How Not to Make a Dog Vomit

posted by Momo Fali on January 19, 2012

The first time it happened, I had to tackle her. I was pregnant, with bulbous belly, tromping around the back yard with a spoon in one hand and a bottle of hydrogen peroxide in the other. I took her down on the small hill next to our house.

Once I had her trapped underneath me I didn’t really know what to do. How would I remove the bottle cap, pour peroxide into the spoon and shove it into the mouth of a 65 pound, squirming Labrador? I did it, but it wasn’t pretty; nor was what came out of her stomach about 10 minutes later. Have you seen The Exorcist? Yeah, that.

Thirteen years ago this was a frequent occurrence around our house. Our dog, Blue, eating something she shouldn’t (breast pads, underwear, chicken bones, a 25 lb. frozen turkey, etc.) and me, sometimes, having to make her throw it back up before it did any damage.

Like the time my in-laws were coming to town to celebrate their 50th anniversary. About two hours before their arrival, I felt the need to go to the mall and buy a new piece of furniture. I’m rational like that. While I was gone, Blue snatched an enormous, solid-chocolate bunny off the far-reaches of the kitchen counter and ate the entire thing. Happy Easter!

When I discovered this, I did what I was used to doing; I put a piece of cheese in the bottom of a bowl and covered it with peroxide. DO NOT DO THIS! Using a spoon had never worked well, so this had become my altered method. Usually, by getting to the cheese, she would ingest just enough peroxide to make her vomit. It was an extremely scientific measurement, exactly not at all.

Now, we don’t go buying fancy schmancy furniture around here. Oh, no! None of that solid wood stuff for us. If you can’t put it together with an Allen wrench or a Phillips-head screwdriver, well you can just forget it. With, roughly 30 minutes until our family would be here, I left Blue outside with her bowl while I sweat and struggled with a particleboard end table. At the very least, I have my priorities in order.

I went back out 15 minutes later to find Blue had eaten the cheese and finished every last drop of peroxide. Every. Last. Drop.

Remember Willy Wonka’s chocolate river? Yeah, that. Except that after the chocolate stopped, Blue kept retching. I’m not even kidding; I thought I had killed my dog and that she was going to throw up her own stomach. If you ever see one of your neighbors running around her back yard chasing after her dog saying, “I’m sorry! I’m so sorry! Also, please hurry, because company will be here soon!” then you’ll know just what I looked like.

And, last week, when our young Lab, Daisy, found 1/2 a sheet of chocolate cake in a neighbor’s yard, and ate to her heart’s desire, we got to relive the experience.

Lucky for her, I’ve learned how to use a syringe.


  • Angi

    We had a dog that ate everything. We frequently had to deploy the same thing but we found an easier method…

    We mixed a splash of peroxide with milk in a small bowl. Watch and wait. Repeat if needed.

    It works and we’ve employed the method many times. Sometimes being a dog owner is not a pretty experience.

  • BusyDad

    Remember that scene in Stand By Me where they’re all throwing up blueberry pie? You know that famous picture of those dogs playing poker?

    My brain just combined them.

  • Melisa

    Wow. I think Roxie has some competition.

    Related: How long do you think it would take for you to get here the next time Roxie gets into some chocolate? Because it WILL happen again.

  • Rhea

    Oh. Wow. That sounds nightmarish!
    My lab is pretty calm…and only roots in the trash occasionally. I haven’t had to force her to barf….yet.

  • Sarah

    I read your posts and just feel so normal Momo! Thank you for that. Life is a mess.

  • Rachel Blaufeld

    only a dog lover can appreciate this story –> we have beagles which are notorious for getting into everything. A few years ago, I was hosting my son’s kindergarten’s class parents for a dessert. 40+ people in my house and right before they come – the beagle ate the WHOLE bowl of dark chocolate hershey kisses and wrappers (2 bags worth). My husband and I spent the evening taking turns with the dog in the backyard post – peroxide. Needless to say, we did not encourage guests to go outside.

  • Heather

    Wait.. You can make a dog puke? Hahahaha! GOOD TO KNOW. My labs growing up were such table snatchers, they got into EVERYTHING and the one that’s left STILL DOES. When will they learn? hahahah.

  • Desiree Eaglin

    That is hilarious…for me-safe at home reading this and not actually having to do it. lol πŸ˜‰

  • Christina

    As a new dog owner, I have yet to experience making Cosmo vomit yet, but seeing how he tries to eat anything and everything, I will probably get to have that experience. You’ve now given me all I need to know when that moment comes. πŸ™‚

  • Amie

    I’d have done the same thing as Daisy if I came across half a sheet cake in my neighbor’s yard. Can you say “windfall?”

  • Always Home and Uncool

    Oh, our Labs. This year I’ve had to make Murphy throw up rat poison, a slab of baby back ribs and a bowl of grapes. I used an oversize syringe from Thing 1’s tube feeding days but a turkey baster does in a pinch.

  • meleah rebeccah

    Oh snap! I probably shouldn’t be laughing, because I’m sure you were terrified your dog would never stop vomiting, but the way you told this story is too damn funny.

  • The Crafty Wify

    Thanks for this fun and educational post.:)

  • Therese

    Dear God, I have never heard of this! Every time my Weimaraner eats something, I think to myself I hope he makes it through this. He’s eaten a chipmunk (which I actually had to spring for a vet visit for), a whole basketful of Easter candy, any chicken wing he can get his paws on, etc., etc. His favorite treat was grapes until I read somewhere they can actually kill him (oops, bad Mommy!)

  • Justine

    Same as Therese: I have never actually tried to make my dog vomit… I read this because I thought it would give me some info on how to make my dog *stop* throwing up.

    She has such a dodgy tummy. If she has a stomach upset, I actually lock the doggie door so she can’t go outside and eat grass (and then throw it back up inside, bless her)

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