Any dog owner knows that vomiting happens, but there are some signs that tell you whether or not it’s a big deal. If your dog throws up and then calmly walks away from it, they don’t need to see a vet.
However, if they seem lethargic or have trouble breathing after vomiting, take them to the vet immediately.
If your dog is a relatively healthy animal, chances are that the occasional vomit episode is nothing to worry about. The most common reasons for vomiting in dogs include overeating or consuming too much water at once.
Other minor causes could be stress from a recent trip to the vet’s office, an overly rich meal, or even anxiety when staying home alone.
Related: Learn About Healthy Dog Foods | Best Food For Your Pet Dogs
What is Vomiting?
Vomiting is the act of expelling stomach contents through the mouth. Vomiting can be caused by a number of factors, including infections, ingested poisons or toxins, and physiological changes in your dog’s body.
The vomitus will consist of partially digested food and may smell foul.
Why might my dog vomit?
*Stress or anxiety:
A dog’s stomach can be sensitive, especially if it’s empty. A few things that could cause your dog to throw up food are stress or anxiety, eating too fast or not chewing their food well enough, and having an upset stomach.
If you recently rescued a new pet, there may be some throwing up of undigested food for the first few days.
* Physical activity after eating or drinking too much water
If your dog is into running with you or you’re taking a training class where you’re using food as a reward, you might want to watch how much he has right before or during activity.
If he eats or drinks too much water while active this could lead to vomiting. If this is the case, you’ll likely see undigested food.
Like humans, dogs can get a stomach bug. Most of these bugs run their course in 24 -48 hours, but there are some that might require medical treatment.
If your dog is vomiting, seems lethargic, or is running a fever, give your vet a call and they’ll let you know if you need to bring your pet in for treatment.
*Ingesting something poisonous or toxic:
If your dog is throwing up, make sure to retrace your steps. What have they eaten recently? If they’ve gotten ahold of something they shouldn’t have eaten, that could be the cause of the vomiting.
Common items that they may have eaten include chocolate, onions, garlic, plants, or even big pieces of a toy. Try to identify what they are?
What can you do at home to stop your dog from vomiting?
It can be hard to tell if your dog is vomiting because of a dietary issue or an illness. Yellow bile vomit and antacid use can be signs of eating too fast, but other causes include diet and worms.
If your dog is throwing up undigested food, it could be a sign of something serious. Dr. Tashjian offers advice on how to help your pet and what to do if you think she’s sick: “I always recommend that pet parents seek veterinary care right away for vomiting and/or diarrhea that doesn’t resolve quickly.
She also recommends that dogs who have a history of chronic vomiting should be checked for structural problems. “A lot of times people don’t get it checked out because they think the dog will feel better if he/she just stops eating, but in reality, dogs with GI [gastrointestinal] issues can be miserable and sometimes even die from dehydration.
*Wait before feeding them again:
If your dog is still hungry, give them a little time for their stomach to settle.
You can even hold off on giving them a drink to help make sure it doesn’t come right back up. Just don’t wait too long because vomiting can cause some dehydration. If you have concerns, work with your vet to form a plan. Try to keep your pet calm and at a comfortable temperature so you don’t exacerbate the dehydration.
*Try a temporary bland diet:
If your dog’s throwing up undigested food, consider offering lean hamburger meat or boiled chicken and rice. Pumpkin can also help settle his stomach.
Ollie’s Turkey recipe uses a generous dose of pumpkin to make it easy to digest for pups with sensitive bellies. If you’re feeding canned pumpkin, use plain pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie filling. The latter can contain spices and sweeteners that are not good for dogs.
*Change your pet’s food:
If you think your dog is throwing up because of a sensitive stomach, talk to a vet about changing their diet. They will want to make sure the food avoids any irritation or discomfort for your pet.
You may need to gradually change their diet over the course of at least 7-10 days so they can adjust to it.
Try a “puzzle feeder” or slow feeder:
Sometimes dogs throw up undigested food. This is likely because they ate too quickly and it wasn’t processed well enough in their stomachs. If this happens, try a slow feeder to help them eat more slowly and process the food better. The Outward Hound puzzle feeders are popular for this purpose.