Why Is My Dog Throwing Up Undigested Food?

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Shih TzuThis question for our Pet Doc comes from Emily in San Diego.

  • My dog’s name is: Toots
  • Breed: Imperial Shih Tzu
  • Age of pet: 15

My Dog Is Throwing up Undigested Food. What Do I Do?

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My dog appeared to be overloaded with too much dog food (not people food). And then tossed it all. All of it. My dog is throwing up undigested food! But now she’s looking to eat again – maybe because it did not actually get digested before you vomited? This is the first time she’s really ever thrown up.

When Did Toots Start Throwing Up?

First time today about 45 minutes after eating her dinner of Hills Brothers AD (very rich), approximately 1/4 to 1/3 can. She had eaten her Nature’s Recipe 1/3 cup about 2 or 3 hours before.

How Has Her Situation Changed?

The throwing up just happened today. My concern is that she wants to eat, but I don’t want her to throw up all over again. What do I feed her or do I? It has appeared to improve her “bellyache“.

Answer From Our Pet Doc

Hi Emily. Thanks for contacting us about Toots. The short answer on what I would recommend is to fully assess how Toots looks to you overall. Would you know she was sick if you didn’t see her vomit? If the answer to this question is yes, then I recommend you see your local veterinarian for advice. If she is otherwise normal, then try withholding food for 12-24 hours. Slowly introduce her food after that time and reassess. If there is no change after 24 hours or any further decline at anytime, then seek the help of a local veterinarian. Hope this helps and let us know how everything goes. Good luck!

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77 Comments on "Why Is My Dog Throwing Up Undigested Food?"

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Tara Tremayne
Hi guys not sure if its a similar situation but i have an English bull terrier male 5 months old and we have recently changed his dry food, but every time he eats the dry food he throws it up. but only biscuits i tried him with wet food and all okay but wet food isn’t filling up and he is looking very slim
Kimberly Alt
Did you slowly transition your dog’s food or did you go from food A to food B overnight?
Ur mum
My doge is puking its food.it eats and then pukes it all out. She continuously does it.
Kimberly Alt
If your dog has been doing this for more than 24 hours, we suggest taking her to the vet. Best of luck and hope she gets well soon!
Sarah M. Palyo
My black lab eats her food very fast. She gobbles it down. I don’t think she chews it. We have bought different bowls so she has to slow down. But NO she just gobbles it down fast. Lately she has been throwing up the food within 2-3 minutes and it is all in tact. She eats way too fast. I tried putting a few kibbles on the floor in a row and she will eat them but she doesn’t chew. What else can I do?
Kimberly Alt
Have you tried adding some water to the kibble to help soften it?
My puppy has been eating royal cannin since I got her when she was 3 months she’s now 9 months and she’s still with royal cannin she’s been throwing up undigested food for 3 days now… I don’t know what’s wrong with her I took her to the vet and they told me if she keeps it up to take her in for x rays.. any tips? Has this happend to anyone?
Did you have an update on this puppy. My puppy is doing this same thing
my dog is 14 years her heart valve is having problems and shes taking 2.5mg vetmedin a day after taking it for few months she had an xray at the vet showing her liver is enlarged and was given Lasix 1 cc a day. now she eats cooked chicken but 8 hours after she eats it she throws it up after she tries to poop for 5 mins no poop came out. but the food shes throwing up looks like its not been digested at all. after seeing heart specialist and a few vets don’t seem like any better then before. shes on oxygen concentrator. after a lot of research my only guess is Lasix is a base and I m guessing that its having some effect on her digestive acid causing her not able to digest her food. it also seems like shes learn how to purposely throw up her food. because it seems if I don’t let her out she will keep the food in and a day or two later she will poop, but seems like there is blood in her poop. 1 vet suggested stop giving her med, 1 vet suggested put her to sleep, another suggested she needs to take Lasix. but Lasix don’t seems to be helping and shes does not seems to be in a lot of pain that she needs to be put to sleep. I m trying 1/2 the dose on her meds but seems like no meds at all is when there is a higher chance she wont throw up her food until it comes out as poop. she is losing weight every since she started on vetmedin. and worst after she start taking Lasix. 1st and 2nd x ray shows her heart is enlarged and 4th xray shows both her heart and liver enlarge. any chance her 4th xray missed a blocked intestine or mabe the vets missed something when she poop its red. what other things could of been missed ? intestine infection mabe? but her blood work don’t show any signs of infection. any ideas?
John, how is your dog doing? If I could give any advice I suggest you contact 5 leaf.com this is what I’ve done as my 15 yr old was having diahrrea and constipation due to pancreatitis and he was in kidney failure. The vets don’t really do anything about this and your pet will get worse. It sounds like your may have indigestion and perhaps pancreatitis since you described constipation and vomiting. I learned that constipation can be an early sign of kidney failure so if you get your dog turned around by this company online you could save her. I’ve also started my dog on medicinal canibus for nausea, arhtritis etc. and he’s feeling much better with no medications.

