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The One Life-Saving Tip That Every Dog Owner Should Know

How To Induce Vomiting In Your Dog

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.

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!)

How To Induce Vomiting In Your Dog

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:

  1. Chocolate
  2. Certain nuts (including almonds, walnuts, and macadamia nuts)
  3. Alcohol
  4. Avocado
  5. Caffeine
  6. Xylitol (and anything that lists xylitol as an ingredient)
  7. Onions, garlic, and chives
  8. Grapes and raisins
  9. 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.

How To Induce Vomiting In Your Dog

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

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!)

How To Induce Vomiting In Your Dog

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.

How To Induce Vomiting In Your Dog

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.

How To Induce Vomiting In 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!)

Jill Nystul Photo

Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.
I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee

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Bright Ideas

  • I’ve used this twice with my Jack Russell. Poison control told me what to use the hydrogen peroxide and then “jiggle” the dog, in my case hold him in my arms like a baby and bounce him up and down slightly. It increases how quickly it makes the dog throw up. Both times I just soaked a piece of bread and fed it to him since I wasn’t at home and didn’t have a syringe handy. There are many items we need to keep in our doggy first aid kit and remedies we need to know. This one is invaluable.

  • Another issue that should be addressed is heatstroke. I’ve been taught to lay cool wet cloths on the inner thigh to bring down the dog’s temperature. If that’s not right, correct me!

  • Hi, thanks for the tip. I think H2O2 usually comes in higher concentrations than 3%, maybe you can add a warning about this (to dilute it). Also, how about adding the cat warning at the top? Thanks again.

    • Hi Maria :-) While H2O2 does come in other concentrations, it is usually quite hard to find. 3% is the only kind you can get from the grocery store, and it is very common.

      In terms of the cat warning, I use the word “dog” in the title of the post – I’m not trying to be misleading. :-)

  • 5-10 minutes?? LOL, my dog chewed on a red onion (counter surfing). I got MAYBE 20cc into him. He took about 4 steps and hurled. Very little onion came out (thank goodness….it didn’t look like he ate much but hard to be sure). And, bonus, he hurled on the tile floor.

    • BTW, salt water also works if you don’t have H2O2 handy and, be aware, once you have opened the bottle, it begins to break down and, after 30 days you have a bottle of H20 and O….in other words, water and oxygen. So, if you open the bottle DATE IT and buy a new one so you have actual H202 on hand in case it’s 30 days or more before you need it again (wish it came in 50cc bottles).

      • Thank you! I didn’t realize it lost its potency so quickly. What about in inopenened bittkes?

      • Expiring in 30 days is incorrect, per several Google answers when I searched:
        “You need to replace hydrogen peroxide six months after opening it, but it will last for three years unopened. To test whether it is still effective, you can pour it in to the sink and see if it fizzes and bubbles. If it does, it’s still good. Expired hydrogen peroxide is ineffective but not harmful.”

  • I live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest in Oregon and take my dog hiking in the woods and along the rivers often. I always keep a syringe and travel size bottle filled with peroxide as Salmon Poisoning is a very deadly risk in this area. My dog has come across a dead salmon carcass or two and had it in his mouth before I could reach him and the peroxide has been a true lifesaver.

  • Our 4# YorkiePoo licked my daughter’s hand after she had just applied hand sanitizer that was, of course, a high percentage alcohol. She didn’t ingest enough to harm her long term, since thankfully alcohol evaporates so quickly. But she began retching and heaving, poor baby. I don’t understand why the odor of the hand sanitizer didn’t put her off it to start with. My point being that they will even eat things that taste very bad, lol! Thanks for the helpful info!

  • Thanks for addressing this topic. I almost lost a dog once because she adored grapes. For medium sized dogs and up what is important to know and remember is that these things build as toxins in their system. A medium or large sized dog can handle a small amount of chocolate because of size, but the toxins in the chocolate don’t leave the dog’s system, so exposure over time is the literal killer. My dog ate grapes when I did. Not every day, not even every week, but when I had some we shared, and when I discovered how much she liked them, I did buy them more often. She developed pancreatitis, which we caught just in time and I lived with guilt for years.

    Inducing vomiting is the same with animals as with people. NEVER do it unless you are CERTAIN you are not doing more harm.

