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What To Do When Your Dog Vomits?

Sick PupThis question for our Pet Doc comes from the concerned owner of a 2 year old German Shepherd named Reily.

My Dog is Vomiting – What Could be the Cause?

Reily has just gone into heat (whether that’s a factor or not I do not know). Yesterday she threw up twice. Both times there was nothing in the throw up. Today I woke up because I heard Reily puking again!

This time there was a few chunks of bones in there. I partially think this is due to me changing her food and not easing her stomach into it? Which I did the other day. She had been eating Iams proactive health large chunks for large breeds and we bought the wrong kind by accident – Iams proactive health mini chunks.

So she did have a bag of mini chunks and I switched it back to the large ones right before
the puking began. Or maybe the new pigs ears I introduced her to the other day, which she had two of, is having an effect? Or maybe her vomiting is caused by her being in heat?

The problem now is that she doesn’t eat when I put her food down.

Out Pet Doc Responds: What To Do When Dog Vomits?

Thanks for the question and sorry to hear that Reily isn’t feeling well. It can be a tricky thing to determine the exact cause of a problem like vomiting in a dog sometimes. You mentioned in your question a few things that could potentially be the underlying issue.

Don’t Feed Your Dog Cooked Animal Bones

First, has Reily ever reacted this way during previous heat cycles? Many female dogs respond differently to their individual cycles but the behavior is typically consistent. Second, what kind of bone was in the vomit? This is very important. Dogs should NOT eat any kind of cooked animal bones. They can cause obstruction, perforation of bowel, and simply generalized nausea. Uncooked bones are generally okay, but they can still cause problems in some dogs. There are too many safe and tasty dog treats out there to feed animal bones these days. Some dogs also don’t do well with rawhide bones either.

Can a Change in Diet Cause Your Dog to Vomit?

The sudden change in diet that you described doesn’t sound very serious and I wouldn’t normally think this small change would be a problem, but all dogs are individuals and some are less tolerant of diet changes than others. The pig ears could be the culprit as well. Typically what causes the upset stomach when there are diet changes is the change in the protein or carbohydrate in the dog food or treat.

This could be a change from beef to chicken, corn to potato, or simply a different makeup and distribution of the ingredients. Most dogs do well with 12-24 hours of fasting for a sudden bout of nausea. This fasting should be followed by slowly reintroducing the normal diet in small amounts for a day or two. Keep in mind that this applies to otherwise healthy pets that aren’t showing signs of discomfort, lethargy, or dehydration.

If your pet has a poor appetite, lethargy, vomiting and/or diarrhea, then it is best to make a trip to see your local veterinarian. Ask yourself about Reily’s bowel movements. Have they been normal? Is there any straining or loose stools? Let us know what happens and good luck!

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About Pet Doc

The pet doc is a veterinarian who has consulted with our site for many years. While he is still practicing and licensed, he volunteers his time to help us educate you, our readers, and has asked to donate this time and contribution anonymously. HIs 10+ years of experience in the field is invaluable as he helps to answer our reader’s pet-related questions. And hopefully, you will find his insights and helpful tips as much as we do.
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  • Adina

    My Yorkie Nikko gets very emotional on the weekends. She realizes it’s the weekend and we should all be home together. My husband and I go out for breakfast. We have taken care of all the dog’s needs. We come home. Nikko has thrown up all over my beautiful bed cover… Help! Does anyone know if this is emotional??

  • Daisy

    My 5 month old puppy threw up one time outside and it’s pink. Can someone help me please? I am sad and scared. I love him soooooooooo much.

    • http://www.coverstorymedia.com/ Michelle Schenker

      Hi Daisy,
      I am sorry to hear your puppy is sick. I would advise that you call your vet to get professional advice asap. Keep us posted.

  • Jeniffer

    I need to know what’s wrong with my sweet dog who’s been sick for a few days. She won’t go outside. She’s been weak and she is vomiting, which looks like water with white color. She’s been laying around and pooping all over on the floor. Her poop is soft. Her breathing is normal. Can any one tell me what is wrong with my sweet dog?

    • http://www.coverstorymedia.com/ Michelle Schenker

      Hi Jenniffer, All of these symptoms seem pretty serious when you add them all up. It is probably worth a trip to the vet to find out what is going on. You could start with a phone call to them to see if they have any quick ideas but I am guessing they will need to see to treat her. Wishing you and your sweet pup the best. Take care, Michelle

  • van

    My dog has been sick all day with vomiting and stomach rolling. She just came off an antibiotic on Thursday. I gave her some Pepto but she is still sick. Any ideas?

    • http://www.coverstorymedia.com/ Michelle Schenker

      Hi Van,
      If she just came off antibiotics, I would suggest that you call the vet who prescribed the meds and ask for advice. They will likely give you some tips over the phone since they recently cared for your dog. Keep us posted and hope she is feeling better soon.

  • kathy Sherman

    my dog is healthy, but for the last week he vomits after he eats then re-eats it and the food. then he seems fine.

  • Melodie

    my pitt coco got vaccinated two days ago. now she is vomiting. what can we do?

  • Brianna

    I have a miniature poodle and she normally eats dry food but I have another dog who eats wet. So I decided to give my poodle wet food… she threw up the chunks of food 4 different times. Should I give her dry food again? Or take her to the vet? Please help. She is my life . :(

    • http://www.coverstorymedia.com/ Michelle Schenker

      Hi Brianna,
      Why did you decide to give your poodle wet food vs. dry food? Generally speaking, a change like this is because the pet is not eating their normal diet and is looking for another more appealing food to entice them to eat. If so, than I would recommend that you take your dog to the vet because now your dog stopped eating her normal food and then is vomiting from the new food so chances are good that there may be a bigger concern that they can help you resolve to get your baby back to feeling well asap. Keep me posted and best wishes for a speedy recovery.

