To Puke or Not to Puke…
When a puking dog is the best answer!
As pet owners, we don’t enjoy seeing our beloved pets in distress. Animal lovers tend to be sensitive souls and it hurts us to see our animal children in any type of discomfort. Rover chomping grass in the backyard, his own version of Pepto-Bismol, is troubling to us, particularly when we don’t know the cause. It might seem strange that puking or vomiting can be the perfect answer to our dog’s ailments. But the danger of our pets ingesting poison is a very real issue with all the chemicals used in everyday life. The scary truth is that the most mundane of substances can be toxic to our four legged friends.
Dogs can’t talk and tell us how their tummies feel or that they ate something rotten out of the garbage. However, if they ultimately vomit in these scenarios, often the issue is resolved. The more difficult situation is when we know or suspect they’ve ingested a toxin, and they don’t seem bothered by it. Or they are bothered by something and we have no idea what happened or when to induce dog vomiting. The discovery of a half-eaten Christmas poinsettia or an empty, mutilated box of chocolates can send us into panic mode. It’s always better to know what the dog ate than not.
Substances that Should Cause Alarms to Go Off
Substances that can act as dog poison are available everywhere. Lurking in the garage are antifreeze, insecticides, weed killers, rat poison, cleaning supplies, paint, and turpentine.
Inside and out, a wide variety of plants such as poinsettias, lilies, apple stems, leaves and seeds, geraniums, holly, tomato plants and too many others to mention can cause many problems, including serious ones. From causing a rapid heartbeat, to falling, to putting our pet into a coma. Even seemingly innocent, delicious foods like chocolate, grapes, alcohol, avocados, certain nuts and yeast dough can cause problems. Then we have offenders like raw, undercooked or spoiled meat and chicken. To be on the safe side, we’d be wise to keep the top toxic foods list on the fridge. We tend to think that if we love some food item, we show them love by sharing, but that’s often not the case. We may be unknowingly putting them in danger. We must do our homework and know what’s toxic to our pets.
How to Know When to Induce Dog Vomiting
Our first clues that our pets have ingested a toxin could be seeing lethargic or uncoordinated behavior. Perhaps our dog has fallen or has foam on his mouth. He may be panting or hyperventilating. We know our pets’ typical behaviors if we’ve had them for any length of time. Perhaps we can’t put our finger on it, but something isn’t right. Maybe we notice a plant that has been shredded or has missing leaves. Perhaps the evidence is glaring back at us because of some substance smeared on Rover’s adorable face. Whatever the scene that causes suspicion or alarm, it’s important to figure out the correct course of action and fast. Antifreeze is a common poison because of its sweet flavor. In this case, induce vomiting if it’s within two hours because the sooner it is out of his system, the better it will be for his recovery.
How to Induce Dog Vomiting for the Uninitiated
We keep 3% hydrogen peroxide on hand for inducing vomiting because it is an irritant. Do not use anything stronger than 3% hydrogen peroxide. The dosage is one teaspoon for every ten pounds of body weight. An effective way to encourage your pet to take the peroxide is to mix it with something sweet like honey, plain ice cream or yogurt. The idea is to mix it with something your dog will eat willingly to get it down quickly. Walk the dog around for the first couple of minutes and vomiting should occur within 15 minutes. There is no danger in repeating the process once if vomiting doesn’t occur within 15 or 20 minutes. Be sure to contact the veterinarian if a second dose doesn’t produce vomiting. It’s a good practice to contact a veterinarian prior to inducing vomiting regardless of the substance ingested.
When to NOT Induce Dog Vomiting
When we see the dog already vomiting, there’s no need to take action, but simply observe him for a bit. The situation should resolve itself, but we must watch for any signs that our pet needs further help. If we notice seizures, unconsciousness, lethargy, or weakness in a pet, then inducing vomiting won’t be the best course of action. We don’t want any aspiration of stomach contents into his lungs
We don’t recommend inducing further vomiting if the dog has already thrown up or has ingested caustic substances. These include such chemicals as bleach, drain cleaner or petroleum distillate. They can burn the esophagus as they come back up and cause further damage. Another reason to not induce vomiting is if the pet ingested the substance more than two hours ago. The toxin will have already exited the stomach and be in the small intestine. Again, we’d be wise to consult a vet if in doubt.
Be Prepared With All the Right Stuff
It’s great when we are prepared by knowing who to call and where to look for information before the situation arises. Keep a bottle of 3% hydrogen peroxide on hand. Have the veterinarian’s number on the refrigerator. Know the poison control number to call or the website to consult if a pet ingests dog poison. The moment of crisis is not the time to look for it. The vet can determine if or how to induce dog vomiting. They can also administer apomorphine which might be a more effective or appropriate option than a home remedy. The more information we share when we make the call, the easier it will be for the professional to make a recommendation. The dog’s breed, weight and information about the suspected toxin are important details. It’s better to be safe and prepared than sorry. Now go get those phone numbers together before you need them!