My dog is vomiting, what should I do?

Vomiting is a common digestive problem in dogs. However, seeing your dog vomit is always a bit worrying for the owner. In this article we will explain the causes of vomiting, and especially what you should do if your dog vomits.

Vomiting and regurgitation: 2 different things

People tend to confuse vomiting with regurgitation. But they are not the same thing. 

Regurgitation occurs immediately after eating, without any effort on the part of the dog. There are no warning signs.

Vomiting is a mechanism to remove unwanted contents from the stomach to relieve the dog's discomfort. To do this, the animal will make violent abdominal efforts. Signs that the dog is about to vomit can be observed: he looks worried, his sides are hollowed out, he may also start drooling.

If your dog vomits occasionally, there's no need to worry. But if he vomits frequently or if you notice any associated symptoms, you should consult your veterinarian as this may indicate a health problem.


What causes vomiting in our dogs?

  • Vomiting most often has a digestive origin. But this is not always the case. There are many causes of vomiting.
  • Here are some of the most common:
  • food poisoning
  • ingesting too much food
  • a dog that eats too quickly
  • stress, excitement during or after eating
  • food allergy
  • a sudden change in diet
  • ingestion of a foreign object (socks, piece of toy)
  • pancreatitis
  • an infectious or parasitic disease such as parvovirus
  • a tumor or ulcer in the stomach
  • inflammation of the digestive tract (IBD, gastritis, gastroenteritis)
  • dilatation-torsion of the stomach
  • motion sickness (if the dog vomits in the car)
  • a neurological problem
  • renal insufficiency

What to do if your dog is vomiting?

Usually, when our dog starts vomiting, we wonder if we should take him to the vet in an emergency or not. 

The answer to this question depends on several things. First of all, you need to look at the appearance of the vomit because this will give you an indication of the origin of the problem.

If the vomit is frothy, it is gastric juice. A yellow or light green color indicates that it is bile. 

If the vomit is dark in color, contains blood, or has a foul odor, your dog should be taken to the veterinarian urgently. Also, if your dog has diarrhea or loss of appetite at the same time, see your veterinarian quickly. All of these symptoms can indicate the presence of an illness.

You must act quickly in case of vomiting because there is a risk of dehydration, especially in puppies and older dogs.

If the appearance of the vomit is normal, you can first put your dog on a diet, i.e. without giving him food, but leaving him his water bowl for a few hours. At the end of this period, if the vomiting persists, call the veterinarian in emergency. If the vomiting has stopped, you can resume feeding gradually while continuing to observe your dog.

If you think your dog may have food poisoning or may have swallowed an object, call your veterinarian immediately. 

During the consultation, the veterinarian will try to determine the cause of the vomiting by performing some tests. Most often, he will administer an anti-vomiting treatment in order to quickly relieve the animal.

How to prevent vomiting?

There are a few things you can do to limit vomiting. First and foremost, it is important to facilitate the digestion of food and to prevent possible disorders of the digestive system.

During the meal, the dog must be calm. He should not be stressed or disturbed while eating, especially if there are other animals in the house.

If necessary, you can slow down the intake of food by putting a glass or a large stone in the middle of his kibble. Splitting your pet's daily ration into several meals can help limit the amount of kibble ingested and prevent poor digestion.

Wait at least 2 hours after the meal before asking your dog to do anything, especially physical activities.

Always keep a close eye on your dog during walks to prevent him from ingesting uneatable food.

You can also support the proper functioning of the digestive system by giving your dog food supplements containing prebiotics  which will help rebalance the intestinal flora. These supplements are useful in prevention, but they can also be used after a digestive problem. However, they are not a substitute for appropriate treatment.

We hope this article answers any questions you may have about your dog's vomiting. In summary, vomiting is a common digestive problem in our furry friends. But, if it looks strange or occurs too frequently, it is necessary to consult your veterinarian.

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