All About Dogs Vomiting



Have you ever watched in disgusted amazement as your dog, who has just vomited on the rug, feverishly tries to eat it up before you can get to it? Dogs probably strive too hard to eat their vomit because 1. their mothers regurgitated food for them when they were puppies and 2. Their heightened sense of smell reveals the actual food particles in it.


Dogs vomit for many reasons and some of them are very normal. The occasional episode of vomit in dogs is normal, and generally is nature’s way of ridding the body of unwanted food or foreign objects the dog may have ingested. While vomiting occasionally may not be an indication of a serious illness, any occurrence of repeated vomiting, especially if accompanied by lethargy, diarrhea or other behavioral changes, should receive prompt medical attention.


There is a difference between vomiting and regurgitating food. Regurgitation is food which comes out undigested and the dog is happy to eat it up again. This is less harmful than actually vomiting out white foam or yellow coloured bile. However dogs who regurgitate frequently should also be shown to the vet.



Signs that Your Dog is Going to Vomit


  • Wretching - that noise that comes from your dog that sounds like he has something stuck in his throat. You will also see his throat straining back and forth.
  • Stiff Stance - your dog may become rigid as he attempts to keep from vomiting.
  • Wandering - a dog will often wander aimlessly right before he vomits.
  • Eating Grass – If their tummies don’t feel good, dogs tend to eat a lot of grass just before they vomit because the grass helps induce vomiting.



How to Deduce if Your Dog Has Eaten Something Poisonous or an Object


As many dog owners will attest, dogs will eat just about anything. Unfortunately, this can mean an array of items that never meant to be in the body, winding up in your dogs stomach. Tennis balls, coins, socks, rocks, toys - there really is no limit to the dogs imaginative thinking when it comes to ingesting foreign objects.The first thing to do is while, keeping an eye on your dog, look for food or products he might have eaten in the immediate area and the area he has just come from.




List of Some Common Dangerous Things Swallowed




  • Chocolate
  • Avocado
  • Any fruit pits
  • Raisins or grapes
  • Mushrooms


Household Products

  • Cleaning products - any cleaning product is dangerous to dogs, though the natural ones are far less toxic.
  • Anti-freeze
  • Auto oil
  • Gardening chemicals
  • Some household plants.


Things We Often Don’t Think Of

  • Bones that splinter
  • Toys with removable parts
  • String, rubber bands and even dental floss
  • Sugarless chewing gum



Other Serious causes for Vomiting


There are numerous causes of dog vomiting and often times only a veterinarian can provide an exact diagnosis:


•     Dog food allergies

•     Dog epilepsy

•     Inflammation of an organ

•     Intestinal foreign bodies such as dog worms and parasites

•     Kidney failure

•     Poisoning

•     Severe dog constipation

•     Side effects of drugs

•     Surgery

•     Transitioning to a new dog food diet


Less serious causes of vomiting can include overeating and eating too fast. If you have noticed that your dog gets sick almost immediately after eating, this could be the cause.


One way to try and slow down your dog from gulping his food down is to raise the food bowl off the ground. Good raised dog food bowls make it easy to set it to the right level for your dog.


If your dog overeats, simply don’t feed them as much food per sitting. A little served at a time in the bowl instead of all the food served together. So put in a little offer it to him and once that’s gone give him the next portion.


Food allergies and intolerances are a common cause of chronic vomiting. Similar to lactose intolerance in people, some dogs too just cant digest milk. In this case a change in diet is necessary. Dogs may have or develop allergies or sensitivities to a variety of ingredients in their food. Wheat and soya for example are one of the leading causes of allergies. Allergies can lead to chronic inflammation in the stomach and intestinal tract.


