Most of us have been there. Things are eerily quiet downstairs or in the other room. You are not sure where your dog is or what they are up to. That is when you find them munching on something they’re not supposed to, surrounded by the chewed-up packaging, with a perfectly good unused chew toy lying approximately 2 feet to the left. Dogs are curious creatures, and they have a unique habit of getting into things that are not theirs or are potentially harmful. If your dog eats something harmful like medications, chocolate, raisins, or even clothing, they may throw it up by themselves. However, when that does not happen, you as the owner may need to step in and help the process along.

Before you begin any sort of intervention, or you know your dog has ingested something harmful, call your vet. They will be able to guide you as to what the best course of action is. If your dog has swallowed items that are sharp or caustic materials such as batteries, your vet may caution against inducing vomiting as these items can be lethal if regurgitated. If your dog is a brachycephalic breed, like a Pug or Pekingese, your vet may also caution against inducing vomiting as these breeds are more prone to pneumonia. Do not induce vomiting if your dog is lethargic, comatose, or having seizures. Again, if you know that your dog has swallowed something they are not supposed to, call your vet!

If your veterinarian determines that it is appropriate to induce vomiting, they will recommend using a Hydrogen peroxide 3% solution. This solution acts as an irritant for your dog’s intestinal tract. It usually works within 10-15 minutes and recovers approximately 50% of your dog’s stomach contents. Vomiting can continue to last for up to 45 minutes afterward, so make sure your dog is in a comfortable space to vomit. It is also suggested to give your dog a small meal beforehand if they have not eaten in the last two hours. Your veterinarian should provide instructions on how to, and how much Hydrogen peroxide to administer. Stay with your dog as they vomit to make sure they do not re-ingest their vomit. Keep an eye out for any changes in behavior such as lethargy, diarrhea, and bloating. Be sure to follow up with your vet immediately after inducing vomiting.

Should you feel the need to induce vomiting in your dog, call your vet first!