HEALTH & CARE

Dog Vomiting: Symptoms And Tips on How to Treat Your Pet

Hazard stomach at dog
Wyatt Robinson
Written by Wyatt Robinson

Your dog’s health is as important as a human being’s health. Dogs are living beings too and should be taken care of whenever they are sick. For a dog lover, dog vomiting is already a serious case even if the cause is minor. When this happens, the dog should be treated properly to help the dog get cured from his vomiting and prevent it from happening again.

Knowing how to treat this problem and what you can give to your dog would not be enough to proper care for your dog. It is also important to know how to recognize your dog is on the verge of vomiting. Here are some symptoms to watch out for and how to treat your dogs.

Vomiting is the induced elimination of the stomach contents through the mouth Vomiting in dogs actually happens with the retching and the dog will hunch up with the abdominal muscles contracting. This is what you should observe and know that your dog is about to vomit.

Causes of dog vomiting

Prevention is the key to avoid your dog vomiting. Knowing the first sign is important so that you can take action before it gets worse. You should check if your dog has been exposed to the following causes that can lead to vomiting:

  • Bacterial infection in the stomach
  • Diet related causes which includes diet change, food intolerance and ingestion of garbage (some dogs just have sensitive stomachs; check out this great list of dog food for sensitive stomachs)
  • Intestinal parasites
  • Acute kidney failure
  • Acute liver failure or gall bladder inflammation
  • Viral infections
  • Pancreatitis
  • Bloat
  • Car sickness (you can learn more about how to handle this situation in our article on car sickness in dogs)
  • Post-operative nausea
  • Ingestion of toxic substances (such as plants; discover which plants you shouldn’t keep around your home in this article on poisonous plants for dogs)
  • Infected uterus
  • May have ingested pesticides or insecticides
  • Food allergies
  • Diarrhea

These are just some of the causes of your dogs to vomit.

Vomiting in dogs infogrpahic two

In more severe cases, you may need to ask your veterinarian’s help in order to identify the causes and knowing your dog’s medical history can help identify these causes so that the doctor will know what to diagnose.

What can I give to my dog for vomiting?

Seeing your dog suffer from vomiting is not a nice sight but this happens so you should know what to give your dog in order to help him. If your dog has already started to vomit, here are some things that you can do to remedy your dog’s vomiting.

Tip #1: Change your dog’s diet. A dog that has been vomiting should not be given too much food. You should only give half of your dog’s normal intake. Another way is to consider changing your dog’s food into a healthier one that contains more fiber.

If your dog is experiencing a severe case of vomiting, keep them away from chew toys, treats or other human foods that the dog may be able to take without your supervision. Make sure to control the food intake of your dog. More importantly, keep your dog hydrated because vomiting can cause dehydration in dogs.

Dog diet

Tip #2: Fasting. Some veterinarians would recommend that your dog would undergo fasting when it is vomiting. Not food should be given to your dog for 12 hours to let the inflammation in the stomach lining to relax and keep away from stress to cure your dog from vomiting. This should stop your dog from vomiting after 12 hours.

If your dog still vomits after 12 hours then give it another 12 hours of fasting. But if your dog is still a puppy, further fasting for another 12 hours is not advisable. If your dog is still vomiting for the next 12 hours then you should take him to a veterinarian to have him checked.

Tip #3: Keep your dog cool. You should keep your dog inside your house where it is cooler than keeping him outside. A warm environment might cause dehydration in dogs which is not ideal especially if the dog is vomiting. You should be able to calm your dog and take him to short walks. It is also not ideal for your dog to interact with other pets. Your dog may carry a virus and may transmit the infection to other dogs. Also, interaction with other pets can make your dog uneasy which can worsen your dog’s vomiting.

Tip #4: Give him some ice. There are two functions that the ice actually does to your dog. One is that it keeps your dog hydrated. Some dogs that experience vomiting find it hard to swallow even water. This might be easier for the dog to bring down the stomach as opposed to water. Water may induce vomiting if the dog takes too much. Another function of the ice to dog vomiting is that it calms down the stomach. It may keep the stomach from contracting and induce vomiting.

Tip #5: Feed your dog fiber-rich foods. As mentioned before, you should feed your dog with more fibers if he is vomiting. Fiber helps in reducing gastric distress. Just like in humans, food rich in fiber are rice or canned pumpkin. Fiber-rich food cleans up the stomach of any toxins that may have caused it to be upset.

Tip #6: Baking soda in water. You can actually treat your dog with simple home remedies. One of which is mixing one teaspoon of baking soda to ½ cup of water. Feed your dog with this mixture every 2 hours with a few sips at a time.

Tip #7: Ginger tea. Teas are not only for humans, they are good for dogs too. After you have given your dog the baking soda mixture and your dog has stopped vomiting, follow it up with ginger tea. To make this ginger tea, grate 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger or use 1 teaspoon of ginger powder. Slowly simmer it with ½ cup of coconut milk for 10 minutes. You may make this in bulk and store it in a glass for future use. Give your dog 1 to 3 teaspoons of the ginger tea every 1 to 2 hours. Teas are known to calm the stomach of the dog as it does in humans.

Tip #8: Give them acidophilus. Acidophilus are in the form of capsules which can be mixed with water to treat dog vomiting cases. As an alternative, you can give your dog a small amount of live cultured yogurt. Give your dog the yogurt once every hour after the vomiting already stopped. You can give 1 to 2 teaspoons to small dogs, 1-2 tablespoons to medium-sized dogs and 2 – 4 tablespoons for large dogs.

