, hydrogen peroxide is more widely available, it’s less expensive, and there are tons of other useful things you can do with it!
(And speaking of which… to learn even more about hydrogen peroxide and all the useful things you can do with it, be sure to check out my eBook Hydrogen Peroxide Magic! You can buy it in my shop, or download it for free if you’re an OGT Plus member!)
Step 2 – Measure The Correct Dose
Measure out hydrogen peroxide according to the following guidelines:
- 1 mL of hydrogen peroxide per 1 pound of body weight, OR…
- 1 teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide per 5 pounds of body weight
The maximum dose you should give to any dog is 45 mL (9 teaspoons). The maximum dose applies even to dogs that weight more than 45 pounds.
For example, if your dog weighs 30 pounds, you would measure out 30 mL of hydrogen peroxide (or 6 teaspoons.) If your dog weighs 80 pounds, you would measure out the maximum dose of 45 mL of hydrogen peroxide.
Step 3 – Give It To Your Dog
The easiest way to administer the hydrogen peroxide to your dog is to use a medication syringe like this one. It makes it easy to measure out the dose and squeeze it into your dogs mouth without too much fuss.
If you don’t have a syringe on hand, soak a piece of bread with the correct dosage of hydrogen peroxide and feed it to your dog.
Step 4 – Follow Up With The Vet
After your dog ingests the peroxide, it should only take 5-10 minutes for your dog to vomit. Walking your dog around a bit can help speed things up. After your dog has vomited, it’s still a good idea to schedule a visit to your vet to get an expert opinion and a checkup for your dog.
Important Note: The steps above can be very useful in an emergency concerning a dog, but this process should NOT be used on cats.
While I hope you never need to use the information in today’s post, we all know how important it is to be prepared for the worst. Accidents happen all the time, and it’s always better to be safe than sorry (especially when it involves a beloved pet!)