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A dogs is often like a 2-year-old. It is extremely curious, and will put nearly anything into its mouth. Unfortunately, curiosity can kill or sicken the dog if it eats certain foods, including onions, grapes or raisins, medications or dark chocolate. If you come in and see your dog with that "I didn't do it" look on its face, and then notice the evidence, such as an empty, tattered candy wrapper or spilled bottle of pills, do not hesitate. You must make it throw up immediately to avoid damage to its kidneys, liver or worse.
If you are 90 percent certain that your pet has ingested a chocolate bar, a bottle of pills, a box of raisins, most of an onion, coffee grounds, a flower bulb or other item toxic to dogs, you must get the dangerous substance out of the dog's stomach quickly. The best place to do this is outside in your yard, but if you live in a high-rise, or if it is mid-winter and there is a foot of snow in your yard, you may perform this procedure in a room that has a tile or linoleum floor. Cover the floor with old newspapers if you do not want to scrub the floor afterward.
Ensure that the dog is outside in the yard or indoors on some newspaper before proceeding. Retrieve a bottle of hydrogen peroxide from your first-aid cabinet and pour a teaspoonful into a small spoon.
Hold the dog's upper jaw with your left thumb and index finger if you are right-handed. Hold the spoon of peroxide between your right thumb and forefinger; tilt the head back and press down with the right fingers on the dog's lower front teeth to keep the mouth open. Quickly pour the spoonful of hydrogen peroxide as far back on the tongue as possible. Close the dog's mouth and rub its throat to make it swallow.
Stand back, because as soon as the hydrogen peroxide begins to bubble in the dog's throat, it will initiate the gag reflex. The dog's abdomen will start to contract rhythmically and the dog will stretch its head out and slightly lower it. Continue to talk quietly and reassuringly to the dog to keep it calm.
Remain patient as the dog empties its stomach. Sometimes it may appear that the dog is done throwing up and it begins again. If you are in the yard, lead the dog away from the area where it threw up to prevent it from ingesting the harmful material again. If you are indoors, roll up the soiled newspapers and dispose of them as soon as the dog has emptied all stomach contents.
Provide water for the dog to drink afterward, as it will most likely be quite thirsty.
- dog image by Michal Tudek from Fotolia.com