Your dog may vomit for many reasons, and it isn't always easy to tell if your pup's gastrointestinal upset constitutes an emergency. Today, our Stockton vets share what you should know about vomiting in dogs and what to do if your dog is vomiting.
Reasons Why Dogs Vomit
Vomiting and diarrhea in dogs are common signs of an irritated stomach and inflamed intestines or gastrointestinal upset. This can lead to persistent vomiting and diarrhea.
As almost every dog owner understands while vomiting in dogs is an unpleasant thing to witness and can be distressing, it is your pet’s way of emptying their stomach of indigestible material to prevent it from remaining in their system, or from reaching other areas of their body.
Causes of Vomiting in Dogs
Several things can cause a dog to vomit, and sometimes even healthy dogs will fall ill for no apparent reason and recover quickly.
It’s possible your pooch could have eaten too quickly, dined on too much grass, or eaten something their stomach simply didn't agree with. This type of vomiting may be a one-time occurrence and not be accompanied by any other symptoms. So, vomiting in dogs isn't always a reason for concern.
That said, potential causes of acute vomiting (sudden or severe) can be related to diseases, disorders, or health complications such as:
- Ingestion of poisons, toxins, or spoiled food
- Change in diet
- Reaction to medication
- Kidney or liver failure
- Bacterial or viral infection
When to Worry About Your Dog's Vomiting
Vomiting may be cause for some concern and constitute a serious veterinary emergency if you see any of these signs:
- Continuous vomiting
- Chronic vomiting
- Vomiting in conjunction with other symptoms, such as lethargy, weight loss, fever, anemia, etc.
- Vomiting with nothing coming up
- Vomiting a lot at one time
- Vomiting blood/bloody diarrhea
- Suspected ingestion of a foreign body (such as food, objects, children’s toys, etc.)
If your dog has been vomiting frequently or it has become a long-term or chronic issue, this is cause for concern, especially if you’ve noticed symptoms including abdominal pain, depression, dehydration, blood, poor appetite, fever, weakness, weight loss, or other unusual behaviors.
Long-term, recurrent vomiting can be caused by:
- Liver or kidney failure
- Uterine infection
- Intestinal obstruction
As a cautious pet owner, it’s always best to prioritize safety and caution when it comes to your pup’s health. The best way to learn whether your dog’s vomiting is normal or not is to contact your vet.
What to Do If Your Dog Won't Stop Vomiting
If your dog is vomiting regularly at any point, bring them in to see your vet right away as it can be difficult to distinguish between an upset stomach and a veterinary emergency.
Your veterinarian will need your help to find the cause of the vomiting based on your pup's medical history and recent activities. You may be able to assist your vet by informing them about what your dog has been eating and if they have gotten into something they shouldn't have.
If your pet has ingested something they shouldn't have and you're wondering how to induce vomiting in dogs, consult with your veterinarian before attempting to do so.
How to Settle a Dog's Upset Stomach
If your dog seems to be having tummy troubles, there are a few things you can try at home to help them feel better. Below are three options that veterinarians often recommend to pet owners.
Ice cubes: If your dog consumes too much water while they have an upset stomach, it can cause the issue to worsen. Giving your pup ice cubes will keep them hydrated, while allowing you to monitor how much water they consume.
100% canned pumpkin: This is a favorite amongst holistic veterinarians. Canned pumpkin has a low glycemic index, so it absorbs slowly, helping with upset stomachs and digestion. Small dogs should be given around one half teaspoon, while larger dogs can receive up to one tablespoon. Be sure that you buy 100% canned pumpkin as something like pumpkin pie filling will contain other spices that can make the issue worse.
Fasting: When your dog’s stomach is trying to get rid of something, it can be beneficial to refrain from putting more things in their stomach for 12-24 hours. If the gastrointestinal system is in distress, you don’t want to force it to digest more things. It’s important to speak with your vet first as some breeds of dog cannot tolerate fasting as well as others.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.