As a dog owner, witnessing your pet vomiting can be alarming. It is important to understand the reasons why your pet may be vomiting as well as to recognise when it is a sign of a serious problem that requires veterinary attention.

Causes of vomiting in dogs 

There are many possible causes for vomiting in dogs, including: 

  • Dietary indiscretion: Dogs often explore the world with their mouths, leading to the ingestion of inappropriate items like spoiled foods, garbage, or toxic plants. 
  • Speedy eaters: Some dogs eat too fast, swallowing air along with their food, which can lead to regurgitation or vomiting. 
  • Motion sickness: Car rides or other travel can upset a dog’s stomach, similar to how some people experience seasickness. 
  • Parasitic problems: Intestinal worms or other parasites can interfere with a dog’s digestive health. 
  • Toxic reactions: Consumption of poisonous substances, including snail baits, cleaning products, plants, or medications. 
  • Underlying illnesses: Chronic conditions such as kidney or liver disease, pancreatitis, or hormonal imbalances like diabetes can manifest through vomiting.  

 

 What to do when your dog vomits 

When your dog begins to vomit you can: 

  • Tidy up the vomit. Some dogs will try to eat it (gross, we know!) 
  • Withhold food for 3-4 hours.  
  • Monitor their symptoms closely. Keep an eye on your dog’s general health, noting any additional symptoms (e.g. diarrhoea and inappetence) or changes in behaviour. Keep an eye out for the signs that indicate they might need veterinary help.  
  • Keep them hydrated. Offer small sips of water regularly to keep your dog hydrated without overwhelming their stomach. 

 

When to seek veterinary care 

It’s crucial to differentiate between a one-off incident and symptoms that require veterinary attention. Here are some signs that you should take your dog to the vet: 

  • Repeated episodes: If your dog vomits several times in a day or over consecutive days, it’s a sign that something more serious may be happening. 
  • Concurrent symptoms: Be alert for other signs of illness, such as diarrhoea, lethargy, changes in appetite, or signs of pain. 
  • Blood: Blood in the vomit, whether bright red or resembling coffee grounds, is an urgent matter that needs immediate veterinary attention.  
  • Non-productive vomiting: Repeated dry heaving or retching without producing vomit can indicate bloat, which is an emergency. 

 

If your dog is showing any of the above, or you’re worried about their vomiting, call your nearest Greencross Vets or emergency veterinary hospital. 

 

How to help your dog recover from vomiting episodes 

Once the vomiting has stopped, you can support your dog’s recovery with gentle care: 

  • Rest: Ensure your dog has a quiet place to rest and recover without stress or disturbance. 
  • Re-introduce food with a bland diet: Gradually reintroduce food with a short-term bland diet, starting with small, frequent meals of boiled chicken and rice or a gastrointestinal support diet recommended by your veterinarian.  
  • Monitor their hydration: Continue to provide access to clean water, encouraging your dog to drink regularly but not excessively. 
  • Slowly transition back to their normal diet: Slowly reintroduce your dog back to their usual diet, by mixing it with the cooked chicken and rice over several days