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If your dog has ingested something harmful and you are unable to reach your local veterinary office in time, you may consider the option of inducing vomiting.
And one common home remedy that often appears online is the use of salt.
Some pet owners suggest placing a teaspoon of salt on the back of your dog’s tongue to induce vomiting.
A quick “how to make a dog vomit with salt” search on Google will even yield step-by-step instructions for this procedure.
But is it safe?
Is it recommended to induce vomiting in dogs using salt?
The answer is no; it is considered dangerous and no longer recommended. Here’s why:
Not All Dogs Will Vomit
Technically, many dogs will vomit when force-fed salt or a salt solution.
However, it’s important to note that some dogs may not vomit, which poses the BIGGEST problem with this method.
Salt is known to cause various health issues in dogs. If your dog belongs to the group that does not respond to salt, he will be at risk of two types of poisoning: the initial substance he ingested and the salt itself.
Put simply, using salt to induce vomiting can potentially put your dog in danger.
Also referred to as hypernatremia, salt poisoning is a dangerous condition that occurs when dogs consume too much sodium or suffer from acute dehydration.
It can cause a wide range of health issues depending on the amount of salt that the dog has ingested, including gastrointestinal upset, weakness, staggering, kidney failure, and neurological issues. In extreme cases, it can even lead to death, especially if not treated fast enough.
Common signs of slat poisoning in dogs include vomiting, diarrhea, incoordination, tremors, seizures, coma, and even death.
Lethargy, ataxia (unsteady gait), increased drinking and urination, shaking, seizures, coma, and death are also possible consequences if the salt dosage is high.
Irritation to the Dog’s Mouth and Tongue
While humans may find a pinch of salt in their food delicious, large quantities of salt taste terrible to dogs.
So, administering salt to your dog will always be a struggle, and may even result in you being bitten as you attempt to force salt down your pup’s throat.
The Bottom Line
Considering the numerous risks involved, using salt as a means to induce vomiting in dogs is no longer recommended.
In fact, the Pet Poison Helpline cautions:
“The use of salt to induce vomiting in dogs and cats is no longer the standard of care and is not recommended for use by pet owners or veterinarians!”
I cannot overemphasize the importance of the statement above. I can only advise you to consider an alternative method if your dog has ingested something harmful and you are unable to reach your veterinarian immediately.
And if you had already administered salt to your pup before reading this post and he has not vomited yet, consider consulting your veterinarian right away to ensure your pet’s safety.
Speaking of alternatives, consider checking out the following posts for more insights:
Dr. Rochelle Batanan (DVM) is a veterinarian based in Singapore with a wealth of experience in veterinary medicine. She obtained her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Southern Mindano and has since worked in several veterinary clinics and hospitals across Singapore and Philippines. Dr. Batanan has a special interest in small animal surgery and is skilled in a range of veterinary procedures including routine check-ups, vaccinations, and surgical operations. She is a dedicated professional who is committed to providing compassionate care to her patients and their families.