Dog Vomiting

Share this  

Vomiting is a symptom of many different diseases, and depending on its underlying cause it may be a short-lived annoyance or a sign that major troubles are afoot.

"If your dog has vomited a few times but is not in any distress, you can try treating him at home"

When Should Owners Be Concerned

If your dog has vomited just a few times but is otherwise behaving normally, you probably do not need to rush him in to see the veterinarian. Very likely your dog has just eaten something that does not agree with him, and his symptoms will pass. But, if your dog's vomiting does not resolve in a day or two, or if he is very young, very old, or has a health condition that could make him unable to handle even a mild bout of vomiting, call your vet immediately.

Gastrointestinal symptoms that warrant a quick trip to the veterinarian include:

  • The sudden onset of severe vomiting
  • Repeated attempts to vomit but nothing comes up
  • The presence of blood in the vomit
  • Abdominal pain
  • Weakness
  • Changes in your pet's level of awareness
  • Severe diarrhea
  • The inability to drink and hold down water

The Causes of Vomiting

The list of diseases that can cause a dog to vomit is very long:

  • Intestinal parasites
  • Dietary indiscretion
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Motion sickness
  • Foreign bodies or other blockages in the intestines
  • Viral or bacterial infections
  • Organ dysfunction (e.g., pancreatic, kidney or liver disease)
  • Food allergies or intolerance
  • Some types of poisonings
  • The side-effects of treatment with certain drugs
  • Cancer

Coming to a definitive diagnosis often requires a thorough health work-up, which may involve blood work, a urinalysis, fecal examinations, x-rays, abdominal ultrasound, specialized laboratory tests, and even exploratory surgery or endoscopy with tissue biopsies.


If your dog has vomited a few times but is not in any distress, you can try treating him at home. Take away all sources of food and water for six to eight hours. If he does not vomit during that time, give him a small amount of water or an electrolyte solution. If he can hold that down, gradually reintroduce larger amounts of water. If after 12 hours of being allowed to drink he is still not vomiting, offer a small meal of boiled white meat chicken (no bones and no skin) mixed with white rice. If he can eat this without vomiting, increase the size and decrease the frequency of his meals over a day or two and then start mixing in his regular food. The whole process should take between three and five days. If at any point he starts to vomit again, see your veterinarian.

Whenever possible, treatment for vomiting should be aimed at an underlying condition, but symptomatic therapy may be necessary while a dog is recovering or if a cause cannot be found or adequately resolved. In these cases, your veterinarian may prescribe a special diet and anti-nausea medications.

The above is provided for information purposes only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of any condition. This information does not cover all possible variables, conditions, reactions, or risks relating to any topic, medication, or product and should not be considered complete. Certain products or medications may have risks and you should always consult your local veterinarian concerning the treatment of your pet. Any trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Customer ServiceFree Shipping

The VetDepot Difference