    Also, your readers should be aware that unlike poison control hotlines aimed at children, those designed for animals generally charge a fee, and it can be fairly steep. It was much quicker to call the local emergency vet than to find my credit card for someone who couldn’t see my dog and was going to tell me to call my emergency vet. It was also much faster to call my emergency vet. In one case my dog had devoured an unknown substance outside and was already vomiting copiously. They advised us to wait and watch as it seemed his system was taking care of it but because we didn’t know what “it” was we needed to monitor. He was fine after a messy 10 hours and a trip to the regular vet to get vomiting to stop because sometimes dogs don’t stop on their own when there’s an insult to their system.

    In another case, our dog discovered a closet door accidentally left open and eaten underwear from a hamper. That was an immediate ER visit. Inducing vomiting could have killed her.

    You provided very valuable information but please be thorough because I feel like you left out some information that could unintentionally misguide well-meaning pet owners and cost their pets their lives.

  • When our little cockapoo got into a larger Easter treat we were told to put a tsp of table salt on the back of his tongue. This cause the poor little guy to heave up all the chocolate. Since he’s just a little dog I was able to do this without assistance.

  • Jillee Please your print friendly is NOT. I did not need 11 pages.!!
    can you let us have the option of no ads No photos just the written words. Please. What a waste of printer ink and paper.
    Had I known I would have spent the time and copy and pasted.
    thank you

  • Jillee you are right about calling the vet first or poison control. My dog somehow knocked over the trash can that I forgot to empty and ate the whole turkey carcass after Thanksgiving. The last thing to do there is get them to vomit because the bones could puncture something coming back up, and then we worried about the same thing going through him. The X-rays showed his whole stomach loaded with those bones. The vet decided to wait and see if he would pass them or do surgery. Thank heavens he was able to pass them but was an expensive 4 days with the vet. Your blogs are so informative and the responses from your readers are also helpful.

  • Jillee,
    Thank you for posting this important information! These tips should be second nature to all dog owners, but, unfortunately, they’re not communicated enough. It takes dog-lovers like you to spread the word.
    P.S. I’ve added a comment below regarding antifreeze ingestion.
    Thanks again,

  • Foods can be treated this way but my last dog bit into a battery . I knew from childhood poison charts that acids should not be vomited up as more damage could’ve done to the throat so I grabbed the milk out of the fridge and poured it down her throat . The vet said that that was the right thing to do first as it helped to neutralize the acid. Phew! She was pretty sick at the vets for 2 days but came home to a liquid and then soft diet for a month. Totally recovered . I was thrilled. She was around for another 13 years. Did I mention the big vet bill the week before Christmas ? But she was worth it!

  • Check Dr. Karen Becker’s & Dr. Rodney Habib’s videos. They say, dogs can eat walnuts & almonds. Also can eat garlic, just don’t over do it. They can also eat avocado, just not the skin & pit. I add fresh organic garlic to my dog’s food when I cook for them. One of my dogs eats some walnut pieces & a few almonds now & then.

  • Forget the syringes!! Forget the spoons!! Forget looking for something to mix the peroxide with!!!! Last year, after a particularly heavy storm with strong winds, a green block of rat poison I had placed under a roof beam become dislodged and my dog found it. He thought it was very tasty and ate the whole thing with the exception of a few telling pieces around his mouth and on the ground. I was PANICKED!!!! I ran in the house and grabbed one of the many bottles of peroxide that I keep on hand. I pryed his mouth open, (yes, it IS true that when in a panic state, you have strength you didn’t know you had!) and just started pouring the peroxide in! I didn’t measure. Heck, I didn’t even pause to ‘guesstimate’! I think I poured at least half of the bottle in and then slammed his mouth shut so he had to swallow. Sure enough! In less than three minutes, he resembled a creature from the depths of the green slime lagoon!!! He heaved…and he heaved…and he heaved. Then all of a sudden, like a flash of The Alien, a HUGE, foaming, slimy, green blob exuded from his mouth with a life of its own that knew no bounds! Within ten minutes, a foaming green pool big enough for a frog spa was on the ground. Being exhausted from his experience, he layed down and stared at me for a good five minutes more as if to say, “Thanks a lot” before he ran off to play!

  • One thing that isn’t listed here is leaking antifreeze from a car. That is highly toxic. People need to be more aware of leakage, even by accident.

    • For antifreeze ingestion, give your dog vodka!

      I learned this in vet.tech. school. The liver will metabolize the liquor before/instead of the antifreeze. This gives you more time to get to your veterinarian. Antifreeze is deadly!
      (Even vet offices keep vodka on hand for such an emergency)
      Antifreeze is sweet-tasting and is desirable to dogs. Be sure to keep it away from pets and children!!