  • Veronica

    My dog hasn't been eating or drinking any water! But has been vomiting all day! All he does is sleep and vomit. Vomit looks foamy and lime green. Don't know what to do…

  • Laura B.

    Hi,

    My husband and I recently moved to a new home and our two girls, a Sheltie and a Schipperke have been throwing up. Sometimes there is a little food in it and sometimes its just foamy liquid.

    They are still going to the bathroom and eating, and still want to go outside and play, etc. But they seem nervous and since it's been a week since we moved in, I am becoming concerned.

    What should we do and is there anything we can give them to help calm their nerves?

    Thanks.

  • Mike

    My dog's bowels have not moved in the 36 hours after vomiting six times and pooping five times. This was all after binging on found scraps and corn cobs. I gave him a bland diet of boiled chicken and rice for a day and one meal of regular food. How long should it take for a bowel movement?

  • David

    After de-worming my dog, her vomiting stopped but started again afterward. Please, what can I do this time?

  • Leah

    Hi. My ten week old puppy has been sick and it's white and also she has diarrhea and it was like a green color mixed with water. What should I do?

  • Puja

    I have a Labrador of 5 yrs and he has this problem of vomiting from the last one month. I took him to vet and they recommended deworming which I did. So, after deworming his vomiting stopped for a while, like for 15 days but then again he started vomiting.

    I asked his vet and dewormed him again as recommended by him. But now he vomits twice in one week. I don't know what happen to my dog.

    I am giving him light food and lot of water but still his vomiting has not stopped completely. He is active and his poop is also normal. But his vomiting has yellow colour.

    Kindly suggest as what should I do?

  • a guest

    Guys seriously, I basically have two rules when it comes to my dogs vomiting:

    • If they're making themselves vomit (i.e. by eating grass) I'm not concerned, as that is the natural digestive process.
    • If they are vomiting for any other reason than this, and they do it more than once, I take them to my vet.

    Why take chances? If you wait too long, the problem could not only become more serious but your vet bill will be that much higher.

  • Anonymous

    My dog just reached maturity and went through a ‘heat’ cycle for the first time. Although she is spayed, my vet said that sometimes dogs nevertheless mimic some of the symptoms of being in heat. Thinking that this was the reason for her vomiting, I just let it go and did not change any of my other actions. Well, I know better now! Thinking back, I was starting to give her some leftover T-bones with some meat on them because she seemed to have grown out of being a puppy and I thought she could handle it. From Reilly’s example, I am pretty sure now that that was the cause of all the vomiting. She did not seem dehydrated, since she had a wet nose and gums, and felt fine right after vomiting. I ceased giving the bones to her and the vomiting has not come back, so I am pretty sure my assumption was correct. (Although that has not stopped her from whining at the table now when we have any sort of meat for dinner!) Now that I know that meat and bones are not safe for dogs or puppies, I give her only approved dog treats.

  • Anonymous

    I think there should be a bit of emphasis on what not to do when a dog vomits. Many people are quick to scold their dog for throwing up, worrying more about their precious carpet than their poor animal. Remember, you dog can't help getting sick anymore than you can. More importantly, it may even be your fault that the dog is sick. It might be hard to remember all this when your dog is throwing up on your bed, but it's really important not to get angry.

    When dogs are shamed for getting sick, they are more apt to hide the next time they get sick, which could be a problem in the future. If your dog is really sick, and is throwing up where you can't find it, not only will it smell horribly, but you may not get your dog the proper treatment soon enough to save his life.

    Instead of making your dog feel even worse, make him feel as comfortable as possible. Make a soft place for him to bed down and bring his water dish closer so he stays hydrated. You may also want to try giving him a bit of plain yogurt to settle his stomach.

  • Anonymous

    While you may be tempted to fuss at your dog for vomiting in your home, please don't. Not only does  this shame the dog, but the dog may begin to hide anytime they get sick, which may result in you not knowing that your pet is horribly ill. Instead, comfort your dog the best you can and make sure they have access to water so that they stay hydrated. You can also treat a dog's upset stomach with a number of human medications, but you must ask your vet about this.

    As you clean up the vomit, it's important to look for anything that might be out of the ordinary. For example, you need to look for blood and odd items, such as chewed up plastic. You should also make note of the vomit should the vomiting continue. This will allow you to explain the problem to the vet. He might ask about whether or not the dog vomited undigested food, if there was bile in the vomit, and a number of other questions.

    While you may be concerned about your dog vomiting, the occasional vomiting does happen. The problem is when the vomiting continues. This can lead to dehydration and may be the sign of a more serious problem, such as kidney failure.

  • Anonymous

    Many female dogs have bizarre reactions when going through heat. A dog I had used to eat grass when going through heat and then she would purge. I’ve read in articles that feeding dogs’ regular pet food is the best decision for dogs that are ill. Dogs have a very sensitive digestive system, so be careful of recalled dog food as well. If you are unable to afford a veterinarian, you have a few options. Give your dog something to help with their stomach. Make sure the dog has plenty of water. Sometimes, dogs can vomit due to dehydration.

    Food is important and what type of dog food you feed them is crucial as well. Certain brands of dog food can cause adverse reactions with dogs. Humans have adverse reactions too, but they are not quite as noticeable. Take antidepressants for example, one of the side-effects they can cause is depression. Maybe your dog is intolerant of something in her food. Experiment with what might be causing her reaction and I hope your dog gets well soon.

  • Anonymous

    Dogs are pretty instinctual creatures.  If they get sick or are not feeling well, they generally know how to best make themselves feel better.  When I see my dog eating grass, I usually just let him stay outside until I hear the telltale sound that lets me know he has vacated the stomach region of whatever may be bothering him.  I think it is far better for him to do it out there than on my carpet inside. 

