If your dog keeps throwing up, it's important that you understand what the problem is and how you can solve it. Read our article to understand this issue.
Vomiting is one of the most common reasons that pets are brought to the vet for emergency care. Seeing your furry friend throwing up can be worrisome. Perhaps you're thinking that he was poisoned or ate something he shouldn't have.
While dog vomiting can indicate an underlying condition, that's not always the case. Sometimes, vomiting is a sign of car sickness, overeating, or even stress. However, if your dog keeps throwing up for no obvious reason, take him to a vet immediately.
Vomiting accompanied by diarrhea could be caused by metabolic diseases, developmental and physical obstructions, hepatic disorders, and more. But it could also indicate dietary indiscretion, motion sickness, and other less serious issues.
Depending on the cause, you may be able to help your pet feel better after throwing up. Here are some possible reasons why your dog is vomiting and what to do about it.
Vomiting vs. Regurgitation
First, make you can tell the difference between vomiting and regurgitation, which have similar symptoms.
Generally, vomiting is accompanied by nausea. Your dog may be licking his lips and drip saliva before throwing up. You may also see his abdominal muscles contracting repeatedly.
Vomit typically contains yellow bile along with tiny pieces of food. Stomach gurgling may occur too.
Regurgitation doesn't involve any abdominal effort. Your dog will simply open his mouth and eliminate undigested food, mucus, and saliva. There should be no traces of bile or partially digested food as it happens with vomiting.
These are two different processes with different causes. Regurgitation often indicates a problem with the esophagus, while vomiting can have gastric or non-gastric causes.
Why Your Dog Keeps Throwing Up
Vomiting is an active process, causing the stomach muscles to contract. Regurgitation, on the other hand, is a passive process. Common causes of vomiting in dogs include:
- Motion sickness
- Peptic ulcers
- Viral or bacterial infections
- Roundworms and other intestinal parasites
- Dietary indiscretion (ingestion of non-edible items like sticks, bones, or hairs)
- Delayed gastric emptying
- Bowel obstruction
- Some medications and supplements
In some cases, dog vomiting may indicate more serious issues, like kidney failure, pancreatitis, or liver diseases.
If your furry friend has diabetes, he may experience vomiting, lethargy, and poor appetite. These symptoms often occur when there isn’t enough insulin in the body.
Food allergies and sensitivities are common causes of vomiting in dogs. In this case, your pet may also experience gas, diarrhea, skin redness, itching, and hair loss. Coughing, sneezing, wheezing, and skin inflammation may occur as well.
If, say, your dog is allergic to specific proteins in food, he may be constantly sneezing and vomiting. The best thing you can do is to try an elimination diet.
Sudden onset of vomiting in puppies may be due to the canine parvovirus, canine distemper, and other infectious agents. These disorders are life-threatening and require immediate treatment.
Dogs that eat spoiled or raw food and non-edible items may develop acute gastritis. This condition causes inflammation of the stomach lining. Its primary symptoms include sudden vomiting, abdominal pain, low energy, dehydration, and excessive thirst.
A dog with gastritis may expel blood in his vomit or feces. If you notice this symptom, seek emergency care.
Beware of Poisoning Symptoms in Dogs
Any of the above conditions can lead to vomiting. Although this symptom isn't always a reason for concern, it's better to stay on the safe side and call a vet.
Be particularly wary of the symptoms of poisoning in dogs.
Besides vomiting, this condition may cause seizures, diarrhea, irregular heartbeat, difficulty urinating, and collapse. Some types of poison, such as antifreeze or certain plants, may cause kidney failure.
What to Do If Your Dog Vomits
Except for poisoning and other life-threatening conditions, most cases of vomiting in dogs respond well to home remedies.
Another natural remedy for nausea and vomiting is ginger. This root exhibits antiemetic properties and supports digestive health. It can be safely administered to pets to stimulate digestion and speed up stomach emptying.
Unlike most medications, ginger has no side effects. Just make sure you choose a quality formula with no chemicals or added sugar. Or you can sprinkle grated ginger over your dog's food.
Canned pumpkin may help too. Like ginger, it soothes the digestive system and may relieve gastrointestinal symptoms. Plus, it's a great source of vitamin A, vitamin E, beta-carotene, iron, and fiber, and other micronutrients.
Bone broth, rice, and even baby food may help with nausea and vomiting. These foods are easy to swallow and digest, packing a hefty nutritional punch. If you decide to feed your pet with baby food, look for brands that contain no onion or garlic powder.
If your dog keeps throwing up but looks fine otherwise, don't give him any food for a day or so. Fasting will help soothe his stomach and prevent nausea. However, if your furry friend is lethargic or feeling sick overall, reach out to a vet immediately.
As a rule of thumb, give him plenty of water throughout the day. Vomiting may cause dehydration and worsen his symptoms.
Know When to Call the Vet
Vomiting in dogs can be a sign of digestive discomfort or an underlying condition. Sometimes, it's a reaction to food allergies or intolerance, motion sickness, or even stress.
If your dog keeps throwing up, your best bet is to call the vet. Occasional vomiting is rarely a reason for concern, but if it keeps happening, it may indicate more serious issues.
Don't take unnecessary risks when it comes to your furry companion. He can't tell you what's wrong with him. It's your responsibility to spot red flags and make sure he receives proper care.
In the meantime, browse our Pet section for other tips on how to keep your beloved companion healthy and happy. We'll show you how to calm an anxious dog, how to make your home pet-friendly, what to look for in dog snacks, and much more.