  • If you don’t have a syringe handy, try mixing the hydrogen peroxide dose with vanilla ice cream and offer it to the dog. They should lap it up. Another life saving tip – if you suspect your dog has eaten a glass or other sharp object – like a Christmas ornament, soak several cotton balls (100% cotton) in milk and feed them to your dog before taking them to the vet. The glass pieces will get caught in the cotton fibers which will help protect you dog’s gut as the glass passes through.

  • Such a cute dog. You can tell he is loved.

    Please do a similar post for cats. Mine throw up all the time anyway, but might not in an emergency situation. So glad you included the info that Peroxide Not to be used for cats.

    Love your daily posts.

    • Yes, we cat lovers would like info for them. I do know that cats will eat grass and throw up hair balls, don’t know if that is the particular reason for eating grass tho. When they groom themselves they do swallow the hair. Thanks so much, Jillee

  • Reseach each of the foods listed to know exactly what kind of danger they may pose. How much you needto panick (or not). Checked on the garlic, onions, and chives. You have to give your pet an enormous amount of these to make them sick. For garlic you would need to give a 50 pound dog 25 cloves a day to cause a problem. We gave dogs garlic and brewers yeast for years (before spot treatments) to prevent fleas with no problem. Onion has more of the compound so maybe a medium onion a day. Some pets may have more sensitivity than others , but if FiFi snatches up a onion ring don’t panick. Some of these foods are only if they have an allergy/eat a lot of it. For that matter raw potatoes and green peppers in large amount are not safe either.

      • I am definitely not suggesting that people induce vomiting every time a dog eats a nut – I hope that everyone follows my advice to call the vet first! :-)

    • Agreed! One of the worries now though about garlic is much is coming from China and is heavily tainted. I’ve never had tiny dogs and do now. I am even more vigilant than before. The new puppy eats EVERYTHING! She keeps me busy to say the least!!!

  • When using the syringe to give the peroxide (or any liquid medication), hold the dog’s muzzle gently, and slid the tip inside the lips on the side of the mouth. Slid it back to as far as you can before pressing the plunger. The liquid will flow down the back of their throat and they will have to swallow it. A good idea would be to practice this with water so when you have to do it, (hopefully never) the dog takes it easily. If you are freaking out and anxious the first time you try this the dog will fight you. If you brush your dog’s teeth this won’t be a problem, they are already used to you doing something similar. A syringe for giving liquid meds to a baby works great and has the teaspoons marked on it.

  • Just a note of warning – when using a syringe to dose your dog, push the liquid in slowly allowing the dog to swallow. If you “shoot” it in it can “go down the wrong pipe” as my mother used to say.

  • How can I share this to Facebook? I have tons of friends who have dogs who would find this very useful! Thank you for the article!

  • Thank you so much for this tip. A few years ago, our little 10 pound Bichon Frise at 9 imported French Chocolates-I thought he was a goner, but thankfully, we were able to get him to the vet and they gave him charcoal and was ok. This is an invaluable tip as our dog eats anything he can find

  • If vet says it is ok for what they ingested to come out the way it went in… I give my dog a little tiny smear of peanut butter in a small bowl to get her interested in the next step. Then let her see me smear a little dab of the peanut butter in the bowl. Pour the amount of peroxide over it & offer the bowl to her again. She anxiously licks to get to the peanut butter, thereby ingesting the hydrogen peroxide. She is none the wiser!
    Much easier & less scary to the dog. Warning: Some dogs are really fast to react to the peroxide so be ready to get ur pup outside FAST!

  • When my lab ate an entire brownie mix – including the box – the vet told me how much peroxide to give and to mix it with water. I didn’t have a syringe on hand, but a turkey baster worked very well!

  • Good to know.We were at my Sisters yesterday and their Morkie – Maltese and Yorkie was under the table trying to get people’s food scraps.They had to tether his leash to the door. He was not happy. She’s told how he gets into no- no stuff and then gets sick. They are such little characters.

  • Unfortunately I had to call poison control because my dogs knocked over the garbage can and got raisin muffins. The dosage we were told to give was much lower than what’s listed above. People need to contact a professional before following this.

    • Hi Laurel! The very first step that I mention in this post is to call your vet or the Animal Poison Control Center. I want the best for everyone’s pets and absolutely agree that everyone should contact a professional first. :-)

  • My gig is somewhat like yours. Food I see food, food, food, food. I am very careful with her but as our Rottweiler ate the turkey one Thanksgiving accidents do happen. So this was very good to know. Thank you for the One Good Thing.

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