     If he absolutely must be brought in the house, I generally make sure he has plenty of water and put him in the basement.  It is generally cooler down there on the unfinished concrete floor and I am not worried about what he does in there because it is usually a pretty easy cleanup versus trying to get a puke stain out of the carpet. 

    Again, once I see he has either done it or not done it, I will free him from that location and we usually have no problems.  Now, this is all considering I know that he hasn’t gotten into something that is harmful, but that’s just good ownership.

  • Anonymous

    This article was great! I have had to deal with vomiting dogs a few times recently, and it is never pleasant. The worst part is that the dogs cannot tell you what is wrong with them or why they feel sick the way people can, so you have to inevitably do some detective work.

    I do not feed my dog animal bones, but I know a lot of people do, so when a friends’ dog vomited recently, that would have been one of the first questions I would have asked. In general, I do not feed dogs any table scraps whatsoever, but I know that some people do (even though I think it is a mistake, it is hard to tell someone how to be a better pet parent unless they are asking advice).

    So that is actually a huge culprit, and I think more responsible for making dogs sick than people might believe. Table scraps, in addition to making dogs sick, can also condition them to beg and slobber, as well as hover around the kitchen or dining table. People who feed dogs table scraps generally do not know that the behavior is actually bad for them.

  • Raw Feeder

    Sorry to see that you are strictly advising against feeding bones.  Dogs are living far healthier lives on a natural diet including RAW bones.  There is non biased, scientific evidence to prove that it is healthier than kibble.

    Kibble is not natural, and organizations make large profit margins from it.  Raw meat and bones are totally natural and this is what dogs used to eat.  We would think nothing of wild dogs, foxes and wolves eating that way.

    • Jessica

      I think it is interesting that dog owners would risk gastrointestinal obstruction and perforation just to give their pet a bone. Even if you are feeding a raw diet there is no reason to give a dog a bone that may harm him. Commercial diets have been available for many years and if you choose a reputable company such Purina, Hill's, Royal Canin or Eukanuba. You can bet there has been extensive scientific research done to support their feeding guidelines and ingredients. Why pay more money to feed a dog a raw diet? Often times owners are not giving the proper combination of foods to meet the daily caloric requirements and appropriate balance of minerals and nutrients that an animal needs. But if people continue to make their own dog foods, we will continue to see these pets in the vet clinics with nutritional imbalances, growth abnormalities, and intestinal upset, obstruction, and perforation.

  • Anonymous

    I have found that dogs are usually pretty intuitive when it comes to their own well being.  If they are sick, they generally know how to make themselves feel better.  Now, there are limitations on that theory of course and I will never hesitate to take my dog to the vet if it looks like he is not showing any signs of improvement over a reasonable period of time.
     
    But when it comes to diet and eating, a dog knows what it needs to do to vacate their system of whatever is offending their senses.  This is why you see dogs eating grass so often in the summer time.  Sometimes, as dogs will do, they find some morsel that proves to be irresistible to their canine sense of taste and that may not always be the most healthful thing for them.  Eating the grass both soothes the stomach and further assists the induction of vomiting of needed and it works nearly every time. 

    So I say do not stop your dog from throwing up, just watch to see how often it happens and get help if needed.

  • Anonymous

    I try not to get too excited if my dog vomits. It is not a regular thing around here, but it does happen every now and then. Usually he just gets into something that he should not eat and it upsets his stomach. And of course there is the grass eating thing he does every now and then. I usually monitor him to make sure it is not anything serious. But there is something more.

    Why in the world do dogs lick up their vomit? That is one of the most disgusting things I can think of. I know my dog is not the only one that does it. I also know it is a disgusting topic to bring up, but if we are going to talk about dogs vomiting, we may as well try to get answers for related questions.

    An even better question is what can I do to prevent him from doing this? Obviously, if I am quick enough I can get him away from it, but is there something I can do to prevent him from even having that urge.? I would at least like to try to understand why he does it, even if I can't do anything to put a stop to it. So, do you have any idea why dogs do this?

  • shotzie

    About three weeks ago my dog was feeling down and his stools were black, which made me nervous. I took him in to the vet, she took his temperature said it was slightly high, and not to worry about black stools.

    She said she really didn't have any answers to his problem unless she ran 3-4 blood panels at $300. It could be bacteria, kidney disease, liver etc. each and they might not find the problem. I WAS NOT HAPPY!

    I had had a blood panel done about 3 months earlier for his organs and it was fine. I asked if there was anything I could do and she said to put my dog on a bland diet which didn't last long. This last week, he stopped eating all together and I had him on a bland diet like the vet said.

    Now he is not eating, but I am giving him lots of water which he does drink a lot. All he does is lay around looking at me like "Mom help me." I went to take him in the car to the store which he loves but he couldn't get in. He tried but his back legs were too weak. That's when I know something was really wrong. So I have been watching him like a hawk. He usually stays in the house during the day but likes to be outside at night because it is cooler.

    This morning I saw him vomiting and checked it out. It was yellow and watery with grass in it. I know that is not good but now I am concerned about how I can get him into a car to go to the vet. He is 113 pounds and I am a senior citizen. There is no way I can do it. Would you suggest to take his runny bowels to the vet? Can they tell by that? He has had diarrhea now for about two days since not eating anything but water which seems normal to me. He is an 11 years old Golden Retriever. Oh I have given him honey to keep his sugar up, which he keeps down. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    • Canine Journal

      Your best bet would be to call your vet and ask them to make a house call/visit to your home for an evaluation of Ruffus' health. At 11 years old, your pet is quite advanced in age so you should be prepared for potentially bad news but honestly, your symptoms do not sound life-threatening at this point. But, a vet would need to be the judge of that. You may even want to find a different vet than the one you have seen in the past so you can have a second opinion but I would be sure to have them request all your dog's health history from your current vet before they visit so that have all the background needed to make a proper diagnosis. Keep us posted and take care of yourself and your sweet dog.

