Some dog breeds (particularly Labradors) always seem to be hungry and on the prowl for food. They'll seemingly eat almost anything, including foodstuffs that can be dangerous.

box of chocolates

Chocolates are very poisonous to dogs – so don’t leave open boxes around

Knowing how to make a dog vomit is a first aid skill that every dog owner should know. Some dogs can be total scavengers (particularly Labradors and spaniels), particularly if they are on a restricted diet for health reasons. They’ll jump at the opportunity to eat something they shouldn’t, which could be toxic.

Q: I am the owner of a Labrador who will have his nose in a bin or rubbish at any opportunity. He is a great food thief too and has eaten a box of chocolates before now. I have been warned that I should know how to make a dog vomit, so that I can make him throw up anything he has eaten that might be poisonous to him. Could you offer me some advice on how to do this? 

A: First try to find out what has poisoned your dog and then 
I would recommend you call a vet and ask for advice.

If a dog consumes 
a poison that can cause it difficulty breathing, convulsions, seizures or make it depressed, lethargic or drowsy or likely to go into shock, it should not be made to vomit. If your dog has ingested some caustic substance, never attempt to make it vomit because these chemicals cause as much damage on the way back up as on the way down. Caustic substances are found in 
a variety of household products, petroleum and by-products; materials such as dish washer detergents, battery acid, drain cleaners and some soaps.

make a dog vomit

Some dogs will eat almost anything and a number of household products could poison them

How to make a dog vomit

If the dog doesn’t display any of those signs and hasn’t eaten anything caustic, you can make it vomit by administering a teaspoonful of three per cent food-grade hydrogen peroxide per 10lb bodyweight. Put this at the back of the dog’s tongue. It is often easier if the dog has fed first as this will “bulk up” the stomach contents and give it something substantial to bring up. It should vomit within 10 to 30minutes and if not, the treatment can be repeated.

A teaspoonful of baking soda in half a cup of water, or a teaspoonful of mustard in a cup of water, can be used in the same manner. Placing a teaspoonful of salt on the back of the dog’s tongue should also make it vomit.



Poisoned by mushrooms?

Q: My youthful Labrador permanently has his nose to the ground and hoovers virtually anything edible (and non-edible) in sight. Recently, I caught him sniffing about some mushrooms that had sprung up in my garden. Should I be worried?

A: What a magic question! To cap it all, since I am a fun guy, I will attempt to answer it.

Most mushrooms are not poisonous to dogs. Some, such as the red Amanita muscaria shown here, can produce toxic effects although it is not as dangerous as some think. However the Death Cap, (Amanita phalloides), which is pale yellowish to olive in colour and about 5-15cm across, can be quite deadly. Broadly symptoms fall into a number of categories.

First are the extreme gastrointestinal signs, consistent with over indulgence; vomiting, diarrhoea and abdominal pain. They may be joined by the nervous signs of staggering, confusion and coma. And then there is salivation, liver damage, tachycardia, blindness and on and on. So, yes you should be worried.

If you think mushrooms have been ingested, rapidly seek veterinary help for inducing vomiting. Fluid support, activated charcoal and symptomatic treatment can be life-saving.