Tip #9: Pepto-Bismol. You can give your dog Pepto-Bismol that is crushed to small pieces and mixed with water. The amount of the Pepto-Bismol that you will add will depend on your dog’s weight. The dosage for small dogs is ¼ tab, for medium-sized dogs is ½ tab and for large dogs is 1 tab. This is recommended to be taking after the vomiting of your dog has already stopped. Give this to your dog every 8 hours per day.

Tip #10: If the vomiting has subsided, slowly give your dog some food. Dogs can’t live without food in their stomach. After your dog has stopped vomited after fasting for 12 hours, give your dog small amount of bland food. Keep this up for a while to avoid shocking the dog’s stomach.

Some examples of bland food would include rice or cottage cheese with skinless boiled chicken. Observe your dog while eating. If your dog is able to take a few bites of the bland food, give him more in the next 4 hours. Add more to the bland food every 4 hours until the vomiting will stop completely. After this, start giving him small amounts of his regular food.

Tip #11: Keep a close eye on your dog. It is very important that you constantly observe the behavior of your dog especially if he is in a bad condition. Proper care is one of the key remedies to cure your dog of any disease. A dedicated dog owner should have this compassion for his own dog.

How to recognize severe cases

There are different levels of severity when your dog is vomiting and it is important for you to know how to distinguish when your dog’s vomiting could just be a minor disease or a severe one. Here are the main symptoms that show you  it’s time to go to the vet:

  • If your dog does multiple attempts to retch without bringing anything up and out of the mouth. This is actually one of the most common signs of a fatal disease in dog called gastric dilatation volvulus or commonly known as bloat.
  • When you observe your dog to be vomiting with a distended abdomen, then you need to bring your dog to a veterinarian.
  • If your dog shows signs of weakness such as not wanting to get up, it is an indication that your dog has a big problem with his stomach.
  • Another sign would be when your dog vomits and then collapses afterwards. This could be a sign that your dog’s condition is something more severe than vomiting.
  • Take a look at the color of the gums of your dog. If they are pale, it is the time to pay a visit to the vet;
  • Give your dog some water or ice cubes and let it gulp it down. If your dog can’t bring down water or ice then they may have a stomach problem. You must have this check every day for 12-24 hours.
  • Check the vomiting frequency. If it happens more than 6 times a day, then you need to have your dog checked. This is a clear sign of severe vomiting and can be a symptom of a more severe disease.
  • Check the intensity and the consistency of your dog’s vomit. If the vomit of your dog comes out at a projectile motion, it is at a strong intensity. This kind of intensity in a dog vomit could mean that the dog might have ingested a foreign object.
  • Check the appearance of the vomit. If it is similar to a kind of food that you have at home, then your dog might have ingested something that is spoiled or poisonous.
  • If the vomit of your dog is frothy or foamy, this would mean that your dog might just have an upset stomach. An upset stomach can be caused by a change in diet or stress due to some changes in the dog’s life.
  • If your dog has eaten any foreign material such as a chew toy or any solid material other than food, that can make your dog vomit. Always check the surroundings in your home.
  • Not all kinds of foods are good for dogs. Some are toxic and can cause your pooch to get sick. Examples of these kinds of food are grapes, raisins, chocolate, baby food, macadamia nuts, onions, mushrooms, avocados, alcohol and coffee.
  • You should also check if your dog has taken something poisonous. Check all your cleaning supplies or anything you keep in the house and accidentally could get in your dog’s food.
  • If your dog wakes you up in the middle of the night because he is vomiting, acts anxiously and cannot settle down, it is a sign that you should bring your dog to a veterinarian.

You should watch out for this signs so that you could take action before your dog’s disease becomes more severe.

Severe causes

These might not be easy to detect and may require you to pay close attention to your dog but you are together for better and for worse. Take care of your pet and so he can take care of you when the time comes.

About the author
Wyatt Robinson
Wyatt Robinson

Wyatt Robinson had a great 25-years career as a veterinarian in United Kingdom. He used to be a member of British Veterinary Association and worked in 3 pet hospitals in London and Manchester. He is shining when he sees his pets healthy and full of energy and it is his duty to help other dog owners to keep their best friends full of life.

  • Kathy Peters

    My sister’s dog was in a pet daycare just recently. After a day or so, the dog was vomiting and coughing. Could the dog have caught something in the kennels? The dog daycare owner seemed cooperative and my sister said she has been sending her dog there for a long time. Should the daycare owner informed my sister if there has been an outbreak?

    • Wyatt Robinson

      It can be a transmission of a disease that is present in the pet daycare. As dogs roam around and carry microorganisms which can cause gastrointestinal problems or skin allergies. It is the responsibility of the daycare owner to somehow screen the dogs that stay in the daycare, as well as the maintenance and sanitation should be spot on.

  • Lorrie Simmons

    Are small breed dogs more prone to vomiting than the bigger ones? Our neighbor’s Chihuahua gets so excited when we visit with my big dogs. But this particular time, after jumping for some time, she suddenly threw up twice and was particularly exhausted. Is this just excitement or does it merit a trip to the vet?

    • Wyatt Robinson

      Chihuahuas can get really excited easily, so that can be one of the reasons. Just to be sure though, have a quick discussion with the veterinarian because it can also be a gastrointestinal problem.

  • Kelly Yates

    Wyatt! I give my dog chocolates and she loves to nibble it. I don’t give her large quantities and not regularly. Should I stop? Is this risky for his health? I am really worried.
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  • Virgil Chandler

    I think one of the reasons dogs get tired and exhausted after vomitting is because they are dehydrated. Replacing the fluids lost can go a long way. Severe dehydration can cause shock and cardiorespiratory collapse.

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