  • Anonymous

    First of all, something that people need to realize is that a dog cannot help vomiting. This means you have no reason to get angry with her. More importantly, many dogs are embarrassed by the fact that they have to vomit and will run to hide so that you don't see them. If your dog starts making gagging sounds, you need to try to get him to a place that it easy to clean up and reassure them that it's okay. Once you've cleaned him up, make a comfortable place for him to lie down and rest. You should also move his food bowl to the area so that he has an easier time staying hydrated.

    In the summer heat, it can be very common for dogs that like to play to throw up after drinking too much water. This is perfectly normal, but you can avoid it by keeping your dog calm during the hotter parts of the day and playing in the evening when it cools down. You can also give them ice cubes to munch on so that they stay hydrated, but don't drink too much at once.

    If there doesn't seem to be a reason for your dog's vomiting, or the vomit has blood or questionable objects, in it, you need to contact your vet immediately.

  • Anonymous

    If there is anything I have learned about having a dog in the house over the years, it is that they often know how to take care of themselves all other things being equal.  Now, it is completely understandable that if a dog is vomiting uncontrollably and in danger of suffering dehydration or even worse, that you would want to seek veterinary attention for your animal before something terrible happens.  However, if a dog has an upset stomach that is causing them major discomfort, maybe the best thing for them is to get that irritant out of there by way of throwing it up. 

    Dogs, as noted, will often eat grass to settle their stomach and occasionally induce vomiting.  Like I said, they often know what is best for them in the moment.  Dogs are, after all, descendants of wild animals and still have a fair amount of their instinctual desire for survival intact.  Sometimes it is just best to leave them to their own devices, with a watchful eye of course, and let them fix themselves the best way they know how.

  • Anonymous

    My dog has vomited in the past.  Usually it is only once, and it stems from a dietary change.  I don't make dietary changes anymore because of that. 

    However, there was one time that she got sick.  It was so scary.  She started throwing up, and she probably threw up like 3 – 7 times total.  I can't remember.  All I remember is how scary that is.  Watching your dog wretch is like one of the worst feelings that there is. 

    It's so painful to watch something that's so innocent and loving suffer in any way.  Dogs are so sweet, and loyal, and when they get sick, it literally makes your heart ache. The only thing that can possibly be a greater ache is concern for your own children or children in general. 

    Dog vomiting can look like a major emergency, but thankfully, the vet's reaction calmed me down.  Unless the dog has consumed poison, it seems like the vomiting is not a cause for major worry. Still though, if your dog vomits more than one time, I think that you should call a vet just to be on the safe side.

  • Anonymous

    Something that many people never think of is to look at the vomit. I know it sounds incredibly disgusting, but the vomit needs to be checked for blood, worms, and items the dog shouldn't have ate, like part of your slipper. You can also tell a lot about the vomit itself. Foamy vomit is often common with dogs that have kidney disease as is yellow, watery vomit, which is essentially bile.

    If your dog vomits more than once, you need to make note of what you're seeing so that you can describe it to your vet. You may even want to take pictures with your smartphone because the vet will be able to tell you the exact problem. As mentioned, you do need to take extra care of a dog that is throwing up. They need to stay well-hydrated and if they are an outside dog, you need to make sure he has a cool, shady area because the direct sunlight will further dehydrate him and may lead to heatstroke. Speaking of heat, summer can be a hard time on pets. After a rough play period, they may drink too much water and throw up. This is when you need to make sure your pet doesn't overdo it at playtime. You can also slow their drinking by putting ice cubes in their water.

  • Anonymous

    When my dog has eaten some rich human food and cannot process it, she vomits.  I used to give her a lot of human food because I thought it was being nice to her, but as she got older, I started to worry about her health, and I only give her dog food now. 

    Once I gave her eggs from a late night diner breakfast, and they made her throw up.  That was virtually the end of me giving her human food, more than a little piece of meat or vegetable that I have cooked myself.  I don't give her fast food anymore.  As I'm writing this, I realize that I probably should not be giving myself fast food anymore. 

    The part about animal bones surprises me.  I always thought it was okay to bite the end of the bone off and give them that piece because it was full of marrow and it could not splinter in their stomachs. 

    It is interesting that dogs can get sick just from you changing their regular dog food.  I guess my dogs have just always had strong stomachs unless human food was involved.

  • Anonymous

    Dogs have very sensitive and temperamental digestive systems, just like people. There can be a lot of reasons for why they are vomiting. The one thing that is not in question here is that if your dog is vomiting, they are certainly not very comfortable. As the owner, you want your dog to feel better like yesterday.

    The basic answer is yes, changing the food or diet a dog eats can indeed cause them to vomit. Although it is interesting, because normally a drastic change like that will not be accepted by a dog; they will simply just not eat for a while.

    The way around this situation is to implement the change in diet very gradually. Mix together the old and the new food. Start with a ration of 10 or 15 percent new food. The every few days, adjust so that you are adding more of the new and less of the old.

    Another big thing to watch out for when a dog is vomiting is animal bones. Many people feed their dogs table scraps, including animal bones. The bones may shatter in the intestines, causing serious problems.

