Simpson's dog Santas Little Helper and cat Snowball

Late Night Home Treatments

By isak, July 3, 2015

This information is meant as a guide for you in an urgent or late-night situation.  It is not meant to replace the examination and diagnosis of a veterinarian.  These treatments are generally safe when administered as described, but may not be appropriate in every case.  Use this information at your own discretion.

Vomiting – Remove food bowl and water bowl. Offer nothing by mouth for 4 hours. Then offer small amounts of pedialyte, gatorade or water. If your dog is able to hold the liquid down for 4-6 hours, slowly reintroduce food in small amounts. If still unable to keep food down, contact your vet.  In dogs under 10 pounds, give a small amount (about a teaspoon) of Karo Syrup, honey, or maple syrup every 2 hours while withholding food.  This will help prevent hypoglycemia.  You can also give Pepto Bismol (dogs only).  Give 1 teaspoon per 5 pounds or 1 tablespoon per 15 pounds every 2 hours. If vomiting does not improve after 3-4 doses, contact your vet.

Diarrhea – For diarrhea in dogs only, give Pepto Bismol or Kaopectate. (PLEASE DO NOT GIVE PEPTO BISMOL OR KAOPECTATE TO CATS) Give 1 teaspoon per 5 pounds or 1 tablespoon per 15 pounds every 2 hours. If diarrhea does not improve after 3-4 doses, please contact us.

Allergic Reaction – Symptoms in dogs and cats may include excessive itching, swollen face, puffy eyes, hives (bumps all over body), or vomiting.  Give Benadryl 1mg per pound every 4-8 hours. (HALF of a 25mg tablet for up to 25 pounds, WHOLE 25mg tablet for 25 pounds and up, liquid benadryl give 1 teaspoon per 10 pounds) If your dog continues to swell up or begins to have difficulty breathing due to the reaction, contact your vet immediately. If the reaction occurred after vaccinations, contact your vet so they can take precautions with future vaccines.

Pain – NEVER GIVE IBUPROFEN, TYLENOL, MOTRIN OR ALEVE TO YOUR DOG. Instead give Aspirin (Bayer Aspirin is okay) — 1 tablet (325mg) per 30 pounds every 12 hours. Baby (Children’s) Aspirin 1 tablet (81mg) per 7.5 pounds every 12 hours. NEVER GIVE ANY PAIN MEDICATION TO CATS!  If your dog needs more than two doses of aspirin, contact your vet and do not give any further doses.

Cough – For a mild cough in dogs, give Robitussin DM, 1cc per 2 pounds, 1 teaspoon per 10 pounds, 1 tablespoon per 30 pounds. Give every 4 hours, not to exceed 3 doses. If cough does not subside after a maximum of 3 doses, contact your vet.

Red or Runny Eyes – Use normal saline ophthalmic solution (regular contact solution is fine) 2-3 drops every 4 hours. DO NOT USE ANY SOLUTION WITH A STEROID (Hydrocortisone, Dexamethasone) IN IT UNTIL THE EYES HAVE BEEN EXAMINED BY A VETERINARIAN. If eyes continue to stay red for more than 24 hours, or if they become painful (usually associated with squinting), contact your vet.

Wound Care – Apply direct pressure to stop bleeding and bandage lightly if possible (almost all lacerations can be sutured satisfactorily for up to 12 hours after injury). For deeper or infected wounds, contact your vet.  If bleeding does not stop after ten minutes, take immediately to a veterinarian. Plain Neosporin or other triple antibiotic ointment can be applied safely in dogs and cats.

Seizures – In the case of a seizure, it is important to remain as calm as possible as to not further stress your pet. Reduce lighting, turn them on their side and wrap your pet in a blanket or place on something soft until seizure stops (usually 1-3 minutes). KEEP YOUR FINGERS OUT OF THEIR MOUTH, THEY WILL NOT SWALLOW THEIR TONGUE. Contact your vet as soon as possible.  If seizure continues for more than five minutes, take immediately to a veterinarian.