Good luck John

Debra L Hicks
I have a 7 year old Doberman, The other night I noticed one of my dogs had thrown up there dinner . They had ate earlier in the evening about 5.30PM at 11.00pm I noticed the undigested food. Then the next morning I found it again, They ate at 8:00Am and I found it around 3pm. Then again after they ate dinner about 6 hrs later. None of my other dogs are sick, so I know it is my Doberman, since he sleeps out in the living room at night and they rest sleep with me. He acts fine and plays. I’m making a Vet appointment tomorrow for him. What could be going on? He pooping just fine as well. Any ideas??
Precious Howell
I have a 7 year old maltese, who recent became very ill. She develop bladder stones and her bladder ruptured causing her to undergo two surgeries to remove the stones. She was in the hospital for 2 weeks because she was almost close to death. However like the fighter that she is she overcame but now she is having a hard time eating kr drinking without gagging or vomiting. Even Without eating she’s gagging and when she does try to eat anything solid its coming right back up. She had stopped eating and drinking for a while when she was very sick but now we have her on an appetite stimulant and simething for nausea and she wants to eat but she can’t keep it down. I have resulted to getting her baby food, apple sauce and Pedialyte and even with that,it is not coming up but she is gagging like she wants to throw it up after she eats it. The vet hospital have exhausted all efforts to try to find out what’s going on but to no avail we can’t find anything. There’s no blockages or obstructions in her stomach that could be causing this so I really want to find her some help but that’s anybody have any suggestions.
K Davidson
I have a 15 week Aussiedoodle on the tail end of giardia and coccidia medicine. Yesterday he threw up a bit of his breakfast 5 hours after eating. Some digested looking and some undigested. It was after tearing around the yard with pent up energy. I fed him a smaller lunch about 4 hours later and spaced out a smaller dinner also. He seemed tired most of the afternoon and evening, but the day before he got a lot of exercise and didn’t nap much. Then this morning, after eating a little breakfast with blueberries, it came right back up. I took his food away, and I’ve been feeding him a little at a time with training. He’s acting normal. He’s playful. He’s pottying normal. He’s drinking water, but he’s not very interested in the small amount of food I left in his bowl.
I have 1.4 year German shepherd he vomits all the food he eats. He also doing potty very dark black and some part is like blood. He is doing all these things from last 3 days. Please help me and tell fast what I should do about it please it is my request.
Kimberly Alt
I recommend this article to you about what your dog’s poop color means.
Mary Mullins
I have a 3 year old Rottie. She gets fed at night at 10pm. I let her out in the morning, and she seems fine. By the time I get home around 3pm, she has thrown up all of her food. She wants to eat and drink water but can’t hold down the food at all. This is now day 3. Day 1: she had diarrhea, day 2: solid poop, and today diarrhea again. She’s acting completely normal (running, jumping, playing) besides those side effects.

Just a fyi, she takes antacid medicine.