  • mowgli – moe moe

    My 3.5 year old lab Mowgli threw up for the first time this morning.  He's always had great health exams, he's on a good diet, no cheap foods with fillers.  As a nightly ritual I've always given my pups treats at bed time, no different last evening.  Mowgli got sick and threw up just two small spots in the bedroom, mostly dog treat, looked more like he coughed them up?. (were only about the size of a gatorade bottle cap) 

    This am after going to the bathroom, normal soft stool, the end might have been a bit more runny than normal, he had some water, and refused his food.  After I had left home and came back about 20 minutes later, he had thrown up in the backroom the first actual throw up he's ever done. It was a mix of dog treats, his food from the evening prior, saw a blade of grass or two and mucus like mix. This amount was much larger it was approximately 2ft by 8-10inches wide.

    I'm worried, because the weather has been fairly hot here the past few days. We did play twice yesterday outside around eating dinner 6pm, but I always provide my dogs water when playing (frisbee). He seemed fine until the treats last night and hasn't eaten a bite since.  I tried dry food, wet food (the mix he usually eats) white rice, hamburger boiled (he's a chicken diet tho, wasn't thinking first grocery trip). He didn't want anything to do with the white rice and hamburger, then chicken and brown rice boiled had some of the chicken and a little brown rice, really wanted the chicken for a few bites.  Only thing he really wanted to eat some of was my corn dog.  I've checked his gums, neck scruff, for dehydration signs, all seems well. His temp is 101.5 and been around that range all day (that's using a ppl digital therometer). He's urinating outside like normal, just little water intake now and the no food thing bothers me.  I may be just over thinking it all, but it has been really hot and little rain here the past few weeks. Is my dog just over heated? I've had the ac pumping all day and he's been enjoying the cooler areas of the house. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated :o)

  • Anonymous

    Many people have been wondering about the reasons why a dog may vomit. After all, they say, the dog does not really go out and he/she eats basically good and healthy food. I would wager that many times a dog is eating a lot more than their owners think they are. Remember that dogs are basically scavengers. In a way, they are like little babies and will put anything they find into their mouth.

    One problem is that a dog does not really have any sense about what is good and not good for them. If it looks interesting and smells good (or at least the smell is bearable) they will eat it. This can often spell trouble.

    A dog has a very sensitive digestive system. There is really no telling why they are actually vomiting. Possibly, they got into the garbage and ate something that was not good for their system, did not agree with them or was a bit toxic. Maybe they ate some animal bones and now the bones have splintered while inside of their digestive track. That could be a serious problem.

  • Anonymous

    I have heard a lot of conflicting opinions about giving dogs bones to chew on. I know I have had several dogs and given them all steak bones to chew. They seemed to love them and I never saw one get sick off of them or have any digestive problems. The one thing I did hear is that you should not feed them bones that splinter, like chicken bones or even fish bones. I heard that they break apart and get stuck in the dog's digestive system. But, I have heard that it was alright to give the chicken and fish bones to cats because their digestive system can handle it. Is this correct about cats?

    I was also told that it is not really the bone that the dog likes so much. Rather, it is the marrow that is inside the bone. They chew the bones open and get the marrow out.

    If dogs are not supposed to have bones (and I am not doubting that. It is just new information to me), then why do they sell bones and hooves for dogs at some hardware stores? Is there a particular kind of bone that is safe for dogs to chew on? I know my dog likes his steak bones and he has not gotten sick from them, but I don't want to take any chances in the future.

  • Anonymous

    I have noticed that my dog now rarely vomits. It seems like when he was younger, he vomited a lot more. This may have been due to his young body trying to get used to dog food or it may have been because he was just a little guy who was chewing on everything in sight. I'm pretty sure my favorite shoes were never on the list of items with high nutritional value for puppies. Whatever the case, the amount of times he vomits in a month has decreased significantly over the past couple of months. Now I usually only see him vomit if it is hot out and he drinks his water too fast or if he has been eating grass as dogs normally do.

    I would not panic of my dog did happen to vomit once or twice. It is the multiple times over the course of a few days which would scare me. That is just never a good sign. We can't forget that dogs are like us in the ways that they aren't always smart about what the eat and sometimes they do stupid things like drink cold water too fast. And sometimes they just get sick. It's up to us to monitor and know the difference between something serious and just another small issue.

  • Bronson

    Bronson has been throwing up off and on for a week. He hasn't ever been a big eater so when he went a few days without eatting it was normal. Then he ate a huge meal and threw up then he didn't eat the next day and then on the third day he ate again and threw up again. We also changed his food about the same time but I've been mixing the old and the new food. I'm not sure if that's what's causing the throwing up. He acts normal and eats treat ok but if he eats his normal amount he throws up. I did feed him boiled chicken and plain rice and he has kept that down for 5 or so hours so far.

    • Canine Journal

      Hi Bronson,

      We always recommend a phone call to the vet in these situations for expert advise as we are not licensed vets. But given the timing of the food change and the upset stomach, I would recommend switching back to the old food in the meantime just in case it is an allergic or other adverse reaction to the new dog food. Is your dog still drinking water normally? Have you checked the stools to make sure they are normal? These are all questions which can also help to diagnose and treat the sickness. We hope your pup is feeling better soon and please keep us posted.

  • Anonymous

    I truly empathize with your situation.  My dog got sick and was unable to keep any kind of food down for a period of about five days and I really was quite worried for their well-being.  The weight loss was very obvious and my dog's comfort level was obviously in decline with each and every day that went by.  One thing I managed to do was keep her hydrated during the ordeal which was no small feat considering just how upset her system was.

     What I found out was that my neighbor had started his own garbage burning pit (I live in a very rural area) and my clever dog decided to help herself to some of the more, shall I say "juicy" morsels that he had decided to throw out.  I did not know this at the time, but when I finally took her to the vet they very readily diagnosed her with the canine equivalent of food poisoning.   I had a pretty long conversation with my neighbor about residential dumping and I am now keeping much closer tabs on my hound.

