Dog vomiting may happen for several reasons. It could be that your dog ate more than it could handle or ate too fast. Sometimes the cause could be more serious, which would require a visit to the vet. Therefore, it’s important to know the difference between an isolated case of vomiting and chronic vomiting.

You should also be able to tell if your dog is vomiting or regurgitating. Dogs mostly regurgitate soon after eating, and it’s a mostly passive process — the dog simply lowers their head and food comes up, without active abdominal contractions like in vomiting. The food expelled during regurgitation is usually undigested and without bile.

Vomiting, conversely, is much more active. It will cause muscles to contract and the whole body to tense. When a dog vomits, the food or object is typically coming from the stomach or upper small intestine. You will likely hear the dog retching and see food that is undigested or partially digested, along with clear liquid if it’s from the stomach, or yellow or green liquid (bile) if it is from the small intestine.

Most common reasons why dogs vomit:

  • Consuming garbage, fatty foods, and/or table scraps
  • Motion sickness
  • Stress, excessive excitement, or anxiety
  • Ingesting bones, rubber balls, stones, hair, sticks, and other foreign objects
  • Intestinal parasites, such as roundworms
  • Viral infections, such as distemper, parvovirus and coronavirus
  • Diseases, such as kidney disease, cancer, and stomach ulcers
  • Ingesting poisons like antifreeze, pesticides, or household drugs, like acetaminophen and aspirin

Vomiting – Low cause for alarm

If your dog throws up, but otherwise seems fine, is interested in food, and has normal bowel movements, it might just be an isolated incident. Try withholding food and limiting the amount of water available for about 6 hours. If your dog doesn’t vomit again, give your dog a small, bland meal. Gradually increase food over the next day or two, watching your dog for any abnormal behavior.

Vomiting – Maybe something more serious

Give us a call if any of the following occurs:

  • In addition to vomiting, your dog has other symptoms, such as lethargy, loss of appetite, diarrhea, fever, or other changes in health or behavior.
  • Your dog’s vomiting lasts for more than 24 hours.
  • The vomit has blood in it.
  • Your dog’s abdomen is tender to touch.

You suspect your dog ate something potentially dangerous.