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There can be many different reasons why a dog is vomiting and it can be a worrying time if it’s not something they have experienced before. While the majority of vomiting cases will subside within 24 hours, continuous vomiting in a dog or if there is blood in their vomit can be a sign of something more worrying and may require urgent attention from a veterinary surgeon.

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Animal Trust

How do I know if my dog is feeling sick?

Unlike humans, dogs are unable to explain how they are feeling. Symptoms of sickness in dogs is subtle, meaning it’s important to be aware of the signs. The sooner you notice that your dog may be experiencing sickness, the quicker you can help them feel better again.

A key sign to be aware of is your dog wrenching or heaving from the stomach, but not being physically sick. Dogs perform this motion to help relieve the sickness feeling. If your dog is showing this kind of behaviour,  we recommend seeking professional help to diagnose the issue.

Symptoms of your dog feeling sick

Why is my dog vomiting?

There are several lower-risk causes why your dog is vomiting, with one of the most common causes for a dog to vomit being an upset stomach.

Conditions which cause vomiting in dogs include:

How to care for your dog if they’ve been sick

If your dog has been sick once and is otherwise well in themselves, follow the steps below to care for them while monitoring their behaviour closely for any sudden changes. If their condition worsens or if they’re vomiting blood, call your vet immediately.

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What to do if your Dog is Vomiting Bile

If your dog is vomiting bile, this is a fairly common occurrence which can happen when the dog’s stomach is empty. Foam like and yellow in colour, some dogs will vomit bile often and is no cause for concern.

Should I contact a vet if my dog has vomited?

If your dog is vomiting chronically and/or they are showing any of the below symptoms, consult your local veterinary surgery as soon as possible for advice.

Diagnosis and treatment of vomiting in dogs

When you take your dog to the vet, they will ask questions to understand the history of your dog’s symptoms. This will include; how long has your dog been vomiting for, have they shown any other symptoms, for example, has your dog vomited blood, bile, or shown any signs of foaming at the mouth and has there been any recent changes to their diet? 

Once you have answered these questions, the vet will give your dog a full clinical examination and discuss the possible causes for their vomiting. The vet may also decide to take a urine sample for testing and/or examine your dog’s faeces for any foreign bodies. For more definitive answers, blood work and X-rays can be performed.


More serious medical and life-threatening conditions may require a dog to be hospitalised and connected to intravenous fluids to help with dehydration. 

As always, it’s important if you are concerned about any changes in your dog’s condition or behaviour, consult your veterinarian for advice. Consultations with Animal Trust will always be free for everyone – find your nearest local surgery

For more information on what to do if your dog is sick, an expert member of the Animal Trust team is more than happy to help.

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