  • Anonymous

    There seem to be so many types of things which can cause a dog to vomit or have diarrhea. This seems to be the general consensus of all the pet doc vets who answer questions like these every day. Most of these vets are very cautious and conservative, which is certainly a good thing. It seems that they want to make sure both the pet and the owner feel good about the proposed solution.

    The main thing to remember with dog vomiting and diarrhea issues is that their systems are so much different than those of humans. Many times, we tend to forget this and give them table scraps, bones and other foods which can actually be dangerous for them. This can also lead to some bouts of vomiting and diarrhea. It is also not a fun experience for the dog. I have even read that vomiting can be quite painful for a dog.

    Another point to take away from this is that we should be very careful to monitor what our dog is eating. They should not be given bones, since they can splinter once in their digestive tract and cause real problems.

  • Anonymous

    Have you checked your dog's bowel movements recently? It may seem strange, but bowel movements are one of the key factors when determining if your pet is sick or not. If you schedule a vet visit, you can be sure that one of the first questions your vet will ask will be about the quality of vomit and stool. Both can offer valuable clues. If Toots has a stomach virus, then the consistency of the stool will probably be different from usual. If parasites are the problem, then both stool and vomit may show the presence of these parasites. Other tests can be run on samples if the vet is not sure. Fortunately, based on these tests and other information, the cause can usually be found and you can start a method of treatment. Since the vomiting came on so suddenly, it probably isn't too serious. But a quick check may be worthwhile anyway. Vomiting could also have a behavioral or environmental cause that needs to be corrected. Overeating is often a symptom of a deeper condition or unhappiness that may need to be addressed for your happy to fully recover.

  • Anonymous

    As a pet lover/owner, one of the things I do fairly regularly is look through some of the better known pet message boards. One of my favorites is the pet doc. I really love the fact that there are actual veterinarians on the board who actually answer real questions which are submitted by users. I find a lot of value in reading these, even if the situation is not directly applicable at the moment. It is a great way to prepare for whatever trouble may arise in the future.

    One of the most common issues I have seen is dog vomiting and diarrhea. This article hints at the fact that there are many things which can cause these problems in our dogs. Even if it is just a slight change in their diet, there may be some big results. The vet who answered this question gave some very wise advice. Since it is difficult to tell whether the problem is nothing to worry about or something life threatening, you must receive a correct diagnosis. Additionally, you always want to take steps to make both owner and pet feel more comfortable that the situation will be resolved.

  • Anonymous

    The questions about bowel movements and stool are key! Reily sounds like a generally health dog, but sometimes dogs can develop problems and give no signs except for vomiting and a different in their bowel movements. I'm not talking about behavioral changes here – although that might be an issue, too – but rather medical issues like a stomach virus or similar digestive problem. If your dog has not had any significant dietary changes ( a few pigs ear treats and similar changes should not have a noticeable affect – major protein or carb changes, as the article mentions, may be a different story) then it could a disease. 

    So, before you head to the vet, check stool samples for consistency, the possibility of parasites, and other features that may indicate issues. A different in mood or energy could also indicate a disease or parasite instead of simply a diet change that doesn't agree with your dog. However, you and your vet know your dog best, so you have the best chance of finding out the problem and creating ideal treatments. Short-term vomiting is rarely a serious issue, but it does indicate further scrutiny is needed.

  • Anonymous

    A while back we got a dog and it pup died rather suddenly. :( I disinfected my entire house and yard before we got another pup. I did not want to go through that again, so I was determined to take every step I knew of to keep our home safe for a new dog. I even treated my carpets, bedding and clothes just to be safe.

    Our neighbor has a very sweet little coon dog. She stays in her pen pretty much all the time, but our new pup has been going over to visit her. Every now and then they let her out to play and my dog makes sure to go right over there and roll around with her. The neighbor does not seem to mind, so neither do I.

    But the other day when I was outside, I noticed that she was throwing up in her pen. It was pretty hot out so I considered that she might just be overheated. I went over and made sure she had enough water in her bowl. She seemed to be tired because she laid down right away. Today I see that she is playing around in her pen, but not with as much energy as usual. Should I say something to my neighbor or am I just being nosy?

  • Anonymous

    As I read this, my dog just headed outside to vomit. I am not going to panic or follow him outside. I am a mother. I am used to animals and children getting sick. It happens on a regular basis. But then I usually know what my animals (and children for that matter) consume and I know my dog was chowing down on the grass today. I know I sound blase about the whole dog vomit thing, but I have learned through years of experience that if you panic over every little thing, you won't be able to cope with the really big things. Just know that it took years to get to that point. One experience with parvo made me constantly worry about every having to go through that again. These days when my dog throws up I just think of it as a simple process his body needs to go through.

    The exception is when it continues to happen. Normally my dog doesn't throw up very often. When he does, it is usually because he somehow managed to get into his food or the cat food and overeat or he has been eating grass. All the same, it's good to know there is a resource here to use if I ever need it!

  • Dix

    I am dog sitting for my son's 50 lb female American Staffordshire mutt mix.  Yesterday, while she was home alone, she chewed the top off a gallon of peanut oil and drank quite a bit.  It is hard to tell how much because the dining room floor and rug were coated with the oil.  Since that time, about 30 hours ago, she has been vomiting.  

    This morning, I gave her a little white rice. She ate it but threw it up about 30 minutes later.  Other than water, she has not had anything to eat or drink since this morning.  

    Is there anything I can give her for the vomiting?  My son is coming to pick her up tomorrow evening and take her on a trip to visit some friends. I am worried that if we do not get the vomiting stopped, she will make a mess in the car and at their friends' cabin.