Itchy rash – Apply 1% Hydrocortisone cream up to every hour. Rub in well. If rash lasts more than 24 hours, it spreads or if skin becomes broken from excessive licking/scratching, contact your vet.

Constipation – For constipation problems give Dulcolax; 1 tablet every 8 hours (max 4 doses). Benefiber can be mixed with food at 1 teaspoon per 20 pounds daily to improve quality of bowel movements.  If your pet is still unable to have a bowel movement within 24 hours, contact your vet.

Induce Vomiting – To induce vomiting, give Hydrogen Peroxide by mouth — 1 teaspoon per 5-10 pounds every 10 minutes until effective for a maximum of three doses. Induce vomiting only after speaking to a veterinarian or poison control center.

Source: Lakeside VetsAnimated gif at top of page: Simpson’s dog Santa’s Little Helper and cat Snowball



  1. Vhon says:

    My 4 month old ShihTzu pup committed several times yesterday and today. Vomit color and consistency is very saliva-like but bubbly and in little amounts. I noticed her stomach convulsing uncontrollably about 2 days ago, then it happened again on the next day, which was yesterday, both happened between mid-morning and mid-afternoon. Today, she pooped 7 times in small amounts. It’s like spaghetti sauce in color and consistency, just a bit thicker, I think. It’s not watery yet. I’m scared. It might lead to that. I’m not sure if it’s parvo but she has lost her appetite and has not eaten anything the whole day. Please advice. Thanks.

    • isak says:

      Your best bet if you suspect parvo is to have your vet test her. Given her young age and that you say she only vomited bubbly saliva, it could also mean that she ate something she should not have. When dogs have an upset stomach, they will often not eat. You can try canned Turkey Friskies food for cats or even Gerber 2 Chicken baby food (make sure it has NO onions; just chicken and water). These often work when nothing else does.

      Is she drinking water normally or even more than usual? With parvo, they will not drink water either. Diarrhea can become a serious and life threatening condition if sufficient water is not replenished. They can become dehydrated quickly.

  2. Karen says:

    just wanted to say thanks for helping out here with my last problem. The dogs did well on the plain yogurt and pumpkin supplements to the chicken and rice. The both survived their ordeal. Later I was checking about flea medicine because my husband had tried a new one to save money and I am hoping that was not what made them sick. We will never use it again.

  3. Karen says:

    Addendum on the 2 bassett hounds: I actually was wondering what could have made them ill. No changes were made. I’m concerned about the back yard and possible causes. They have both eaten feces for years and though everything was tried the problem remained. One just goes and turns around and eats it. The other eats it randomly. Both were recently tested for worms.

    • isak says:

      Were they recently treated for anything either orally or via vaccination? If they were treated orally for anything, pooped, and then they turned around and ate the poop, they may have received in essence an overdose of the oral treatment. This is a serious problem where dogs eat horse manure as they can receive a dangerous dosage of ivermectin. Some dogs cannot tolerate ivermectin (often used in heart worm preventative). But the same could happen with any oral treatments. Otherwise it sounds like they found something in the yard to eat that did not agree with them.

  4. Karen says:

    Both my Bassett Hounds got stomach illness a couple of days ago. They are age 13 and 10. At times it was difficult to know who vomited when I woke up or left the room briefly. We held their regular food for 24-48 hours after. Started with chicken and rice in small amounts. The vomiting stopped, then liquid diarrhea. Pepto effective (10 cc is about all I can get in to them). the 10 year old stopped before the 13 year old started today mustard color watery. Pepto effective. Were fed tonight with small amount of moistened dry food they usually get. From reading other posts sounds like they could benefit from plain yogurt and maybe plain pumpkin. Ideas?

    • isak says:

      Yes to the plain yogurt and plain pumpkin. And I would continue it for a few days. You may also want to continue the chicken and rice a bit longer or mix their regular moistened dry food with the rice.

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