When to Make Your Dog Throw Up ... And When Not To

If your dog eats something he shouldn't, your first instinct might be to make your dog throw up to get that substance out of his stomach. But making your throw up is not always the answer. To be safe, it's best to contact your veterinarian first for advice on what to do to help your dog.

Most pet owners know that you can safely induce vomiting in a dog by administering hydrogen peroxide, and with dogs' penchant for eating things they shouldn't, this is a useful tip. However, not every situation can be solved by inducing vomiting, and sometimes it can even make things worse.

When to Induce Vomiting in Your Dog

Induce vomiting only if:

  • The substance ingested was poisonous
  • The substance was ingested recently (less than an hour ago)
  • The dog is asymptomatic, or not yet showing signs of the poisoning
  • The dog doesn't have medical problems (collapsing trachea etc.) or conformation that would make him at risk for inhaling the vomit into his lungs like brachycephalic breeds, including English bulldogs, Pekingese, Boston Terriers, Pugs, etc.

When You Shouldn't Induce Vomiting 

Do not induce vomiting if your dog has ingested any of the following:

  • Acids, such as bleach and drain cleaners
  • Alkalis, like ammonia and laundry detergents
  • Motor oil gas
  • Turpentine
  • Paint, Paint Thinner or Paint Remover
  • Lighter Fluid
  • Kerosene
  • Caladium, Dieffenbachia, Philodendron, Jerusalem Cherry, Nightshade or Mother-in-Law's Tongue/Snake Plant
  • Raw potato

If your dog has ingested any of these, call your vet immediately. The same goes for cats that have ingested a poisonous substance, as there is no at-home product that can safely induce vomiting in cats.

Making your pet throw up is not always the answer, but whether you are administering hydrogen peroxide or dialing your vet's number, your quick action may be saving your pet's life.

How to Help Your Dog Recover

After you return from the vet and your dog is recovering, a bland diet is typically suggested. A few small meals throughout the day is a great strategy. It will take a few days for your dog to recover pending the cause and what the vet administers. Cerenia is an anti-nausea drug that helps if a dog is throwing up. A vet would give your dog this at the hospital or send you home with tablets. Call your vet's office if you have any questions!

A dog's stomach can be sensitive as well and your dog's mouth is constantly exploring! Always put away human medications, cleaning products, rat poison, sharp objects or toxic food out of reach!

Pet parents should always have the pet poison helpline on their fridge or saved as a contact number in their cell.