How To Make A Dog Throw Up At Home?

If your dog ate something they should not have, you may be searching for what to do next.

It’s especially concerning when a dog eats something potentially toxic, leading many to wonder if they can safely induce vomiting at home.

While this can be done in some situations, making a dog vomit at home comes with quite a few risks.

In this article we will discuss why we always suggest contacting your vet if you need to induce vomiting in your dog, and the safe vomiting options that are available to your pup.

If they at something toxic, contact the Pet Poison Helpline immediately.

Can You Make A Dog Throw Up At Home

Why Would You Need To Make A Dog Throw Up?

Dietary indiscretion and toxicities are medical complications seen daily in most vet offices.

Many substances or food items become harmful once they move out of the stomach and into the intestines, making it essential to induce vomiting in these situations.

Making a dog throw up can even prevent some substances from fully absorbing into your dog’s body, making it an effective treatment method that can prevent a list of complications.

There are an endless amount of food items and substances that can cause our dogs harm if they are consumed.

Ranging from human foods to toxic chemicals, here are some of the most common items that require forced vomiting in our furry friends.

  • Grapes and raisins
  • Chocolate
  • Xylitol, which is present in artificially sweetened products
  • Onions
  • Rodenticides (rat poison)
  • Human medications
  • Medications in excess
  • Fabric such as socks, underwear, and pieces of toys

The items listed above are some of the most common dietary indiscretions that lead to a vet visit in our furry friends.

While most of these items can be vomited up safely at your vet’s offices, there are toxic substances that may become even more dangerous in the vomiting process.

Things such as sharp objects, caustic substances, and oil based liquids can cause serious damage during vomiting, proving just how important it is to contact your vet before acting.

Can You Make Your Dog Throw Up At Home?

It is possible to make your dog throw up at home, but it should only be done after getting permission from your veterinarian.

Vomiting can certainly prevent further complications when a dog eats something toxic, but making a dog vomit can be risky in some situations.

If your vet approves inducing vomiting at home for your dog, they will offer you an appropriate dose of 3% hydrogen peroxide to give them by mouth. The hydrogen peroxide can be irritating to your dog’s stomach, typically causing them to vomit anywhere from 5-20 minutes after giving it. However, not all dogs will vomit, so it is not guaranteed.

Hydrogen peroxide is the only at home vomiting method that is approved by vets, so it’s important to steer clear of any other suggestions seen online.

The Risks Of Inducing Vomiting At Home

As we mentioned above, making your dog vomit at home can be risky. Many veterinarians only suggest inducing vomiting at home if there is absolutely no way of making it to your vet’s office, as it is seen as a potential hazard in some vet’s eyes. The emergency animal hospital I worked at for years no longer suggested inducing vomiting at home, as it left too much room for error.

To help you better understand why it is best to bring your dog to the vet’s office to induce vomiting, let’s discuss the potential complications of making your dog throw up at home.

The Risk Of Aspiration

When you make your dog vomit at home, there is a chance of aspiration throughout the process. Depending on your dog’s size, their dose of hydrogen peroxide can be anywhere from 5ml to 20 ml. Taking in so much liquid by force can cause a dog to breathe in the liquid when you are trying to get them to swallow it, allowing the foreign substance to make it into the lungs.

Not only can a dog aspirate the hydrogen peroxide, but they can aspirate their vomit as well. Inducing vomiting can cause a dog to throw up more violently than they normally would, as well as throwing up large amounts. Some dogs may breathe in some of the vomit accidentally, increasing the chance of aspiration related complications.

The chance of aspiration is also increased if a dog consumes any type of oily substance. Liquids such as cooking oil or gasoline can be easily inhaled when a dog vomits, leading to the risk of aspiration pneumonia and other respiratory complications.

Though aspiration is possible any time a dog vomits, doing so in a vet’s office can allow your vet team to act accordingly when it occurs. Not only can your dog be closely monitored throughout the vomiting process, but your vet can assess your dog in the moments after they have vomited as well. This greatly decreases the chances of aspiration related complications.