Kimberly Alt
Has she been holding her food down since you posted this comment?
I little puppies is a Maltese four months old I got him his third needle came home he was not like himself but I noticed he was doing diarrhoea and vomiting is that normal for puppies to get their needle why they’re not like them self
Kimberly Alt
I’m sorry Liz, I’m not sure I understand your question. Could you rephrase?
Kenny lewis
My dog throwing up undigested food want eat looking weight lays around weak and keeps having throwing up mucus are body fluid what wrong disabled don’t have money to pay bills or to vet
I have a female pitbull and lately she’s been just throwing up everything she eats and then after she throws up her first stop is to the dog bowl
Jerry Tanksley
My puppy doing the same thing don’t know what to do throwing up her food can’t afford vet
don’t have a dog if you cant afford the vet. rule number 1
I just rescued a male blue pit from a bad situation but when he ate both times within seconds he threw it up and with the food was a thick mucus but once i got him to my house i feed him literally piece by piece and it stayed down and he holds water fine should i be concerned?
Michelle Shrake
I have an eight month old shepard beagle mix…she refuses food one day the acts like she’s starving the next day and will throw up her food undigested. Seems like she’s losing weight. She eats her own stool and vomit and anything else she can get her mouth on…plastic, wood, ect. Just started getting blood in her stool. I think the lady we bought her from lied about her getting her shots…are these signs of parvo??
A blockage could be the reason in the throat the intestines or anywhere in between if she chews on alot then something could be stuck in there its probably a good idea to have her k as soon as u can if u lmk where u live like city i can point u to some lower cost vets hope it gets better
Kimberly Alt
This article discusses parvo in dogs: https://www.caninejournal.com/parvo-in-dogs/. I recommend taking a look and if you still think your dog has parvo you should contact your vet immediately. Keep us posted and we hope she starts to feel better soon.
my dog keeps vomiting what do i do?
karen schisel
my 1 1/2 year old lab has thrown up twice a day for a week don’t know why food is partially digested smells very bad she does get into the corn field and eats some corn here and there.

Not sure why she is throwing up her mom is not they do like to eat there fecal material that is gross can’t seem to get them not to do that. Summer time I pick it up. She just had her shots about 2 weeks ago

Kimberly Alt
You should contact your vet and ask about your dog’s health.
We have a 6 month old French bull dog. He eats blue buffalo puppy dry food. He throws up periodically. Saturday he threw up about 3 hours after he ate a little of his kibble and it came out undigested. Today (Monday), 8 hours after he ate, he threw up twice, also undigested kibble, mixed with something that was not food that he digested. He is constantly eating things he shouldn’t be….example wee wee pad, our Christmas tree (fake). He is behaving normally. I am concerned that he could have a blockage due to all the things he has eatened. Should I be worried? We are first time dog owners and are very concerned. Should we take him the vet?
Kimberly Alt
Yes, you should take him to the vet. Better safe than sorry and this could be life threatening. Please keep us updated, our thoughts are with you.
people don’t need others to tell them to go to the vet, its not helping at all. my dog is having the same deal and she been to 5 vets, why do people keep saying go to the vet. if people have medical background should share there information. as to the different possible cause they can remember or know, to shed some light or ideas that might help. vet are not always right even doctors not always right even mechcanics is not always right brainstorming ideas of different cause might help. as owners spend more time with there pets, might find what vets missed. thank you
Hello! I need some advice, as our vet is closed until Monday. I have a 6 month old Boston terrier. She is rambunctious and so sweet. I brought her home at 12 weeks. She is on ‘the honest kitchen’. She was on a grain free, but I had noticed that she always seemed hungry. Due to this, I mixed a grain free recipe variety with one that contained grain. She did fine for a few days, but started vomiting on Thursday. I immediately put her on boiled ground turkey and a bit of rice. The next morning, as she had made it through the night without vomiting, so I had thoughts we were ahead of this thing. Once I arrived home from work, I was informed that she vomited again, so I took out the rice. Then she vomited again last night, then during the night. Then this morning. Then this afternoon. She is playful, happy, NOT dehydrated (thank goodness). But we are just talking about boiled ground turkey. I don’t get it. By the way, first time small dog owner. Help!!
Kimberly Alt
Typically the recipe is with boiled chicken instead of boiled turkey to help your dog’s digestion. Your dog may have an intollerance to the turkey. Make sure you are doing the appropriate amounts. If you do too much meat it may cause more harm than good. Checkout the comments here for some guidlines on proportions: https://www.caninejournal.com/community/boiled-chicken-and-rice-for-dogs/.