  • Pancreatitis can present in dogs in both an acute form, as well as a chronic problem. The pancreatic gland is responsible for secreting hormones such as insulin and glucagons into the bloodstream to regulate blood sugar levels, as well as making the digestive enzymes that break down food for digestion. Pancreatitis, or inflammation of the pancreas, can cause these digestive enzymes to decrease, and in severe cases the enzymes may begin to digest the actual organs of the dog instead of digesta. Diarrhea, abdominal pain, vomiting and a poor appetite are the symptoms of pancreatitis, but because these symptoms are shared with so many other gastrointestinal problems, it can be hard to diagnose.
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) can also be a cause of chronic diarrhea in dogs. In affected dogs, the intestine is taken over by inflammatory cells, eventually leading to scar tissue throughout the lining of the digestive system. Although the exact cause of IBD is unknown, nutrition, genetics and the immune system are thought to play a role in its development. Dogs with a long history of chronic vomiting, diarrhea or weight loss that have been found to be free of parasites and other obvious causes should be considered for IBD. Diagnosis of IBD can be difficult, and often requires an intestinal biopsy to confirm. Treatment is aimed at reducing the inflammation, as well as dietary changes to provide a more easily digestible food source.



Should I Induce Vomiting in Emergencies?


The general rule is to always try to call your vet or emergency clinic before considering inducing vomiting. Induce vomiting ONLY when it's absolutely necessary for example in the case of a dog swallowing toxic plants, foods or medications and that to within the last two hours of ingesting the substance. And induce vomiting only after you have talked to a professional unless of course you suspect he's eaten something really dangerous and you need to act promptly. In order to induce vomiting, the animal must be fully conscious, breathing without difficulty and free of seizures.


Vomiting should never be induced in a dog who has ingested a caustic substance such as bleach or drain cleaner, or if he has ingested an object of any kind including a sharp piece of bone.


Salt:To induce vomiting, open your dog's mouth gently and place one half to one teaspoon of salt at the back of the tongue. Wait ten to fifteen minutes and retry. If he doesn't vomit after the second try, get him to a vet immediately.


Feed the dog blackened toast: This will help neutralize some of the toxins, while also absorbing some of the poison. It’s much easier to induce vomiting when there is substance present in the stomach. Achieving emesis in a dog with only fluids in the stomach is more difficult.


What to Do After Your Dog has Vomited


  • Make Certain There is No Obstruction - gently place your hand in his mouth and at the top of his throat. If he is wheezing or has trouble breathing, there could be an obstruction further down so get him to the vet immediately.
  • Give Him Fluids - including electrolytes.
  • Keep Him Warm - a blanket and hugs work well.
  • Reassure Him - make sure he doesn't think he's done something wrong.
  • Put him on a liquid diet or on something easily digestible like rice and soup. Serve only very small quantities at a time and make sure for at least till an hour after that he retains it before offering more.



How to Know When to Go to the Emergency Vet


Look for signs of poisoning or obstruction. These include chills, shaking, breathing difficulty, seizure, drooling or staggering. And when you check your dog's vomit, if you see any more than a few drops of blood or any amount of yellow bile, it's an emergency. Check also for lethargy, and de-hydration these are all signs that your dog needs to see a doctor.



At-Home Treatments for Minor Dog Vomiting


If your dog is experiencing minor dog vomiting, it is probably safe to try an at home treatment first. 


  • Fast your dog to try and heal the upset stomach.  This is what a dog would do if they were living in the wild. Basically, it means giving your dog no food or water for 24 hours and then slowly transitioning them back to their normal regimen.  You can feed your dogs a couple of ice cubes during this time if you must. This does not apply to puppies because they can dehydrate pretty quick so be sure that the pup goes to the vet.
  • A dose of anti-acid. Please ask your vet which one to give and in what quantity.

These herbal teas can be added to your dog’s food and may help to settle their stomach:


  • Chamomile
  • Fennel
  • Ginger
  • Peppermint


Because vomiting can be a sign of anything from simple overeating, to a major life-threatening emergency, it is up to you to be aware and well informed of the dangers to your dog. By carefully watching your dog, you may be able to spot a potential problem before it comes an emergency.