Vomiting in Dogs

Dogs are cherished members of our families, bringing joy and companionship. However, just like humans, dogs can experience health issues, including vomiting. Vomiting in dogs can be a sign of various underlying problems, ranging from mild to severe. As responsible pet owners, it’s crucial to understand the causes, treatments, and when to seek professional assistance.

Read More: Bordetella in Dogs

Introduction to Vomiting in Dogs

Vomiting in dogs can be a concerning issue for pet owners. Just like humans, dogs can experience episodes of vomiting, and while occasional vomiting might not be uncommon, it’s essential to understand the underlying causes, possible treatments, and when to seek veterinary assistance.

Understanding Dog Vomiting

Vomiting in Dogs

What is Vomiting?

Vomiting, often referred to as “throwing up,” is the forceful expulsion of stomach contents through the mouth. It’s a protective mechanism that the body uses to eliminate harmful substances.

Is Vomiting Different from Regurgitation?

Yes, vomiting is distinct from regurgitation. Vomiting involves active abdominal contractions and is usually preceded by nausea. Regurgitation, on the other hand, is a passive process where undigested food is brought up from the oesophagus without abdominal effort.

Common Causes of Vomiting in Dogs

Dietary Indiscretions

Dogs are notorious for eating things they shouldn’t. This can include consuming spoiled food, foreign objects, or even scavenging from the trash.

Ingestion of Toxins

Certain foods, plants, medications, and chemicals can be toxic to dogs. Ingesting these substances can lead to vomiting as the body tries to expel them.

Gastrointestinal Obstruction

If a dog swallows a non-digestible object like a toy or bone, it can cause a blockage in the gastrointestinal tract, leading to vomiting in dogs.

Motion Sickness

Just like humans, dogs can experience motion sickness during car rides. This can result in vomiting due to the discomfort.

Less Common Causes


Inflammation of the pancreas, known as pancreatitis, can lead to vomiting and other digestive issues in dogs.

Kidney or Liver Disease

Underlying kidney or liver problems can manifest as vomiting, indicating the need for thorough medical evaluation.


Certain infections, such as parvovirus or gastrointestinal parasites, can trigger vomiting episodes.

Metabolic Disorders

Conditions like diabetes or hyperthyroidism can lead to vomiting as a secondary symptom.

When to Be Concerned

Persistent Vomiting

If your dog vomits repeatedly within a short period or over an extended period, it’s a cause for concern.

Blood in Vomit

The presence of blood in vomit, indicated by red or dark brown specks, requires immediate veterinary attention.

Lethargy and Weakness

If vomiting is accompanied by lethargy, weakness, or other abnormal behaviours, it’s essential to seek professional help.

Home Care and Treatment

separation anxiety in dogs

Withholding Food

Giving your dog’s stomach a break by withholding food for 12-24 hours can help resolve minor digestive disturbances.

Reintroducing a Bland Diet

After the fasting period, reintroduce a bland diet of boiled rice and lean protein to ease digestion.

Ensuring Hydration

Offer water frequently to prevent dehydration, especially if vomiting is causing fluid loss.

Over-the-Counter Medications

Consult your vet before administering any medications, as some can worsen certain conditions.

When to Consult a Vet

Red Flags to Watch For

If your dog’s condition worsens, or if you notice severe symptoms like severe abdominal pain, it’s time to consult a vet.

Diagnostic Tests

Your veterinarian may recommend blood tests, X-rays, ultrasounds, or other diagnostic measures to pinpoint the underlying cause.

Professional Guidance

A veterinarian can provide specific treatment tailored to your dog’s condition, ensuring a safe and speedy recovery.

Preventing Vomiting

How Much Chicken and Rice to Feed Your Dog When It’s Sick?

Choosing the Right Diet

Select a high-quality, balanced diet suitable for your dog’s age, size, and health status.

Pet-Proofing Your Home

Keep harmful substances out of your dog’s reach to prevent accidental ingestions.

Gradual Diet Changes

When transitioning to a new diet, do it gradually to avoid digestive upsets.

Caring for a Vomiting Dog

Providing Comfort

Create a calm and quiet environment to help your dog rest and recover.

Monitoring Progress

Track your dog’s improvement and note any changes in behavior or appetite.

Following Veterinarian Advice

Adhere to the vet’s instructions for medications, diet, and follow-up appointments.

Read More: Common Injuries in Dogs: How to Treat Them


  1. Can I give my dog human anti-nausea medication? It’s best to consult your vet before giving any medication to your dog, as some human medications can be harmful.
  2. How can I tell if my dog’s vomiting is serious? Persistent vomiting, blood in vomit, lethargy, and weakness are signs that warrant veterinary attention.
  3. Should I change my dog’s diet after a vomiting episode? Once your dog has fully recovered, consult your vet before making any diet changes.
  4. Can stress or anxiety cause vomiting in dogs? Yes, stress or anxiety can lead to gastrointestinal upset and vomiting in some dogs.
  5. Is vomiting always a sign of a serious illness? While vomiting can indicate various issues, it’s not always a sign of a severe illness. However, persistent vomiting should be addressed by a vet.


Vomiting in dogs can be concerning, but with proper understanding and proactive care, you can help your furry friend recover quickly. Remember, your veterinarian is your best ally in ensuring your dog’s health and well-being.