I would assume that mixing the grain free with the grain dog food caused her to have some digestive issues. It’s important to transition your dog slowly. Doing a 50/50 mix probably caused her to be ill. Here’s an article that will help you transition your dog to the 50/50 mix your are trying to get her to: https://www.caninejournal.com/changing-dog-food/.

Good luck and please let us know if we can help in any way. And keep us posted on how she is doing.

Hi, I have a 12 year old American bulldog and she has now been throwing up for about 2 weeks this is all undigested food in a slimy mucus. We have tried putting her on liquidized foods but she still seems to be throwing this up every time she eats. She is now throwing up about 5 times a day. I really want to take her to the vets but I am unable to afford the vet bill. I am now very worried this could be serious. Does anybody know what this could be?
Thanks in advance
Hi Leonni,
Try giving her a pepcid tablet to reduce acid 1 every 12 hrs for a few days. You give a 5mg tablet per 20lbs. Over 50 lbs give a full 10mg tab
Kimberly Alt
Unfortunately, you need to take her to the vet. Two weeks throwing up is severely life threatening. I’m sorry you are unable to afford the vet bill at this time. If you can find a way to get your dog to the vet you should try and do so. Our thoughts are with you. Please keep us posted on how you dog is.
Darlene Traskie
I have a 5 year old male yellow lab and has started throwing up. I thought it was his milk bones I give him in the evenings, well I found out it’s not that. He has been on the same food for a long time 3 cups dry 1/2 can wet I’m going to try rice with chicken broth.
Kimberly Alt
Hi Darlene, how is your dog doing this morning? Does it seem like the chicken and rice helped?
Ma carina Dizon
My dog vomits every 2am or 4am in the morning how can I help her?
Sadie Cornelius
So sorry to hear! Possibly she could be dehydrated so make sure she has plenty of water to drink throughout the night. If the problem continues, please take her to the vet!
Alison Davis
My 3 year old male beagle has been throwing up undigested food for the last 48 hours. He don’t even make an attempt like usual to even eat it. He has been on this brand since he could eat solid food. He is a trial dog not used for hunting. He isn’t himself and he is what do I do at home to help I can’t afford to take him to a vet right now but I need to be able to help my dog. He eats slot of grass when he is outside specially these past couple of days he isn’t having normal bowel movements once yesterday and so far today he hasn’t done anything. Please someone help me.
Sadie Cornelius
Alison, sorry to hear about your pup, you might try switching to a new brand of dog food and the grass could be also upsetting his stomach.
Charlotte Guidry-Naquin
My yorkie has been throwing up undigested food for about 4 days he looks fine and acts fine but eats then vomits about 10 to 15 minutes later when he drinks he does not throw up I have him on pedilite but he is always hungry after he throws up he saw a vet about a month ago and all was good he is 11 months old.
My dog threw up a lot the other day and now she has no energy no appetite and she is not herself she is a 10 year old Rottweiler mix lab what could this be?
Kimberly Alt
You should call the vet. Throwing up can lead to dehydration which can be life threatening.
I have an 8 week old pitbull, she threw up undigested food twice and tried to eat it again.
My dog just vomited for the first time, she’s 5 months old and she didn’t eat food at all the whole day. Also her baby tooth is coming out.
Hello my dog is petrified of fireworks, and last night was really nervous she was sick about 10 times last night, nothing but bright yellow bile with white foam. She hasn’t eaten since but she is really hungry and I am not sure what I can give her. She is a 5 year old whippet.
Kimberly Alt
Claire you should call your vet and explain what is going on with your dog. They should be able to help you out. Best of luck!
Can anyone answer this. My dog eats and throws up immediately, I’m thinking she has a bone stuck, kids were eating wings she might have gotten a bone, I thought because she was pregnant but she had pups still doing the same. Help??? She can eat smooth food nothing that has to be chewed.
Connie Snowflakes
Oh no! Always feel for bones scrupulously.
Kimberly Alt
Maria, your dogs digestion is not something to be taken lightly and it’s great that you are seeking out help. I suggest calling your vet. You pups could be ill with something much more serious than an upset tummy.
My dog keeps on vomiting.. like 7 times already with undigested food. I’m very worried. It’s freaking me out! What will I do to her???
Hi my name is Norma Lemos. I have a shihtzu poodle and he is 9 weeks old. In the middle of the night he started to throw up. The color was brownish. What does this mean?
Michelle Schenker
Since the puppy is very young and you are not yet familiar with its behavior and health symptoms, we would recommend that you take your sweet pup to the vet or at least call them for a phone consult. Hope he is feeling better soon.
Regurging (vs vomit, vomit takes effort to expel, regurge is like food coming up & out without any effort) could be megaesophagus.

