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How To Make A Dog Throw Up: A Helping Hand

How To Make A Dog Throw Up: A Helping Hand

Is your dog having symptoms like bloat, lethargy, or overall weakness? Did you see him nibble on something for a second and then it disappeared? Well, this calls for action!

When getting a new puppy, we all think about how amazing the new chapter in our lives would be. We think of the many toys the puppy will have, endless walks in the park, and fun play sessions.

But, rarely does anyone think about what to do if something bad happens. How do you react if a dog swallows something? How do you make a dog throw up that unwanted substance or an item?

Dogs will swallow anything they want. It could be something meaningless like a piece of your food, or it could be something quite serious.

While prevention is the best thing we can do, accidents still happen.

Here’s how to react with such accidents and how to make a dog throw up unwanted content.

What Just Happened?

puppy standing next to its vomit

Hold on! What just happened?

Did Buddy swallow something? OMG! He did! Buddy, no! Bad dog!

But, that won’t turn back time. And, you panicking won’t help either. Yes, your dog has swallowed something you haven’t seen, but you should stay cool-headed and think.

Dogs, just like our feline friends, are curious creatures. Puppyhood is probably the most difficult time for potential chewers and swallowers.

If your Buddy sees a dead squirrel, chances are he will try to eat it just to see what it is. If he sees your sock on the floor, he will eat it just because he believes it’s fun. But, when Buddy swallows your pills or your cleaning supplies. That’s not just curiosity… that’s an accident that could end fatally.

We should always be careful with what our dogs eat or play with. Even something harmless like a tennis ball can get stuck in a dog’s throat or even swallowed. The curiosity perhaps did kill the cat, but we don’t want Buddy to end the same way.

The first thing you should do when you notice your dog has swallowed something is to search the area and go back step by step. Did something break, like a vase? Are there any sharp objects near, like a screwdriver set? Did you see what was near Buddy when the accident happened?

Knowing this information could be of great help and could save your dog’s life. Believe it or not, there are things that shouldn’t go up the same way they went down. There are things that should be pooped out, just to save the dog’s throat.

Why Is My Dog In Danger?

After swallowing an unknown object or substance, your dog will be in danger. You never know what kind of danger that object or fluid did to your dog’s organs. Sharp objects will hurt the throat as they go down. Harsh chemicals may burn the dog’s intestinal tract.

That’s why you should call your veterinarian a.s.a.p., or at least call an emergency clinic. Have these numbers by your hand, just in case.

What Should I Do?

sad dog standing next to his vomit

If seeing the vet immediately is not an option, then it’s up to you to save your Buddy. Of course, try to see if you can get a vet’s assistance or guidance through a phone or a video call. You should be much more relaxed having someone professional to support you in these critical moments.

If the vet agrees, you should induce vomiting.

I know, it sounds gross. Hey, it even sounds scary and quite dangerous!

But, with this guide, and your vet’s advice, you will be able to get to the bottom of this. Well, at least to the bottom of your dog’s stomach.

What you shouldn’t do is wait too long. No, some things just won’t go through the dog, so you can find them on your next walk outside. When a dog swallows a toxic substance, let’s say bleach, washing detergent, or antifreeze, the substance will do severe damage to the dog’s body as it dissolves and moves further through the tract. This takes around two hours to happen, but you shouldn’t wait that long. Act as soon as you can and start making your dog throw up.

Is Making Your Dog Throw Up Really Okay?

woman in a park holding her dog

Yes because it can save your dog’s life!

Induced vomiting isn’t half as bad as it sounds, but it should not be performed that easily. There are only a few circumstances that make vomiting seem like a good idea.

First, think of your dog’s health history. A dog without a history of seizures or other conditions that may aggravate its life is good to make throw up on purpose. Make sure the dog is not choking on something, and that it has clear respiratory airways.

If there are no visible issues with your dog’s throat or stomach, like bleeding, then you should think about the swallowed item. Is it sharp? Is it, maybe, a battery? Standard batteries we use are corrosive items, and they shouldn’t come back up through a dog’s esophagus as they may cause internal burning and bleeding.

Simply put… induce vomiting within two hours if the conditions from above are satisfied.

Are There Situations When I Shouldn’t Induce Vomiting?

dog vomiting in a park

Of course, there are!

Making your dog throw up a foreign object or a harsh substance shouldn’t be done in some cases. It would be best not to experiment at home, but go to the vet’s office.

Any dog that’s showing the first sign that something’s wrong, like general discomfort and restless behavior, shouldn’t go through induced vomiting. If you see signs of dizziness or overall body weakness, that means the toxic substance has already made its way to the dog’s body.

Swallowing something that’s not supposed to be swallowed can happen in secret. So, if you notice any of the mentioned symptoms, your vet should examine the dog and decide what to do next.

Induced vomiting just to be sure is still better than letting things solve themselves.

Still, it brings some dangers. If a dog inhales vomited content, it may lead to a severe case of aspiration pneumonia. Not every act of vomiting will result in this fatal consequence, but it’s better to know ahead.

Aspiration pneumonia is more likely to happen with brachycephalic dog breeds, like the Pug.

Inducing vomiting if a dog is lethargic, depressive, or having respiratory issues may cause indigestion, and thus, lead to even more complications.

