Why Do Dogs Throw Up? Not Pretty, But Important!
8 September, 2014

Our dogs love to gobble down their food and sometimes they eat something that doesn’t sit just right and you know the outcome. They vomit all over the house.  Not the prettiest subject matter, but it’s important to understand the different reasons your dog might vomit.  If it is just a one-time occurrence, there is nothing to worry about as your dog probably just gobbled his food too quickly.

If your dog vomits yellow foam, it’s probably a digestion issue

If your dog may vomits yellow foam, it usually is because his stomach is empty and the bile can be irritating. If your dog is otherwise healthy and he’s eating normally, it may help to reduce the time in between meals. But this doesn’t mean that your dog should be fed more. Instead, one meal can be divided into two or three smaller but more frequent feedings.

If your dog vomits more than once, take your dog to the vet

If your dog vomits more than once, it can be associated with some sort of gastrointestinal disorder. An occasional, isolated bout of vomiting may not be of concern. However, frequent or chronic vomiting can be a sign of a more serious condition, such as colitis, intestinal obstruction or parvovirus. If your dog’s vomiting is not an isolated incident, please bring him to the vet right away for a complete examination and diagnostic testing.

why does my dog vomit

Below are some things you should watch out for when taking your dog to the vet

The causes of vomiting are so varied that sometimes your vet might have difficulty making a diagnosis, so it’s important to give your veterinarian as much information as possible and indicate if other signs are also occurring. What to watch for:

Frequency of vomiting. If your dog vomits once and proceeds to eat regularly and have a normal bowel movement, the vomiting was most likely an isolated incident.

What to expect at the vet

Depending on your pet’s age, medical history, physical examination findings and your dog’s particular symptoms, your veterinarian may choose to perform various diagnostic tests (bloodwork, radiographs, ultrasound, fecal examination, endoscopy, biopsy or even exploratory surgery) in order to make a diagnosis. 

Below are some reasons why your dog might start vomiting

Bacterial infection of the gastrointestinal tract, diet-related causes (diet change, food intolerance, ingestion of garbage), foreign bodies (i.e. toys, bones,) in the gastrointestinal tract, intestinal parasites, acute kidney failure, acute liver failure or gall bladder inflammation, pancreatitis, post-operative nausea, ingestion of toxic substances, viral infections, certain medications, heat stroke, car sickness, or infections.

Vomiting that occurs sporadically or irregularly over a longer period of time can be due to stomach or intestinal inflammation, severe constipation, cancer, kidney dysfunction, liver disease or systemic illness.

How to treat your dog that vomits

If your dog has vomited and you want to try to treat him or her yourself, you can treat your dog as you would a baby or sick child.  Give your do some soft bland foods such as boiled potatoes, rice and well-cooked, skinless chicken. It’s very important that your dog stays hydrated and drinks lots of water.  You can try this first if you think your dog just ate something that didn’t agree with him.

In certain situations, your dog may need fluid therapy, antibiotics, a change of diet, a prescription to help control vomiting or other medication.  As always, it’s best to follow your veterinarian’s recommendations regarding appropriate treatment.


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