Dog needs to be ELEVATED in a begging position to have the esophagus Totally vertical. Many vets misdiagnose!


My pitbull of three years old just had a healthy litter of puppies. She has had diarrhea at least once or twice a day. Today she is now vomiting. What can I give her to make this stop?

Allison galvin

HI! Just recently my dog began vomiting. He is a rat terrier and is eleven… How can I help him?

Connie Snowflakes
Divide food smaller portions.

I have a year and a half shih tzhu puppy. have noticed he wasn't eating much so i took him to vet she couldn't see nothing wrong with him gave him a steroid jag to help with his appetite it helped a little bit and have been feeding him boiled chicken and white rice he has been throwing up little bits and still not eating much the vet has suggested blood tests. could u help me the blood tests are expensive he's sleeping a lot and shivering more than he usually does.


My shih tzu is 4 1/2.. I've been feeding her the same food for almost a year but in the past week she has vomited a few times a day.  The only thing different is her food was in a bowl before and she barely ate but once per day because I think she was scared of the bowl. In the past week I have fed her off a paper plate and she gulps down each meal.  What should I do?  Does anyone think I should take her to the vet? Other than vomiting she seems fine.

Dick Umstead
Our 6 year old shih tzu has done this for a long time and I have come to the conclusion that you have come to, that being in the way that she is fed. She too will not eat out of a bowl because her collar tags rattle on the edge of the bowl so we use a plastic place mat to feed her.

When my wife feeds her she places it (chicken and kibbles) in a pile and she gulps it down and will throw up after awhile, especially if she becomes active. I think that it is because she is eating more that her small stomach can hold and because she gulps it down.

I have tried to cut the ration size down and scatter it apart, let her eat and after awhile give her some more. This seems to work most of the time and is worth a try.

She also throws up yellow bile and we give her a probiotic once a day and that seems to work. I also give her 1/2 of a generic acid mint after she throws up and that seems to quiet down her stomach.

Hope that this helps.

sonja m deligans
I have a Boston Terrier that’s a year old. He started throwing up about 2 or 3 months ago after he eats. He is not sick he is very active. I have tried every food on the market, lately I have been giving him Science Diet wet Dog Food, this is working better than the dry food, but he still throws up, not as much though… I brought him to the vet she said his weight was fine and told me to give him a Pepcid every a.m. this helped a little also. I was wondering what acid medicine you are giving your dog and has it helped? I also noticed when he throws up his dry dog food it’s undigested and white foam with it, like mucous, so I’m thinking I will call vet and ask her if maybe he needs like Claritin or something to do with too much mucous. He does seem to have a hard time breathing, which the vet told me these dogs have alot of issues with.
Kimberly Alt
You may also find this article to be helpful: https://www.caninejournal.com/community/dog-throwing-up-white-foam/
Kimberly Alt
Hi Sonja, sorry to hear about your dog. I had a question, unrelated to acid medicine. Does your dog eat his food quickly? If your dog eats too fast it can result in him throwing up.

