Every dog owner knows there will come a time in their dog’s life when it will do something foolish; whether they destroy your best pair of shoes or ingest something harmful, it’s really only a matter of time.

In the case of the latter, pet owners should always be prepared. Being prepared means knowing the steps to take in case of such an emergency. This may or may not include how to induce vomiting in your dog.

The following will serve as a guideline as to the appropriate steps you shall follow, should your dog ingest a harmful substance.

Harmful Substances

Everyone knows that chocolate is harmful to dogs, but it’s not always obvious what other substances could be dangerous. Below is a list of some other things that could make your dog very ill and would require the inducement of vomiting.

  • Acetaminophen
    • Commonly found in painkillers like the brand Tylenol, this has been known to cause liver damage in dogs. It’s smart to buy child-proof bottles to keep your pets out of your medicine.
  • Antifreeze
    • This may seem obvious, as it’s not made for consumption by anyone, however, this substance has a sweet odor and flavor that may attract your dog.
  • Grapes
    • This may seem like a strange one, but yes: grapes in any form (this means raisins) are toxic to dogs. The ingestion of grapes has been known to damage the kidneys and in large quantities may cause kidney failure.
  • Ibuprofen
    • Found in painkillers, such as Advil. May cause ulcers, anemia, or kidney failure. Again: Childproof bottles are a smart buy!
  • Lilies
    • This flower (in various incarnations) has been known to cause heart problems in dogs.
  • Onions
    • Anything from the onion family (leeks, chives, etc.) may cause anemia and vomiting in dogs.
  • Salt
    • Believe it or not, this common household spice may cause vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, and kidney damage.
  • Sugar-Free Sweetener
    • Any sugar-free sweetener containing xylitol is toxic to dogs and may lead to liver failure.
  • Tobacco
    • Whether it is loose tobacco or tobacco in pre-rolled cigarettes, there are so many unhealthy by-products, that this can poison your dog. Ingesting this substance can be fatal.

dog eating

Inducing Vomiting

Once you realize that your dog has ingested a harmful substance, you first have to determine the time frame. In order for vomiting to be effective, it has to have been less than two hours since your dog ingested a harmful substance. After two hours, the substance has entered your dog’s small intestine and vomiting will not bring that back up. If it has been less than two hours, follow these steps:

  • Step one: Call your Veterinarian!
    • Before taking matters into your own hands, always consult a medical professional.
  • Step Two: Obtain a bottle of 3% Hydrogen Peroxide
    • Hydrogen Peroxide is sold in 6% formulations, as well. Be sure to have the right kind!
  • Step Three: Feed your dog wet food
    • This meal may help bind the toxic substance and will ultimately help with inducing a successful, cleansing vomit.
  • Step Four: Measure one teaspoon for every ten pounds of your dog
    • This is just math. Do your calculations appropriately.
  • Step Five: Administer the correct dosage of 3% Hydrogen Peroxide
    • Basically, just get your dog to drink.
  • Step Six: Wait.

Once you have induced vomiting using the Hydrogen Peroxide method and your dog has successfully vomited, you should be in the clear. However, it is important that you save some of the vomit in a leak-proof container and monitor your dog’s behavior.

  • Step Seven (optional, but recommended): Take your dog to the Vet.
    • This is where the leak-proof container of vomit becomes necessary. Give it to your Vet, so that he or she may inspect the contents.

When NOT to Induce Vomiting

There are circumstances under which it would not be advisable to induce vomiting in dogs. Vomiting is not a cure-all or catch-all for the toxic or harmful things your dog may have ingested. It is important that all dog owners know when inducing vomiting is helpful and when it could cause further harm. Do not induce vomiting if:

  • It has been more than two hours. The substance has already traveled to the small intestine and thus, cannot be purged by vomiting.
  • Your dog is already sick and vomiting.
    • There is no point in doing this and it may only cause further harm.
  • Your dog is unconscious.
    • This seems obvious, but it bears mentioning. Inducing vomiting in an unconscious dog may cause the dog to inhale vomit and result in an aspiration pneumonia.
  • Your dog has swallowed any of the following: Petroleum distillates (kerosene), bleach, or drain cleaner.
    • These are considered caustic substances and cause burning. As they are swallowed, they burn the intestines. Inducing vomiting will potentially cause further burning of the intestines on the way back up.

If you find yourself in any of the above situations, it is imperative that you call your Veterinarian or get your dog to an emergency center as soon as possible.

doberman vets

Why Using Salt to Induce Vomiting is a Bad Idea

Once considered as common as hydrogen peroxide for home pet remedies, salt is no longer recommended for dogs.

As you may have noticed, salt was listed in the “Harmful Substances” section; though it was once used much like hydrogen peroxide in order to induce vomiting, there are other effects that salt may have on dogs that are far more dire.

So, while it may cause your dog to vomit, you also risk your dog suffering kidney failure, seizures, tremors, coma, or death. Needless to say, you can cross salt off your list of helpful home remedies.

In Conclusion

Knowing which common household substances are harmful to dogs is vital if you want to keep your dog happy and healthy. Should your dog ingest any of the aforementioned substances, follow the steps outlined in this article. It may be a good idea to print out the list of hazardous household items and keep it handy. By remaining vigilant, you won’t have to worry about your dog ingesting anything dangerous and having to induce vomiting.

However, accidents happen! Don’t feel bad if your dog gets into something harmful, just make sure you take the proper steps to remedy the situation. The most important step of all, of course, is to consult with your Vet before inducing vomiting, as this procedure may not be necessary or helpful. It is also recommended that you check in with your vet after inducing vomiting.

It’s always important to consult with a medical professional when it concerns life or death matters. Now that you know the What, Why, How, and When of inducing vomiting in your dog, you are fully prepared for when this emergency situation arises.

Before you go, take a minute to watch this informative video:

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