Sharp Objects Causing Injury

If your dog ate something sharp, or chewed an object to the point of causing sharp edges, this can be extremely dangerous when vomiting. Vomiting sharp or jagged items can not only severely irritate the esophagus, but it can lead to trauma in the esophagus and mouth as well. Most vets will feed your dog a wet food that will coat the object as it is vomited, or even suggest an endoscopy if vomiting is too risky.

Sharp items should only be vomited up in the presence of a veterinarian, as this can allow your vet to act immediately if an emergency occurs. Some of the most common sharp objects that dogs consume include pieces of plastic, hard bones, sticks, rocks, and even needles.

The Risk Of Choking

If a dog ate something that is large enough to cause a concern, then the risk of choking is always on the table. For example, I have assisted in inducing vomiting in dogs that have eaten socks, only for the sock to become lodged in the esophagus during the vomiting process.

We have always been able to intervene and offer emergency care when this happens, but this can’t be done at home. If your dog chokes at home and does not have access to a vet within moments, this can be a deadly situation.

Injury From Corrosive Substances

If your dog ate something that contains corrosive material, this can cause serious damage to the esophagus during the vomiting process. For example, if your dog eats a battery, the material within the battery can begin to leak if the battery is damaged in the digestive process. This can essentially burn your dog’s esophagus, leading to a slew of painful complications to follow.

This is why you should always seek guidance before making your dog vomit at home, as you may be unaware of the potential for an object to be corrosive. Your vet can determine the best plan of action to reduce any esophageal injury in their office.

The Possibility Of Wasting Time

Even if the dangerous item or substance that your dog consumed can be safely vomited, you always risk wasting time when attempting to induce vomiting at home. Some dogs don’t vomit when given hydrogen peroxide, and this gives the item more time to absorb or move past the stomach. If there is an animal clinic near you, taking them in to see the vet is the best way to avoid wasting time.

What To Do If Your Dog Eats Something They Shouldn’t Have

If your dog eats something they shouldn’t have, there is a standard list of tasks to run through before taking them to the vet. Not only can this help your vet determine the best plan of action for treatment, but it can decrease the risk of any confusion once you get to the vet’s office.

Gather information: Try to gather as much information around your dog’s dietary indiscretion as possible. How much did they eat? When did they eat it? What are the ingredients? We also suggest bringing any wrappers or packing that comes with the item when possible.

Contact your vet immediately: Once you have assessed the situation, it’s time to contact the vet. When offering the answers to the questions we listed above, they can best determine what to do next. This may include making your dog vomit at home, bringing them to the vet, or even contacting the Pet Poison Helpline on your way to the vet.

Take your dog to the vet with all necessary info: If your vet suggests bringing them into their office, be sure to bring all necessary supplies with you. This includes any packing of the ingested substance, any medications your dog is currently taking, and any other information that can be helpful to your veterinarian.

How Will The Vet Make Your Dog Vomit?

If your veterinarian instructs you to bring your dog into the vet to make them vomit, there are a few things you can expect. First your vet will likely ask you questions surrounding your dog’s dietary indiscretion to determine the best plan of action going forward.

If they decide to induce vomiting, they will likely give your dog an IV injection of Apomorphine, which will cause your dog to vomit in the next 30 seconds to a minute. The vet team will catch their vomit in a large bowl, allowing them to sift through the vomit for the item in question. This can help them determine if all the material is accounted for.

Your vet may also suggest performing an x-ray in some situations. This may be performed before they induce vomiting if the item can be dangerous to vomit, or performed after if the material is not expelled. Your vet will understand your dog’s situation best, so we always suggest following their guidance.

Final Thoughts

Dogs eat things they shouldn’t all the time, causing pups around the world to visit their vet for safe vomiting. Be sure to always contact your vet from the moment they eat something strange, and allow them to determine the best plan of action for your canine companion.

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