If your dog is still ill after the vet giving him pepcid as a solution it may not hurt to get a second opinion.

Hope he gets better soon!

Bonita M.

I was just wondering what happened to your dog…mine is doing the same thing, she seems normal otherwise but throws up her food, had taken her to the vet and he said to take all food away from her for 24 hrs and then start small with ground hamburger and rice, well I did and this is the 4th day since and she is back throwing up again. It's been going on for a week now. He gave her antibiotics but nothing has helped, going back to feeding her two tablespoons every four hours.


My dog is eating his food in the morning around 7:30 am, and now (in the afternoon), around the same exact time today and yesterday, he is sick again. He was also sick again last night. He is acting fine, but I am concerned something else might be wrong. Any suggestions?


If this is just a brief bout of vomiting without any other factors, then the article is probably correct: dial back the rich food and don't worry too much. Small digestive complaints like this are not uncommon, especially for an older dog. Rich food is sometimes just too much for a dog to handle, especially when it is markedly different from their usual diet. Being hungry again after throwing up is also common, for humans as well as dogs. It is just a natural desire to replace lost nutrients. Typically, if you make sure that the replacement food is not rich, it is all right to feed your dog after waiting at least several hours, as the article suggests. But allowing your dog to eat immediately afterward may not be a good idea. The digestive system may not recognize the difference between "normal" and "rich" food, if they follow each other too quickly. When you do serve your dog again, use small portions and wait at least several minutes between bites to watch for any additional problems. Serve clean water with the meal.


Unless your dog keeps throwing up undigested food, I wouldn't be all that concerned about any serious health problems. Like others have mentioned here, you might want to just change the dog food. But, if the food keeps coming up undigested, there could be something wrong with the digestive system. Overall though if your dog is throwing up undigested food, you're probably better off than if he or she is throwing up digested food.

When dogs (or anyone else) throws up food that has been digested, it is a sign of an illness. When it comes to dogs, repeated events of this can even be a sign of a deadly illness, such as Parvo. But dogs do eat some pretty disgusting things. In fact, it's a daily battle in my house to convince my dog that my sandals are not his personal snack or chew toy. I see him carrying things in from the burn pile and everything else. That kind of scares me because I don't want him to eat something that's going to hurt him. On the other hand, it's natural for them to eat things we wouldn't like grass. I would just change the dog food and monitor the dog for any continuing problems.


If your dog 'Regurgitates' its entire food, STOP feeding it 'PURINA' dog food. Our Chihuahua mix never liked it. For awhile, we added water & some chicken to the dry Purina food but after a year he went from regurgitating once a month to after every meal. We went to the Vet, no parasites so we changed the food and now he is 100% okay.

A lot of people are quick to suggest that throwing up is the consequence of an intestinal blockage and more often than not this is not the case…however, for our black lab it was! He managed to swallow a strip of pillow case which he got hold of and he had shredded it up so well that I didn’t even notice he had swallowed any of it. All it takes is for them to snag something when your back is turned and things go haywire! We knew something was wrong with Jet when he was unable to keep any food down, it was as though it was hitting something on the way down and coming back up again undigested…and that is exactly what was happening! We headed to the vet and did a barium x-ray and found the offending obstruction but by some miracle the night before his scheduled surgery he passed it.

Now I know what to do if my dog will have such a disorder.


My new puppy is 4 months and just got neutered. He is throwing up once a day and is eating grass. I have a vet appointment soon. But what do you guys think would cause his throw up problem?

In my experience a pup throwing up food can be attributed to any number of things. From the natural grass eating habit dogs have to cleanse their stomach all the way to a serious intestinal issue. If the throwing up persists, I would recommend you see your local vet. You owe it to your dog!
My dog had the same problem. I changed her dog food and she was feeling better. Amazing to me that someone would make dog food that not even a dog would want to eat?

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