Barf! Some day, you’ll thank me

c117335f-77bc-4923-99ed-79477d41eda8 Want to save your dog’s life? Invest in a bottle of hydrogen peroxide – and not because you can clean open wounds with it (distilled water is the preferred rinse these days). If your dog is like mine, he’ll swallow almost anything, from garbage, to roadkill, to rocks, to chocolate. I’ll never forget the night I caught him gulping down a glove. We used this trick and sure enough, up it came. A couple minutes later, so did a pair of my wife’s undies. A real two-fer!
 
Most stuff will eventually um, pass through, but often it’s safer to get it out sooner rather than later. And that means vomiting. Hurling. Tossing his cookies, even if he doesn’t want to. If you’ve figured out what happened within a couple hours of his swallowing it, this trick might work.
 
Most of us carry three percent hydrogen peroxide in our first aid kit, so all you need is some way to get it down your guy’s gullet. A big syringe or squirt bottle works. Put a couple tablespoons into the syringe, open his mouth, and make sure it gets swallowed. Keep him close, walk him around a bit on a lead, and in ten or fifteen minutes, the “problem” ought to be on the ground where it probably started. If not, one more squirt and a little more strolling should do it.
 
Just like humans, you don’t want caustic or sharp materials coming back up so think twice before using this life-saving trick. Be very sure it’s soft, flexible, and won’t do more damage coming back out again. But in many cases, hydrogen peroxide can save you an expensive trip to the vet, and possibly, surgery.
 
And for many of those other ingestibles, some suggestions:
 
For fish hooks, feed your dog cotton balls soaked in gravy. With luck they will catch the hooks and move them right through his G.I. tract. See a veterinarian.
 
For poisons or caustic substances, call a poison control center immediately (see below). If the dog will drink, give milk or water to dilute. Get to the veterinarian.
 
Poisonous foods your dog shouldn’t swallow (and their risks):
 
  • Grapes, raisins (kidney failure)
  • Onions, garlic, leeks (destroys red blood cells)
  • Chocolate (theobromine causes tremors, seizures, abnormal heart rhythms)
  • Avocado (ingredient persin is toxic)
  • Alcoholic beverages (liver damage, difficulty breathing, coma)
  • Coffee, tea, caffeine (muscle tremors, bleeding)
  • Dairy products (diarrhea)
  • Macadamia nuts (paralysis)
  • Candy & gum (artificial sweeteners)
  • Meat fat and bones (cause pancreatitis, choking hazard)
  • Persimmons, peaches, plums (pits, seeds)
  • Raw eggs (salmonella, E. coli)
  • Raw fish (“salmon poisoning,” E. coli)
  • Salt, salty foods (sodium ion poisoning)
  • Yeast dough (swells in stomach)

If your dog has ingested any of these or other poisonous substances, call the ASPCA poison control center at 888-426-4435.