My dog ate a tea bag! What the vet said.

Our small town recently got its own coffee house! But it is closed on Sundays. So my daughter surprised me with the chai latte she knew I was craving.

Our sweet doggy decided that the tea bag was hers and gulped it down before we knew what happened. Now a tea bag is small, and my dog is a decent size at 31 pounds. Caffeine is toxic, but I didn’t think that would be enough to put her in any real danger. Still better safe than sorry, I called the vet’s office to double’ check.

They said that much caffeine was not likely to hurt her, but the bag could cause a blockage and if she got a staple down that could cause problems too. It would be best if I could induce vomiting.

How do you induce vomiting on a 30 pound dog?

Make her drink 50-60 cc of Hydrogen Peroxide. (about 2 tablespoons) They suggested I “try” to make her drink 5 tablespoons. After you count what she managed to spit and drool out, I probably did get close to 2 tablespoons down her. 25 minutes later she started vomiting. We looked through the foam and black grounds to make sure the bag was out, gave her some water to get the taste out and settle her stomach, and finally let her return to the house.

She is hiding in her kennel as I write, not sure what she did to warrant such horrible treatment. I am usually so kind – but this was even worse than trim day! (The day that I subject her to a sanitary cut and trim her nails and paw fur)

What should I do it my dog swallows a tea bag?

It is strange what a dog will decide is edible, isn’t it? If your dog swallows a tea bag or anything else that you think may be toxic, the first thing you should do is remove them from the danger zone. Then call your local vet. Many vets will forward your call to an emergency number if you call outside of regular office hours, so don’t worry about if they are open. Your vet will ask questions and help decide how toxic the substance is and what dosage of peroxide to induce vomiting. suggests 1ml (1cc) per pound of dog. 5ml equal 1 teaspoon, 15ml equal 1 tablespoon. In our case, 3o pound dog = 30 ml = 2 tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide. This dose can be repeated after 15 minutes if it does not cause your dog to vomit. (My dog took 25 minutes to get sick, but you could tell she wasn’t feeling good within 5.) Be sure to clean up after your dog and if you aren’t sure what they ate, you may want to save a sample for the vet.


  • Be careful not to get bitten! My dog is very sweet and submissive and pretty well behaved. But she did bite me a few times in her struggle to get away from having peroxide poured down her throat. (I do not think she even realized it – she was just trying to clamp her mouth shut and back away.) I minimized this by having a friend hold her still while I slipped my fingers in the area between her canines and molars, where the teeth are smaller and more spread out.
  • Surprisingly, my dog did drink some of the peroxide willingly. So give your dog a chance to like a little up before you force it.
  • This is stressful and messy business (obviously) Try to do it outside, away from other pets and small kids. A fenced in back yard is perfect.


  1. Sarah Q. on March 21, 2020 at 8:56 am

    I’ve been most successful inducing vomiting by just mixing the hydrogen peroxide with a little water or even a splash of milk or creamer. Just a splash won’t hurt and it will help mask the hydrogen peroxide. Plus they will be vomiting it back up. Instead of forcefully pouring it in your dogs mouth just put it in water bowl with a splash of something that may be appetizing to your pup.

    • Michelle on March 26, 2020 at 10:17 pm

      That sounds like a good idea Sarah! I would still suggest everybody call their vet first, just in case their dog swallowed something that should not be vomited up or something that should not be mixed with milk.

      I will have to remember that trick if she gets hold of anything else potentially dangerous.

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