Can You Give a Dog Too Much Hydrogen Peroxide?

Updated on May 5, 2017
alexadry profile image

Adrienne is a certified dog trainer and behavior consultant, former veterinarian assistant and author of "Brain Training for Dogs."

Find out how to safely administer hydrogen peroxide to a dog that needs to vomit.
Find out how to safely administer hydrogen peroxide to a dog that needs to vomit.

As the saying goes, "too much of a good thing can do more harm than good."

When your dog ingests something dangerous, you may decide to try hydrogen peroxide as a treatment to induce vomiting. If you are wondering whether it's possible to give too much hydrogen peroxide, the answer is both yes and no. The truth is that there are several variables that determine a safe dose of hydrogen peroxide. If you think you administered too much, please contact your vet. This article is not to be used as a substitute for professional veterinary advice, especially when timing is of the essence.

Here we will discuss:

  • Caution about hydrogen peroxide use.
  • What it is and how it works.
  • What to do it you give too much.

Caution

It is essential that you consult a veterinarian before giving your dog hydrogen peroxide. There are many cases when hydrogen peroxide can cause more damage and even be fatal.

Dogs that have already vomited, have trouble breathing, are unconscious, or are having seizures should NOT be induced to vomit. If you are unsure, play it safe and ask your vet or contact the ASPCA poison control number at 888-426-4435 (a $65 consultation fee applies). They should give you directions.

What Hydrogen Peroxide Is

Hydrogen peroxide, as the name implies is simply a liquid composed of hydrogen and oxygen (H²O²). It comes in different concentrations, some of which can be potentially toxic to dogs.

The correct percentage to induce vomiting in dogs is the 3%. This means it contains 97% water and 3% hydrogen peroxide. Most household peroxide sold at stores in the brown bottle is 3%, but it doesn't hurt to double check!

* Note: Until recently hydrogen peroxide was thought to be an effective treatment for wounds. However, research has shown that this can damage cells that are needed for healing. So if you keep hydrogen peroxide in your pet first aid kit, it should be only there to induce vomiting.

You may be alarmed to read on the label that hydrogen peroxide is toxic. Before second-guessing your vet's recommendation to it on your dog, understand that veterinarians report that it is safe to use for this purpose. According to veterinarian Dawn Ruben, the fact that the internally administered hydrogen peroxide is vomited up and does not remain in the body, it is safe to use.

How Does It Work?

Hydrogen peroxide is an irritant to the dog's intestinal tract. Basically, once it is swallowed, it generates oxygen bubbles in the stomach. When there are enough bubbles, they stretch the dog's stomach and trigger vomiting. Usually, after vomiting, the dog's stomach settles. However, if your vet advised you to make your dog vomit, consult them again for a follow-up on how to proceed from there. Some dogs require further treatment.

The correct dosage to induce vomiting in dogs is one teaspoon (5 ml) per 10 pounds of body weight, according to the pet health site Pet Place. Afterward, you would wait about 15 to 20 minutes to see if the dog vomits. Walking your dog and gently shaking his stomach may help the peroxide mix with the stomach contents so those bubbles start working their magic.

In a normal scenario, a dog that has ingested hydrogen peroxide begins to drool, gets queasy, and then vomits, expelling the harmful substance/object (be fast to remove it as some dogs will eat it again!). They should recover nicely after this.

Should no vomiting occur within about 15 to 20 minutes, you can safely repeat the dosage but only one more time, according to veterinarian Dawn Ruben. If the second dosage doesn't work within 15 minutes, it's time to contact your vet.

If You Give Too Much, Contact Your Vet

It took me almost half a day's worth of research to find out what happens to a dog that ingests too much hydrogen peroxide. The best advice I found is to consult with your vet, for several reasons. Following are some:

  1. If your dog ingested a toxin and hasn't vomited, your dog needs a stronger vomiting medication, which only your vet carries. With this medication, your dog should be able to get rid of the actual toxin and the hydrogen peroxide on top of that. Remember: Timing is of the essence. You have only two hours to empty the contents of the stomach.
  2. If your dog ingested a higher dosage than the recommended amount and doesn't vomit, there are some risks of side effects. Veterinarians report that peroxide can cause stomach ulcers. According to veterinarian Dr. Michael Salkin,prevention of ulcerative gastritis can be instituted by giving the dog an H2 blocker antacid such as famotidine for dogs better known as (Pepcid AC). Owners should monitor for ulcers, by watching for black stools, vomiting, and lethargy.

