Should You Induce Vomiting in Your Pet at Home with Hydrogen Peroxide?


induce vomiting

Ah, the old heave ho!  Making a pet toss their cookies is a concept that tends to go hand-in-hand with a toxic ingestion (and it’s also the name of my blog!). Most owners are familiar with the procedure of trying to induce vomiting with hydrogen peroxide in their pet in an emergency situation.  Whether the owner does it at home, or takes their pet into the clinic to have it done, making your pet throw up is always the first step when dealing with poisons, right?




While it is often a very common treatment for many types of exposures, there are a few risks involved with giving hydrogen peroxide to an animal:

  • Aspiration – an animal that is showing sign or symptoms after having gotten into something or an animal that has a respiratory illness are both at a high risk of inhaling either the peroxide, or the vomit.
  • Vaso-vagal response – The strain of vomiting can overstimulate the vagus nerve.  This can lead to complications for pets with seizure conditions or heart issues.
  • Overdose – When administered properly, peroxide can be successful in inducing vomiting.  However, overdoses are possible and can lead to ulceration of the stomach.
  • Stomach strain – A pet who has recently had surgery for a foreign body or to be fixed should not throw up if at all possible because of the strain vomiting puts on the tummy.


There are also certain exposures where it is unsafe to make a pet throw up:

  • Caustic Substances – Bleach, batteries, or any other acidic or alkaline chemicals burn as they go down.  They also burn if they come back up, so we don’t want to make them throw up.
  • Fast-Acting Substances – If we’re expecting to see signs very quickly, inducing vomiting can be dangerous.  It would be awful for your dog to start to have a seizure in the middle of trying to administer peroxide.
  • Older Ingestions – If your pet ate something 8 hours ago, there is a possibility that inducing vomiting wouldn’t be helpful.  The time frame will vary based on what your pet ingested.
  • Substances with a High Risk of Aspiration – motor oils, soaps, cooking oils, etc. are all very easily inhaled.  Inducing vomiting in these situations is not the best option.
  • Substances that prevent vomiting – If it’s geared towards stopping vomiting, inducing vomiting is not likely to be as successful at home.

Vomiting at home (or at all) is also not something we can do with all pets:

  • Cats – Peroxide is generally not successful in cats to induce vomiting.  They also have a very high risk of inhaling peroxide, so kitties should be taken into the clinic instead of induced at home.
  • Rabbits, Rats, Guinea Pigs, and Horses – These guys can’t vomit, so we shouldn’t try to make them!
  • Birds
  • Reptiles
  • Cows, sheep, goats

After going through the whole list of times we can’t induce vomiting, there is only one way to safely induce at home, which is peroxide.  If you don’t have a bottle handy at home and your vet directs you to induce, do not try:

  • Mustard
  • Salt – Too much salt is actually toxic to pets, and giving salt to induce vomiting will only make things worse. Never, ever, ever use salt despite what you read online.
  • Ipecac
  • Sticking your hand down their throat – This is never successful, and can result in trauma to your dog, or by you being bitten.


So, if your pet swallows something it should not, your first action should be to reach for a phone to call the nearest veterinary professional – not for the bottle of peroxide.

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21 Comments on "Should You Induce Vomiting in Your Pet at Home with Hydrogen Peroxide?"

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This is great information! In my Husky Facebook group random people ALWAYS recommend using peroxide to induce vomiting…. I am always shocked that people do this without even having a clue how much to use, or even IF they should use it!!! I am bookmarking this post!
ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!


I am always surprised too! It goes to show that if it is repeated enough online, people think it must be true!


[…] signs are so serious, coffee poisoning is something with which you do not wish to play around.  Since inducing vomiting is not always the appropriate reaction to the ingestion of a poison in anima…, the first action of any owner should always be to contact a local vet or call an animal poison […]


I’ve had to induce with hydrogen peroxide in the past… it’s not pleasant, but sometimes it is the best option.


Great infor

Tenacious Little Terrier

The animal ER tells us to never induce vomiting but to bring them in. I haven’t had a situation where I’ve had to make a decision either way yet.


Really good info here! Very well researched, thank you!

Sarcastic Dog

As always,you share such important information for every pet owner! Thanks so much for sharing this post.

Fur Everywhere

I agree, you should always take you pet to the vet if they have ingested something they shouldn’t. There are just too many risks of trying to induce vomiting at home.

Talent Hounds

Great information – we always call our vet and the ASPCA Poison Hotline. The Hotline is fantastic and has vets on hand and databases for best outcomes (they charged a small fee for specific case advice- well worth it). Vomiting is not good with flat-faced breeds like Kilo the Pug but we did have to induce one time at the vet for chocolate.

Ava at Savvy Pet Care

I only have cats so this is something I definitely would not try on my own. Great information.


t. Great post in understanding what to do and when. Thank you for sharing.


I’ve had to call the vet a few times to determine the best course of action for my dog when he ate something he shouldn’t. Thanks for the reminder that not every toxin should be treated the same way. I never knew that rabbits could not vomit.


WOW! This is a scary subject. Thank you for sharing this great information – I will pin it forward.

Carol Bryant

You sure do need to ask a vet or poison control for sure – great piece!


Great info! Pnning!

Sweet Purrfections

I never knew about using peroxide. I’ll continue to rush my girls to the vet if they are having problems.

Mary E Haight

Great post! Too many try to avoid that vet bill or think it’s somehow unnecessary. It’s not, and thanks for making the possibly devastating outcomes known!