    Signed, The BAD Dog Sitter

    • Fashion-Hound

      Hi Dix,

      So sorry to hear about the sick dog you are watching. We hope she is doing okay. Upon reading your question carefully, we feel that if it has not cleared up yet, you should take her to the vet due to the lack of eating and digestive issues. Please keep us posted on how she is doing.

      Sometimes a mildly upset stomach can be eased by not allowing the dog to eat for 24 hours or fasting. Still allow them to have water but taking food out of the digestive track will often allow them to more cleanly and quickly pass the problem through their system. Please note that they more water you can encourage them to drink, the quicker the problem should pass if it is treatable at home.

      For issues where the dog is vomiting repeatedly, not eating or suffering from severe diarrhea, please consult your vet quickly before it progresses to something worse.

      Take care.

  • Anonymous

    Why are people so anxious to work against nature? When our bodies or the bodies of our pets do something out of the ordinary, we just want to fix it immediately. Why don't we just trust nature more? I mean, it seems obvious that if the body is causing vomit then it must want something expelled. Maybe the body is poisoned, sure. Or maybe something else is wrong and the body simply isn't able to process whatever is in it at the time. We shouldn't be so anxious to try and stop a natural process.

    Now you're probably cussing me, but I'm speaking the truth. Although I don't like to see my child or my animals getting sick, I trust that nature has a plan. I mean, think about it. Our bodies and the bodies of animals are able to maintain a constant temperature. Do you realize what kind of intricate things are going on in the body to make that happen? 

    You don't have to try to stop the vomiting. The body needs to do what it has to. If anything, you just need to take care not to rush solid foods, but try to keep liquids in the body to avoid dehydration.

  • Anonymous

    In addition to those, there can be other reasons why your dog may be vomiting. Some of the reasons are very dependent upon the type of dog. Did you know that certain breeds experience this issue much more frequently than others?

    For example, consider a large breed dog. Oftentimes, these dogs will experience growth spurts. This is typical and nothing to worry about. However, this may lead to some episodes of vomiting, particularly in the morning. The reason for this is that these animals are growing so fast that their bodies cannot keep up with them. Their system is using up every ounce of food energy that they have and it still not enough. In the case of the morning vomit, the dog is actually spitting up stomach bile. There really is nothing in the stomach for the body to feed on, and they are hungry. The body is actually cannibalizing itself.

    In the above situation, this is perfectly normal. Of course, this is not likely a very fun experience for your dog. They are hungry and then they throw up. It also probably causes them some pain, although not nearly as much as if this has been caused by something unnatural. The solution is simple. Just lay out more food before going to bed. If you are already in the habit of laying out food for your dog at night. Then either add a bit extra, or maybe even prepare another bowl. You may want to add a bit more gradually, just to kind of see how much is enough to solve the problem without giving too much.

    There are also a number of human foods which can be toxic to dogs. If your little one ate some of these, then it could be cause for concern. Some examples of these are grapes, raisins, chocolate, avocados, baby food, macadamia nuts, onions, mushrooms, coffee and alcohol (I have even heard stories of crazy roommates giving a dog beer just to see what would happen). If they have eaten small amounts of any of these, then this could explain the vomiting. Generally, you want to let this run its course. They may go through a self imposed fast which generally will last from 12 to 24 hours. After this they should be fine, although you want to reintroduce food to them again very slowly.

    In other cases, your dog could be experiencing an allergic reaction to something they ate. Admittedly, this may be difficult to figure out. It may even take a vet to figure out if this was the cause in some extreme cases. But just try to work backwards and figure out what they had been eating for the last day or two and look for anything that seems out of the ordinary.

    Whatever the reason, when your dog is vomiting it is very important to quickly determine the cause so that you can take decisive action to solve the problem. This is certainly not a fun experience for your dog. Since they cannot talk and tell you what the problem is, you need to figure it out.

  • Anonymous

    As a dedicated dog owner and regular reader of many different pet forums, I can say that one of the most common questions asked is about what causes a dog to vomit. This experience is actually quite painful for the animal from what I understand. If the problem lasts for a while, they may even have a difficult time eating again, which in itself will cause additional worry for any good owner.

    Obviously, if a dog is vomiting, there is something wrong inside. It may be something as serious as an intestinal blockage to just an irritation caused by something new that was eaten. It can actually be a very frustrating experience trying to hunt down the cause of the issue and then correcting the actual problem so that it does not re occur.

    One possible cause may be that their food was recently switched to a new brand or type. Sometimes doing this can cause irritation in the canine system. Remember, dogs are not people. Their digestive systems are much more sensitive than a human can really comprehend. If the dog has been eating the same brand for a long time, this is even more of a possibility. They may have become used to this food or brand.

    If the change was too sudden for your dog, there is an easy solution. First, you need to let the pain and irritation to their system run its course. This means stop giving them the new food immediately. The dog may vomit another time or two. This is normal. Most dogs will do just fine with a 12 to 24 hour fast after such an experience. Remember, this is a very painful experience for most dogs. In many cases they will not even want to eat.

    The next step, after the fast, is up to you. My personal suggestion is to get them back on their prior food and just make sure that everything has fully normalized before instituting any further changes. Once you are satisfied that the little one is back to normal, you can try implementing the change again. Only this time, you want to do so in a more gradual fashion. Try mixing in a little bit of the new food with the old food. Doing so in this fashion is actually a great way to sort of trick the dog. They will likely not even realize what is going on. Try mixing in an additional 10 percent or so every week. In this fashion, the change will be so gradual that your dog will never realize what has happened.

    Granted, this approach will take 10 weeks. You may want to speed it up a bit by adding in an additional 20 percent some weeks. I would still recommend starting out very slowly and only picking up steam as things move along. Just make sure that there are no adverse reactions.