Disclaimer: this article is not to be used as a substitute for veterinary advice. If your ingested too much hydrogen peroxide consult with your vet on what to do next.

Veterinarian Discusses How to Use Hydrogen Peroxide

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

Questions & Answers

  • My dog has a huge wound on his leg. It's pretty gross, and it looks like a pitcher plant! The wound developed two days ago. He obsessively licks it, and when he licks he also rips some skin off. The wound now smells like rotten meat. We can't afford a vet. What is your advice?

    You might be dealing with a hot spot, which is very common this time of the year. If it's hairless, ugly and oozing, that's likely what it is, but only a vet can diagnose it for sure. Here's an article on hot spots:

    https://hubpages.com/animals/-Acute-Moist-Dermatit...

© 2013 Adrienne Janet Farricelli

Comments

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    • profile image

      Camille Nasca 

      2 months ago

      One of my two goldens ate part of a t-shirt last night. I gave them peroxide but they didn't throw up. I thought I gave them a lot but now I wish I had seen this article before I decided to stop. If I give it to them now can it hurt them. I am leaning toward giving it even if it's too late to work just in case. I just don't want to hurt them.

    • profile image

      ANITA CHEST 

      6 months ago

      If it been two day can i still make her vomiting

    • profile image

      Frank Mettre 

      7 months ago

      My about 4 and 6 pound dogs ate a brownie that was very heavy with chocolate (don't know what kind of chocolate) and we are giving them a little hydrogen peroxide. Please help!

    • profile image

      Megan G. 

      8 months ago

      My dog ate part of a Hershey milk chocolate bar. (I'm thinking he ate less than 2 oz.) So I gave him 10 ml of peroxide to induce vomiting, but he did not vomit. Subsequently, I discovered the amount of chocolate he ate was well below the toxic level for a 40+ pound dog. Now I'm concerned about the peroxide remaining in his system. Should I give him another dose of peroxide to try to get him to vomit, or will he be okay digesting the peroxide?

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      10 months ago from USA

      Jane, play it safe and see your vet! The amount ingested seems like a lot. Consider that although she seems fine now, liver problems may show up 2-3 days later.

    • profile image

      Jane 

      10 months ago

      My 8 month boxer puppy just ate about 2 tablespoons of xylitol two hours ago. We gave her some hydrogen peroxide but she didn’t throw up. She seems fine but we know how dangerous xylitol is for dogs. We are so scared, what should we do?

    • profile image

      Miranda 

      11 months ago

      I gave my yorkie puppy hydrogen peroxide to make him vomit an Advil tablet did both doses and he still hasn't thrown up and is curled up in a ball sleeping do I need to be scared some please help I've never had this happen before

    • profile image

      lvenable 

      12 months ago

      Today, my 17# IG got into some dark chocolate squares. I figure she ingested about 4 oz. I was within the hour, so after consulting Dr. Google, I found some peroxide, and dribbled probably about 1 tsp into her mouth. It took about 20-25 minutes, but she vomited a HUGE amount of what looked, and smelled, like dark chocolate. A bit of diarrhea, and maybe another small amount of vomit. She has been drinking water, and has some interest in food. It has been about an hour since she finally vomited. Are we out of the woods now? I chose to not take her to the vet, as they suggested when I called to use ipecac... I know better than that! We are traveling, so far from her usual vet. Thanks!

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      14 months ago from USA

      Bethany, the general dose of hydrogen peroxide is one teaspoon (which is 5 ml) per 10 pounds of body weight. Your dog is 15 pounds so correct dose would be one teaspoon and a half which is 7.5 ml. Being that you added water and therefore diluted it and being that it can be repeated twice, it shouldn't be a concern. Perhaps it's old as well (did it fizz?) which may explain why it didn't work. Oddly, some dogs vomit after quite some time in some cases. But always best keeping a watchful eye and consult with your vet any concerns : Here's a similar situation to yours

      https://www.justanswer.com/dog-health/7isor-hydrog...

    • profile image

      Bethany 

      14 months ago

      I’ve been using this remedy for years and it’s always worked well, until tonight. My dog got into some chocolate so I gave her the peroxide mixture (I learned to do it half peroxide half water) about 40 minutes ago and she hasn’t puked yet. No idea why not, it’s always worked before. Now I’m worried about the peroxide being in her system more than I’m worried about the chocolate. She didn’t have much chocolate but I didn’t want to chance it. She’s about 15# and I gave her about 10 ml peroxide/water. Is that amount of peroxide going to hurt her?

