Dog with boy

Vomiting

As a dog owner, there’s something you are just going to have to get used to. Dogs do vomit from time to time. More often than not, it’s a reaction to a minor stomach upset. However, you need to know the signs in case it’s due to something more serious.

Vomit vs regurgitation

For the uninitiated, it’s easy to get vomiting and regurgitation confused. The difference being:

  • vomiting is a forceful ejection of stomach and upper intestine contents. It smells sour and contains partially digested foods and yellow bile
  • regurgitation is a relatively effortless ejection of undigested food from the oesophagus

How can I tell if my dog is about to vomit?

Some of the more common signs your dog will show include:

  • feeling anxious and restless.
  • coming to you for attention and comfort
  • drooling and swallowing repeatedly just before vomiting

What causes vomiting in dogs?

Motion sickness

It is not uncommon for dogs to suffer from motion sickness, which can make car journeys very unpleasant for all involved. Your veterinarian can prescribe medication to your dog to prevent motion sickness. The learn more about this, click here.

Stomach problems

If your dog suddenly vomits it’s usually a sign of stomach problems. The most common causes are:

  • gastritis – the number one cause, usually from eating garbage or spoiled foods
  • ingestion of toxins, grass or hairballs
  • eating too fast
  • exercising straight after eating

Acute infections

Infectious diseases can also cause acute vomiting such as:

Chronic diseases

Chronic diseases that often cause dogs to vomit include:

  • pancreatitis
  • kidney failure
  • liver failure
  • diabetes mellitus
  • addison's disease
  • cushing's disease
  • parasites
  • stomach or upper intestinal cancer
  • diseases of the inner ear

Types and causes of dog vomiting

Persistent vomiting

  • sudden, repeated retching and vomiting a frothy and clear fluid
  • if it continues it may be more serious health problem – see your vet

Sporadic vomiting

  • on and off over days or weeks may mean chronic diseases
  • have a thorough check-up to find out the underlying cause

Vomiting blood

  • may appear as fresh red blood or old coffee grounds
  • take to your vet for treatment immediately

Treatment for vomiting dogs

If your dog is a puppy, older, or has pre-existing medical problems, see your vet immediately. If your dog is alert and active and has had no previous health problems, you may want to try the following treatment at home before consulting your vet:

  • withhold food and water for at least 6 hours
  • if the vomiting stops, give your dog ice cubes to lick every three to four hours
  • gradually increase the amount of water
  • after 6 hours without vomiting, give your dog small amounts of a bland low-fat food several times a day for a few days
  • little by little, increase the amount back to your dog's normal diet.