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    What to do if your Dog is Vomiting

    What to do if your Dog is Vomiting

    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.

    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:

  • Eating less of or refusing food
  • Swallowing/licking excessively
  • Drooling
  • Vomiting
  • Attempting to eat grass (to make themselves 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.

    Eating food too quickly

    If a dog gulps their food down too quickly they can digest air at the same which can cause their stomach to expand, resulting in vomiting.

    Exercising straight after eating food

    Not providing adequate time for food to digest and settle can cause indigestion and discomfort in dogs, just like it can in humans.

    Your dog has motion sickness

    Motion sickness isn’t uncommon in dogs and can occur when travelling in a vehicle often or for a period of time.


    Conditions which cause vomiting in dogs include:

  • Food allergies
  • Viral infections (parvovirus, canine distemper virus)
  • A sudden change to their diet, such as new food
  • Eating food that doesn’t agree with them, such as treats or human food that is toxic to your pet’s health
  • Inflammation of the stomach (gastroenteritis and can be linked to stomach ulcers)
  • Inflammation of the stomach (gastroenteritis and can be linked to stomach ulcers)

  • Vomiting in dogs can also be due to something more serious or a critical medical condition such as the following:
  • Kidney failure
  • Ingestion of a toxic substance, like plants and flowers for example, or a foreign object
  • Addison’s disease
  • Pyometra
  • Parasites including Lyme disease
  • Bladder/intestinal obstruction
  • Neoplasia
  • Inflammatory bowel disease

  • 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.

    Withhold food.

    Between 12-24 hours, withhold your dog’s food and begin re-introducing their usual diet gradually over a period of 24-48 hours if they have shown no further signs of vomiting.

    Provide smaller, simple meals.

    Serving a bland diet of small portions of boiled rice and chicken is recommended for dogs after vomiting as anything too rich or fatty may aggravate their symptoms.

    Provide plenty of fresh water.

    It’s important that after your dog has vomited to help them avoid becoming dehydrated by providing clean, fresh water. If your dog begins to drink more or less water, this could be a cause for concern and you should consult a vet as soon as possible.

    Allow them to rest.

    Don’t force your dog to play or walk if they don’t seem interested. Their body will need to naturally recover after vomiting, which is generally over a period of 1-2 days.


    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.

  • A bloated tummy
  • Changes in bowel movements i.e. diarrhoea
  • The dog is in pain
  • Blood in vomit or stools
  • Disorientation or collapsing
  • 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.

    Concerned About Your Pet? Act Now!

    Animal Trust is a trading name of Animal Trust Vets CIC, a community interest company registered in England and Wales. Company Registration No: 07938025

    Registered Office: Animal Trust Administration Centre, Cedab Road, Ellesmere Port, CH65 4FE