    • profile image

      Mary 

      15 months ago

      Hello,

      Is there any specific %3 hydrogen peroxide for dogs?

      Thank you

    • profile image

      ERIKA SHARMA 

      19 months ago

      Before 3 days my puppy eat pieces of blanket and slipper he had pneumonia too but pneumonia is recovered but he still weak...sudden he ate blanket cloth and pices of plastic slipper what should i do he feels pain

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      20 months ago from USA

      Sounds good, hopefully he vomited the whole piece he ingested. How is he doing now?

    • profile image

      April 

      20 months ago

      How long before his appetite comes back?

    • profile image

      ChakaAnna 

      20 months ago

      My shortybull swallowed a piece of leather from a baseball ball at the park , my BF said to not worry , but I couldn't stop , I finely phone the vet 6 hours had pass , the vet said it can cause a blockage, he is only a 42 pound shortybull, so before I went to the vet I gave him a table spoon of hydrogen peroxide and 5 min pass and he threw up his food and that huge piece of leather, I place his bed beside my bed to make sure he will be fine , and some coconut oil to coat his stomach like a tablespoon, after one hour I went to bed , he is sleeping too .

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      22 months ago from USA

      Debbie, that seems really odd. I would get him checked out for other possible causes most likely unrelated to the hydrogen peroxide episode. Beagles are happy-go-lucky dogs always eager to go sniffing and exploring, something doesn't see right!

    • profile image

      Debbie Holt 

      23 months ago

      My 7kg poodle swallowed a condom so we took him to the vet and they gave him hydrogen peroxide which made him vomit it up.

      Since then (12 days ago) he has been lethargic and not his usual happy self, just keeps putting himself to bed and sleeping so he seems unwell. He hasn't lost his appetite, no vomiting and stools appear normal. Just wondering if this is normal after HP? He is 4 years old and has never been unwell to date. Thanks

    • profile image

      Amanda 

      2 years ago

      Hi I have a 5lb chihuahua and we think she grabbed out boxers meds for seizures so we looked up how to make a dog vomit. As of right now we have given her 2.5ml of peroxide 3 times. So we gave her a dose every 15min. My question is the peroxide is a lil old and not that fizzy so could I give her one more dose because she still hasn't thrown up yet? Thanks

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      2 years ago from USA

      Hopefully your dog will vomit it up, if not see your vet. I don't think a dog would necessarily die from it, but get stomach problems or probably ulcers. Please see your vet.

    • profile image

      dana 

      2 years ago

      well I didn't know how much to give him and I made him chug a half of bottle of hydrogen peroxide so if he doesn't die i think its safe to say you cant over dose on the stuff =( fuk i hope he doesn't die

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      3 years ago from USA

      Hello, The answer to this is in my article under "But what happens if you gave more than two dosages or gave more than one teaspoon per 10 pounds of body weight and your dog hasn't vomited? " See what the vets say about this and if in doubt, seek vet help.

    • profile image

      jennifer 

      3 years ago

      So I think my dog got into something while we were gone tonight, she's been drinking lots of water and occasionally making a coughing hacking almost throw up sound. We gave her a few treats then tried a tiny capsule of peroxide, but she has not thrown up, she acted like she was going to but didn't.

      I don't want to give her more in case she didn't actually in jest something , is it ok to leave that tiny bit of peroxide in her without having her ever throw it up, she's about a 15 lb poodle mix.

      We did this before when she got into a box of ex lax and it worked wonders thankfully .

    • profile image

      Brian 

      4 years ago

      Thank you so much. you may have very well saved my dogs life today.

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      5 years ago from USA

      Thanks for the votes up Monis Mas, we always keep 3% hydrogen peroxide in our pets' first aid kit in case our vet or the ASPCA poison control would advise to induce vomiting.

    • Monis Mas profile image

      Aga 

      5 years ago

      Thanks for sharing your knowledge, alexadry. Voted up, awesome and useful.

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      5 years ago from USA

      Hello Gypsy Willow, something worth keeping in mind should an emergency ever arise and the vet recommends it.

    • Gypsy Willow profile image

      Gypsy Willow 

      5 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      Completely new to me. Thanks for the interesting update!

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      5 years ago from USA

      Monis Mas, when directed by a vet and given correctly, it can save a dog's life. When I worked for the vet, we used to recommend it often. However, some clients didn't feel comfortable so they went to the vet for their dose of apomorphine.

    • Monis Mas profile image

      Aga 

      5 years ago

      Interesting. I never heard of giving a dog hydrogen peroxide. I would be afraid to.

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