Looking after a pet comes with some tasks that are unpleasant but essential. Making your dog throw up in an emergency is one of them. To add insult to injury, the chances are that you’ll have to clean up the mess afterward.
This is true, unconditional love but what makes it much more special is that what lies behind it can end up being life-saving. Find out how and why to induce vomiting in dogs as we check out some of their more dangerous eating habits.
Except under the most extreme circumstances, only make your dog vomit under the guidance of a vet over the phone or video. If at all possible, it is usually better to bring your dog to the vet clinic and induce vomiting there. Inducing vomiting is not a risk-free procedure!
When You Should Make a Dog Throw Up
When it comes to food, most dogs can be like vacuum cleaners. If it looks or smells edible, they’ll eat it. Their definition of edible is very broad- eating, like walks and their owners, is a key passion.
Some things that may look or taste good to us, and our pets, are poisonous to dogs. The big players here are chocolate, the artificial sweetener, Xylitol, along with raisins or grapes but there are other foods that can be toxic too. These include:
- Onions, garlic and chives
- Macadamia nuts, avocados and corn on the cob
Any of these can cause really nasty toxic reactions from kidney and liver failure to intestinal problems and a breakdown of the nervous system. Even if eaten in small quantities these items can also be fatal to dogs when ingested so you must always act straight away.
And, as ever, never give a dog a bone. These can splinter, and cause constipation or a perforation of the gut that can be fatal.
If a dog eats something harmful, it’s possible they may vomit it up themselves. It’s a fast way to get harmful substances out of their body. The best course of action is to consult a vet immediately.
If your dog doesn’t vomit voluntarily, you may need to know how to make your dog throw up safely.
When You Shouldn’t Make a Dog Throw Up
There are exceptions to any rule. So, understanding when not to let your dog throw up can be as important as knowing when to make them vomit. There will be times when getting your dog to throw up is not advisable, even if they swallow something harmful.
If a dog tries to throw up a battery, caustic materials or sharp objects, for example, it could be lethal. The simple act of vomiting could lead to a blockage or perforations.
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It can be particularly dangerous to induce vomiting in brachycephalic (short-nosed) breeds. These include Pekingeses and Pugs. There’s a higher risk of causing aspiration pneumonia. This is a lung infection that can break out if your dog inhales foreign material like food, liquids or its stomach contents. If a toxic substance were to get into the lungs of any dog, a similar danger would apply.
Avoid inducing vomiting if the substance ingested is an irritant such as a disinfectant, white spirit or foaming soap. The same applies to liquids that could damage the lungs like vaseline, paraffin and suntan or baby oil.
If your dog is lethargic, comatose or experiencing seizures, do not induce vomiting.
How to Make My Dog Throw Up in an Emergency
Many websites and some vets might recommend a solution of hydrogen peroxide. There has, however, been evidence that this chemical, like common salt, can be harmful to dogs when swallowed.
It is possible for hydrogen peroxide to cause severe gastritis or inflammation of the stomach. That could lead to ulceration and bleeding. Although rare, pets have died from internal bleeding due to hydrogen peroxide toxicity.
You should certainly never use household chemicals to induce vomiting. The advice is to try safer alternatives. Always follow your vet’s advice.
Before making your dog vomit, it may be a good idea to feed them. Vomiting on a full stomach can often be more effective. This is going to depend on the circumstances and, bear in mind, that this would rule out an endoscopy and could make potential surgery riskier.
Safer Choices to Induce Vomiting in Dogs
To make a dog vomit in an emergency, you could try a solution of bicarbonate of soda, the type used for baking. It contains no harmful chemicals and poses no danger to pets unless ingested in large quantities. Use a maximum of one teaspoonful per cup of water for an average to large-sized dog. ,
Use proportionally less for smaller breeds. Inject the solution into your dog’s mouth using a turkey baster or syringe (without the needle, of course).
An injection of apomorphine would usually be a vet’s first choice as an emetic or something to get a dog to vomit.
This is a highly effective prescription drug, always administered by a professional who would then be able to monitor how it has worked. This is important as no substance that induces vomiting is likely to clear out all the contents of the stomach.
Further Steps to Take
Always stay with your dog while they vomit. Talk to your dog softly and reassuringly. Collect some of the vomit for your vet to analyze. Stop your dog if they try to re-ingest what they have just thrown up.
Watch out for further potential complications and adverse reactions. These could include diarrhea and bloating. Clean the affected areas of your home thoroughly and get your pet to the vet for a full check-up as soon as possible.
When to Talk to a Vet
The ingestion of any toxic substance is never good for a dog. Part of your job as a responsible dog owner is to know which human foods can be harmful and to keep them locked away so that your dog can’t get to them.
The difficulty with even a minor poisoning is that the consequences can be uncertain but sometimes very serious. It’s always best to contact a qualified vet if your dog has eaten something they shouldn’t.
Do you still have any questions about making your dog throw up? Then schedule a video consultation with one of our qualified vets!