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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?

Cute Puppy: Save Money at the Vet with InsuranceMy 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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53 Comments on "Why Is My Dog Throwing Up Undigested Food?"

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Kayla
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Kayla

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

Krista
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Krista

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
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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??

Krista
Guest
Krista

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
Editor

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.

GM
Guest

my dog keeps vomiting what do i do?

karen schisel
Guest
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
Guest
Kimberly Alt

You should contact your vet and ask about your dog’s health.

Maria
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Maria
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.… Read more »
Kimberly Alt
Guest
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.

Crickett
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Crickett
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… Read more »
Kimberly Alt
Guest
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… Read more »
Leonni
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Leonni

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

Kimberly Alt
Guest
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
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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
Guest
Kimberly Alt

Hi Darlene, how is your dog doing this morning? Does it seem like the chicken and rice helped?

Ma carina Dizon
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Ma carina Dizon

My dog vomits every 2am or 4am in the morning how can I help her?

Sadie Cornelius
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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
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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… Read more »
Sadie Cornelius
Guest
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
Guest
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.

Caesy
Guest
Caesy

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
Guest
Kimberly Alt

You should call the vet. Throwing up can lead to dehydration which can be life threatening.

Bryan
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Bryan

I have an 8 week old pitbull, she threw up undigested food twice and tried to eat it again.

Adz
Guest

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.

Claire
Guest
Claire

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
Guest
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!

maria
Guest
maria

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
Guest
Connie Snowflakes

Oh no! Always feel for bones scrupulously.

Kimberly Alt
Guest
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.

sonje
Guest
sonje

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???

Norma
Guest
Norma

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
Guest
Michelle Schenker

Norma,
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.

Guest
Member
Guest

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!

Lori
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Lori

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
Guest
Allison galvin

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

Connie Snowflakes
Guest
Connie Snowflakes

Divide food smaller portions.

Anne
Guest
Anne

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.

donna
Guest
donna

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
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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… Read more »
sonja m deligans
Guest
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… Read more »
Kimberly Alt
Guest
Kimberly Alt

You may also find this article to be helpful: https://www.caninejournal.com/community/dog-throwing-up-white-foam/

Kimberly Alt
Guest
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.
Guest
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.

tmj1
Guest
tmj1

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?

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
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… Read more »
Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
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… Read more »
Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

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.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
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… Read more »
Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

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

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

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?

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

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!

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

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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