Many pet owners are unsure whether or not it is safe to give hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting in dogs. This DogAppy article addresses this issue.
Never use hydrogen peroxide of a higher concentration (more than 3%) such as the one present in hair colors, as it can be potentially toxic to your dog.
Many a time, pet dogs may happen to consume something that is potentially harmful or not meant for consumption by them. These may include common household cleaning products, medications, insecticides or other chemicals, poisonous plants, etc. Even some human foods like chocolate, grapes, raisins, etc., (usually in large amounts) can be very harmful for dogs. Antifreeze is another substance that can be lethal to your pet. In such cases, it is natural for pet owners to panic and worry as their pet may have fallen sick. Thus, owners can consider inducing their pets to vomit, which may help expel the harmful contents from the pet’s body.
Hydrogen Peroxide as an Emetic
▶ This chemical, which is readily available at any drugstore, is one substance that may prove beneficial. However, people are still confused whether it is safe to be administered to the pets or not. What is necessary to know regarding its safety is whether it should be given (depending on the substance ingested) and how much needs to be given (the right dosage). It is always better to consult a vet to confirm whether you can proceed,so as to rule out the possibility of complications that may arise. This would happen only if the hydrogen peroxide was not meant to be given.
▶ Hydrogen peroxide is usually available in different concentrations. It is 3% Hydrogen Peroxide or the lowest strength of hydrogen peroxide that is recommended and considered safe for use. Even though the label (3% solution) mentions toxic, you can give it to your pet.
What is the Correct Dosage?
▶ The right dosage would depend on the breed and weight of your dog, and would be best decided by the vet. The right dosage amount that is generally followed is 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of liquid per 10 pounds of body weight.
How does Hydrogen Peroxide Work?
▶ This chemical plays the role of an irritant in your pet’s intestinal tract. When ingested, it tends to produce oxygen bubbles in your pet’s stomach. The stomach is then stretched on sufficient bubble formation, which eventually triggers the vomiting.
▶ The vomiting needs to occur about 15 to 20 minutes after the administration. If your pet has not vomited, then a second dose can be administered. However, if your pet has not vomited even after administering the second dose (after 15 to 20 minutes), you should contact the veterinarian immediately. Never give more than two doses or a third dose to your pet as it can be dangerous.
Things to Consider While Administering
A syringe without a needle can be used for administration.
▶ If you are having a hard time trying to make your dog ingest it, then consider mixing it with water or a small quantity of vanilla ice cream (as a last try).
▶ Make sure that you take your dog for a walk at least for a few minutes. This is necessary so that hydrogen peroxide gets absorbed and starts working.
If your pet has vomited, you need to check whether the harmful contents have been expelled, or else, just collect it so that you can take it to the vet for confirmation on the same. Take precautionary measures while collecting the vomit, as some substances can be harmful to humans as well. Sometimes, pets tend to eat up their vomit again, so make sure that it does not happen.
Veterinarians are known to use specific prescription drugs like apomorphine for dogs that may prove beneficial to induce vomiting. Thus, it is extremely important to take your dog to the vet, if emesis with hydrogen peroxide has not worked at home.
When Not to Use
▶ In case of ingesting a chemical like petroleum distillate, bleach, etc., that causes burning, don’t give hydrogen peroxide. If vomiting is induced, the backflow of such contents may cause the burning sensation again. Furthermore, this applies to caustic substances as well.
▶ Trying to induce vomiting in your pet after two hours of ingestion would be of no use. This is because by then the harmful substance would have already been digested by your pet’s body.
▶ When your pet is already vomiting, administering the chemical isn’t recommended.
▶ When your pet is extremely weak, has lost consciousness, is not able to stand with ease, or has seizures, refrain from giving the chemical. This is because if the hydrogen peroxide is aspirated (into the lungs) by your pet or inhaled into their lungs, it may lead to severe complications.
Too much hydrogen peroxide (3%) can also be toxic to your pets. It is always better to consult a vet and take his/her approval before giving it to your pet. This is mainly because inducing vomiting is a strict ‘no’ to some toxic chemicals. The regurgitation of such chemicals may cause severe damage and even turn fatal. The Animal Poison Control Center can also be contacted for such emergencies.