Better Safe Than Sorry


Let me just start with the moral of this story first: If you have a dog, keep some nice, fresh hydrogen peroxide on hand, won’t you?

Last night, I’m feeding my three-year-old grandson dinner, and he wants to simultaneously play with these little wooden cubes at the same time. The cubes are about a quarter-inch cubes, and have a tiny magnet glued on one side; they are supposed to be arranged in various artful ways in the accompanying metal tray. Because he’s actually a little young to play with this particular toy, and is more fond of just scrambling them around, I tell him, “You can play with them for a minute, but make sure they stay in the tray, okay? I don’t want them on the floor.”

Of course, within a minute he’s done something that caused several of the cubes to leap out of the tray, and a few fall to the floor – and as they do, my current foster dog, a young coonhound, leaps for them.  I yell, “Hey!” trying to stop her forward momentum, but she manages to snatch one up; I hear it clinking on her molars. And just as fast, she runs from the room.

I run down the hall after her, into the living room. She’s happy with this game. She leaps onto the couch and faces me, panting happily. Her mouth is empty. I look around the room; she’s dropped no cubes in there.  I retrace our steps; no dropped cubes in the hall. I carefully pick up the ones on the kitchen floor, from under my grandson’s chair, feeling them to see if they are wet with dog spit. Nope, they are all dry.


Crud. Is one missing? As quickly as I can, I arrange them by color in the tray. There are supposed to be 10 of each color. I start with the dark colors – 10, 10, 10, 10… –  and work myself up to the brightest yellow, the last color. NINE. Crud crud crud. That’s when I started looking for the hydrogen peroxide, to make that coonhound vomit. CAN a quarter-inch cube make it through the dog without harm? I’d rather it come out how it went in, and now.

But guess what? We are all out of peroxide.

And my next door neighbors are not home.

And my sister is not home at her house, several blocks away.

At this point, I turn the three-year-old over to my husband, put the coonhound in the car, and race to CVS, race home with a bottle of hydrogen peroxide, and give her the first dose. Within 10 minutes she starts looking restless and unhappy, and drinks a bunch of water, but after 10 more minutes, hasn’t vomited, so I give her some more. About 10 minutes later, she vomits. The first round is grass and a little food and water. The next bit is watery bile. The last one is tiny, just a bit of watery bile. No cube.

I consult with the veterinary technician from my shelter, the one that I am fostering the hound for. She is unfazed. “Meh, give her some food, maybe some canned pumpkin, watch her, I’m sure it will go through,” she tells me. 

Meanwhile, my husband is looking under the sofas and beds, in every room the cubes have been played with. Because the cubes have been spilled out of their tray before, many times, he’s certain the set wasn’t complete to begin with, though he agrees that it’s weird that just ONE is missing. “I thought there were at least four or five missing,” he says.

The hound ate dinner with gusto. And breakfast this morning.

As I write this, it’s lunchtime. No poop yet, though I will be examining it when it happens. I won’t be letting her out of my sight for a while.  And, truthfully, if I know myself, I will most likely end up bringing her to the vet for an x-ray, even though the shelter vet tech says it’s not necessary. I just hate not knowing whether or not she actually swallowed one – AND I hate the feeling I have that if I had been able to make her vomit immediately, I would have known for sure whether she had swallowed a cube or not.

I’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, check your hydrogen peroxide supply, won’t you?

How to Make Your Dog Vomit

A note on the dosage mentioned in the linked article: You will find other Internet searches that recommend 1 teaspoon per TEN pounds of body weight, with a maximum dose of 3 tablespoons, no matter the dog’s weight. Our veterinary sources recommend the more assertive dose of 1 teaspoon per FIVE pounds of body weight, but still suggest no more than 3 tablespoons no matter the dog’s weight.