how to: induce vomit

Depending on your level of experience with dogs.. this "how to" may sound odd to you. Trust us though, if you have a dog, learn how to do it and keep the materials handy. Going to the veterinary office is always your best first option, but as the story I'm about to share shows, that's not always possible.

personal experience...

Awhile back.. we had just finished up at a dog show in Utah and decided to take the long route home as it stopped in Rexburg Idaho where my sister-in-law Caitlin and her husband lived. My sister-in-law was pregnant and due any day with their first baby at the time. Upon arrival we exercised and potty-ed the dogs and then made sure they were secure in the car before a quick hello to my mother-in-law. I never leave anything edible out so I did a check and went briefly inside. As news would have it, Caitlin had her baby that day! We got the phone call right then for everybody to come to the hospital and meet the new niece!

We ran out to the car and to our dismay... I forgot to take my purse with me when I had gone inside. And both our dogs had gotten medicine out of my purse and ate the whole bottle. --Yes. This is embarrassing pet irresponsibility. Live and learn, we're only human.-- So frantically, in a new town, I was googling on my cell phone the nearest vet offices. It was a Sunday afternoon. NOTHING was open. I started calling my vets back home just to see if anyone could direct us over the phone. Finally I got through to the WSU Emergency line. They had to page the person on call to return my call. 

Then I had a vet tech on the phone. We were trying to figure out what medicine it was, how much they ingested, and what symptoms if any. We were SO LUCKY to find out it was not direly life threatening, but still definitely not good for them. The vet tech needed to direct us over the phone to induce vomit to get the medicine out of their stomachs since there was absolutely nowhere to take them nearby. 

The two main items you need are a syringe and hydrogen peroxide. We drove all around town to Walmart, Walgreens, any grocery store looking for a syringe. Precious time ticking was away as they start to digest and absorb the medicine. We ended up buying some children's liquid motrin (advil, I don't know, something like that) that had a syringe come with it. Our road trip planned on camping while we were there so we hadn't even a place to really "treat the dogs." 

So there we were, in the hospital parking lot, pumping hydrogen peroxide into the dogs and walking them around watching and inspecting their barf. All of the medicine came up, thank goodness. But it does take some time for the nausea to subside. We took turns staying with the dogs and meeting the new baby. Eventually we got to our campsite and had a good rest of our weekend. Dogs were totally fine.

But guess what - I ALWAYS have a syringe and peroxide on hand (and needless to say I don't leave my purse unattended). Because as careful as you can be, and as well mannered as your dog may be, accidents happen and it could be a life saver. 


Dogs are notorious for getting into things they shouldn't. They may ingest a collar, medicine, toy, socks, poisonous food, yard material etc. If you know your dog has swallowed something hazardous, inducing vomit may be the first line of treatment and could potentially save their life.

when to induce vomit:

MAYBE - if you see your dog eating something it is not supposed to. Or if you are not sure what it is.

NOT - if they are already throwing up, if they have lost consciousness or are weak/cannot stand, if they swallowed bleach, drain cleaner, or petroleum distillate (will burn coming back up), or if it has been over 2 hours since they swallowed it (starts digesting).

YES, ALWAYS - if they eat antifreeze within 2 hours (very very dangerous needs out immediately), or after talking with vet about the specifics and receiving their instruction to do so. 

major caution

The object could have sharp edges (silverware), it could be corrosive (bleach), it could become stuck and then create choking hazard (stick), and all kinds of risks. Another risk is if the dog accidentally aspirate some vomit into its lungs it can become another serious issue. Call your vet first, always!

Supplies Needed

*Have these on hand, so that you are not frantically running trying to buy/find them at the time of an emergency.

  • Phone
  • Phone Numbers: your vet, your emergency vet, ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center (888-426-4435) or the Pet Poison Helpline (855-213-6680). Both hotlines are staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and are available to owners at a small charge.
  • 3% Hydrogen Peroxide (available at any drug store or supermarket)
  • Vanilla Ice Cream or Honey (OPTIONAL)
  • Large Syringe (no needle) *OR Turkey Baster (it doesn't usually have measurements, get a teaspoon to go with it)
  • Clean Up (bags, paper towels, gloves, container to take sample to vet if necessary)


  1. Call your vet or pet poison control center/hotline. Have this info: dog's estimated weight, any known existing health conditions, what may have been eaten, when, and the amount. 
  2. Measure out the dose of hydrogen peroxide into the syringe: 1 milliliter (ml) or cc's per pound of dog weight (example: if your dog weighs about 30 lbs, measure 30mm or 30 cc's). If you have to use a teaspoon, 1 teaspoon is approximately 5 ml or 5 cc's (example: if your dog weighs about 30 lbs, measure 6 teaspoons). ...some sources say the maximum amount of hydrogen peroxide to be given at any one time is 45 ml, even if a dog weighs over 45 pounds. Consult with your vet.
  3. Syringe the hydrogen peroxide down the back of their throat. If you do not have a syringe, mix it with some of the vanilla ice cream or honey to make it more palatable and let them lick it up/spoon it into the mouth.
  4. Wait up to 15 minutes for vomit. 
  5. If no vomit after first dose, administer a second dose. Wait 15 minutes.
  6. If no vomit after second dose, DO NOT give a third. Call the vet or poison control again for further instructions.
  7. Once they do vomit, clean it up thoroughly. If it is hazardous use gloves. If you're unsure what it is, collect it in a container or ziplock to take to the vet.
  8. If necessary, take the dog to a vet for evaluation and continued treatment. Comfort your pet - that was not fun.

*DISCLAIMER: We are not advising anyone to skip professional medical care from a licensed vet and attempt to treat their pet on their own. We are not giving any medical advise at all, we are not veterinarians. We are not suggesting either, to treat your pet based off an internet article so you can save some bucks. PLEASE use your best judgement and always at least contact a licensed professional. We are merely stating that knowing how/being prepared to induce vomit in your pet could be beneficial in an emergency situation.