What Do You Use To Make A Dog Throw Up?

ill dog resting

Photo from: @amstaff.manni

There are some things every household has that could help you make your dog throw up. Professionals use apomorphine, but you can use washing soda crystals and 3% hydrogen peroxide.

Washing soda crystals should not be mistaken for caustic soda. If so, it can cause terrible consequences, such as ulcers and bleeding, and it can even be fatal. These soda crystals are also known as sodium carbonate. I wouldn’t recommend using them first if you already have 3% hydrogen peroxide as it is not that effective.

If you can choose, always opt for 3% hydrogen peroxide.

I Heard Salt Will Work. Is That True?

Absolutely not!

Do not try to make your dog eat too much salt to cause vomiting. Do you have any idea what it can do to the poor pup’s kidneys? Also, substances like mustard powder or dishwashing liquid are strictly off limits!

I know ipecac syrup does work on humans, but it shouldn’t be used on dogs.

These items can cause stomach poisoning, a fast heart rate, breathing difficulties, and many other severe consequences.

Don’t listen to Dr. Google. Don’t play doctor at home. Go see a real one if your dog is in trouble!

How To Induce Vomiting: The 3% Hydrogen Peroxide Is Here To Help!

hydrogen peroxide

When getting a puppy, I recommend you buy this for your puppy starter kit. It’s good to have an unopened bottle of it at home, along with a sterile syringe or a clean turkey baster for really big dogs. Think of it as a first-aid kit for your pup.

With your vet’s go-ahead, start the throwing up procedure by administering hydrogen peroxide solution. It’s crucial to keep your dog relaxed and show him you’re not going to hurt him or do something scary. Slowly move his lips to the side and squirt in the solution. It should be squirted onto the dog’s teeth, not its throat. You don’t want Buddy to choke on another thing, do you?

After you’ve squirted the hydrogen peroxide solution, you should wait for 10 to 15 minutes. Usually, it works within this time limit. If your dog still hasn’t thrown up, you should administer a second dose or seek veterinary care.

Speaking of doses… you must be aware that not every amount of 3% hydrogen peroxide will work. Higher concentrations could even be lethal! The rule is one teaspoon for every five pounds of body weight. The maximum you can give is three teaspoons if your dog weighs 45 pounds. Anything over this should not be given to a dog, and you should have a Pet Poison Helpline number ready.

However, I must warn you that some people have had bad experiences with hydrogen peroxide. A colleague of mine had a peroxide experience gone wrong in their first year of veterinary practice.

A dog owner showed up with a collapsed dog that didn’t have control over its movement. The reason? The poor dog was too sensitive to hydrogen peroxide, which caused a type of brain inflammation. Luckily, the dog survived, and the owner learned a valuable lesson the hard way.

I Don’t Have Hydrogen Peroxide. Can I Put My Hands In My Dog’s Mouth?

owner putting his hands in dog's mouth

This is not the most brilliant idea, but it could work if you’re really desperate.

How many times have you relieved yourself with fingers, trying to vomit some food that didn’t get along with you? Well, this is kinda the same. However, humans and dogs don’t have the same gag reflex. Some dog breeds will easily throw up after you touch their throat, while others won’t.

If you really want to try this procedure, make sure you’re not alone. You will need someone to hold your dog’s mouth wide open. Put on sterile latex gloves and gently press the dog’s back of the mouth. Repeat this for several times if there is no reaction. Always be gentle. But, if you see that nothing is happening, stop it and see the vet.

Putting your hand in your dog’s mouth already sounds very scary. Not every dog will be okay with it, even the most friendly one. This procedure is risky, and it should be done only if you have no other way. First, you’re risking your dog to bite you, and second, you could physically hurt your dog’s throat.

Which Human Foods Are Lethal And Shouldn’t Be Consumed By My Dog?

chocolate hearts

So far, I’ve talked about your dog ingesting a toxic substance or a foreign object. But, what if your dog eats something he’s not supposed to?

I am sure every dog owner was in a situation where his dog refused to eat the dog food, but did want to eat treats. But is he supposed to eat treats or human food?

I know Buddy likes to eat off your plate, but what are you having? Doritos, chocolate, moldy cheese?

Some foods are not safe for dogs. Even one bite can lead to a misfortunate ending.

Human foods that dogs should never consume are:

– chocolate

poppy seeds

– junk food, like Cheez-Its


– avocado

– macadamia nuts

– onions or garlic

– grapes or raisins

– xylitol

– processed foods, like spam

spicy food, etc.

If you notice your dog eating one of the foods from this list, seek help or induce vomiting.


I know every pet parent wants only the best for their doggos. I’m a pet owner, too, and I know that kind of love.

But, please… don’t find all sorts of ways to make your dog throw up. Your pup should be treated by your designated DVM; not by Google advice.

If you really must, follow our step-by-step guide on how to make a dog throw up. The American Kennel Club recommends that you always have the number of your local ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center in your phone. This hotline may save your dog’s life and guide you to do so.

Don’t panic. React in time with utmost care. Making a dog vomit is not the hard part. It’s the after-period that should worry you with all the possible side effects.

If you do this with a cool head, Buddy will still be your buddy.

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