    This is probably the most common cause for dog vomit that I see represented on most of the forums and their questions.

  • Anonymous

    My Border Collie mix just started throwing up. Diamond is 6 months old and from Mexico. She has been fine for the past few days until today. She was her normal self this morning until we went outside for a few hours I made sure she had water. I was cleaning out my shed and had her tied up behind the shed where there was shade so the sun wouldn't get to her. I took a break and noticed that she was throwing up clear liquid. I hurried and cleaned her. I brought her inside and put her in my room. She calmed down for awhile but then she started again.

    I don't know what to do! I'm really scared because she's still a puppy… what should I do????

    • michelle

      So sorry to hear that Diamond is not feeling well. It sounds like you did everything right yet she is still not healthy.

      We are here to help but certainly are not vets so we recommend you submit your question to our Ask a Pet Doc service. You should get a response from a licensed veterinarian quickly.

      Sure do hope that Diamond is feeling better very soon! Please keep us posted on her health.

      • Chrystal

        my chihuahua is vomiting & has been for 10 hrs. It was brown at first and then frothy looking but now there is blood & it seems like he is having a hard time getting it to come up & out…Please Help!!

  • Anonymous

    My 2 yr old Shih Tsu has thrown up once a day for the last 4-5 days. We’ve changed his diet to a holistic gluten, corn and wheat free diet as of November due to crystals in his bladder and urethra. He seemed to adapt well to the new food but as of about 1 week ago he’s been throwing up once a day.

    He is not lethargic and is his active self with our other dog who is 1 yr old. He’s drinking plenty of water as well. I know his tummy is bothering him because when I carry him, his stomach is making noises. He does not have diarrhea. I have recently noticed that he has lost weight. I’m guessing it’s from the hi protein low fat diet he’s on now. He’s eating Nature’s Variety Beef & Bison stew. He’s eating about 1 can a day. He is a larger than average size Shih Tsu.

    The holistic pet store recommended we give him Tripett to add the fat into his meals. Should I give him Pepto-Bismol to help his upset stomach? He weighs about 15 lbs.

  • Anonymous

    My dog got out the other day, when we got him back he was acting weird and now is vomiting and has diarrhea. We assume that he ate something while he was out there. We have already tried giving him boiled rice flavored with broth, but he didn’t eat it after he licked at it a couple of times. We don’t know what to do now, should we take him to the vet?

    • Fashion-Hound

      Hi there,

      We recommend you submit your question to our Ask a Pet Doc service. You should get a response from a licensed veterinarian asap. We hope your pup feels better soon! Please let us know how it goes.

  • Anonymous

    I have a Yorkie named Spike and he had been having a few bad days. We noticed three days ago that he was vomiting. When I took him out for his last trip outside before he went nighty-nighty he pooped. I picked him up to come inside and felt something wet on my arm. To my surprise it was two tiny drops of blood. When we wiped him we noticed that is definitely blood.

    After checking his poopy outside we were totally shocked. What we had seen was red mucus with only a tad bit of poop. It scared me to see that much redness in the mucus because I have never seen nothing like that in my life. After doing research there was the possible of answer of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The only thing I could think of was that he was stressed that I had been gone all day long that day. I am usually there with him 24hrs. a day.

    I gave him a little bit of Pepto Bismol like I have done before which did work then. Right now I am waiting to see what will happen. He has been vomiting only when he becomes excited so I have been trying my best to keep him from playing with our two cats and keeping the kids quiet. Could you please let me know if what to do? I can’t stand to see my baby like this. Oh…I forgot to mention that when he pooped last night it was the worst smell ever which has never happened before. Hopefully I have given enough info to get some advice.

    Sincerely,
    Spike’s Mommy

    • Fashion-Hound

      Hi Spike and Mommy,

      I recommend you take what you just told us and submit it to our Ask a Pet Doc service. You should get a response from a licensed veterinarian asap. We hope you feel better soon Spike!! Please post back with your experience.

  • Anonymous

    My dog doesn’t chew his food properly and ends up throwing it up. What should I do?

    • domino

      We recommend you see your local veterinarian.

  • Anonymous

    My 4 year old chihuahua has been throwing up for 3 days now. The first day was chunky yellowish color, the second day it was a bright lime green color & it looked very sticky, & today he started throwing up blood. Then when I took him out to potty he defecated blood also. I don’t know what I should do, because Chico vomits every once in a while, but I don’t know what to do this time. I’m very concerned.

    • domino

      We recommend you go see your local veterinarian. Let us know how Chico holds up!

  • Anonymous

    My 12 year old Chihuaua, Crystal, has been throwing up and not eating. She just seems kind of distant, not her happy little self. She is drinking now (she wasn't the day before) and has had all her shots.

    I'm so worried. Crystal is a member of our family, but I don't have the money to just run to the vet. Please help me. I'm hopeful she's just having a bad day or two, just like we do sometimes. She is just very lethargic, I'm scared.

    • Alex

      Sorry to hear Crystal isn't feeling well. While it is certainly possible for Crystal to be having a bad day or two, I would not overlook this problem. The thing that concerns me is the concurrent lethargy and vomiting. This could be something as simple as a virus and it could be something bigger. It's impossible to say without examining your pet.  I know unexpected vet bills can be difficult but always remember that it's easier, and typically more cost effective, to deal with a problem sooner than later.

      Discuss your concerns with your veterinarian. He or she should be able to offer you a diagnostic and/or treatment plan that is both beneficial to Crystal and your budget. I'm sorry I can't be more helpful with Crystal's problem. If you haven't tried it yet, then you can withhold any attempt to feed Crystal over the next 12-24 hours. If there is no change or any further decline in that time, then you must visit your local veterinarian to resolve this problem.

      The Pet Doc