My Dog Is Throwing Up: When Should I Be Concerned?
December 22, 2023
If your dog is vomiting, and you don’t know exactly why, do not panic. The first thing you should do is assess the situation to see if you can root out the possible cause(s) before moving on to the next step, which is to contact your veterinarian. Dogs do throw up from time to time, so pay close attention to what other symptoms they are showing.
Common Causes for Dog Vomiting
Like humans, dogs can throw up occasionally for a variety of benign reasons, including:
- Hairballs – Breeds with longer coats may ingest their own hair when they groom.
- Motion sickness or nausea – If your dog rides in the car with you, or is traveling with you via some other transportation, motion sickness is a relatively common cause.
- Eating too fast – Dogs often swallow their food without chewing. If your dog has a healthy appetite, they may eat their kibble too quickly, causing them to throw up what they just ate. Replace normal bowls with a slow feed bowl if your dog regularly throws up their food after eating.
- Dietary changes – Some dogs have more sensitive stomachs than others. Switching their food or changing something in their diet too abruptly can upset their stomach.
- Getting into things they shouldn’t be – Dogs are notorious for ingesting things they shouldn’t, whether it’s your trash, some socks, their toys, your house plants, table scraps and more. Keep an eye out for anything they may have accessed without you seeing.
Non-Emergency Dog Vomiting
If you suspect your dog just has an upset stomach, and it’s an isolated incident, then we suggest doing the following things to help reset their digestive systems:
- Boil some chicken without seasonings and rice. Feed your dog small portions.
- Feed them a smaller amount of their food at their next meal.
- Ensure they have plenty of fresh water.
When Dog Vomiting Is Serious
When your dog is showing the following symptoms, it may be a sign of something more serious happening, and it may be time for you to call us:
- Bloody or black vomit – If there is blood in your dog’s vomit, which may appear as red bits/streaks/liquid, or bits that look like coffee grounds, it’s a sign you should contact the vet.
- Frequent vomiting – If your dog is throwing up repeatedly (3-4 times) within a short span of time, or if it’s a recurring issue, it’s time to schedule an appointment with the vet.
- Lethargy or weakness – If your dog looks lethargic after throwing up, it may be a sign of an underlying problem. It could also mean your pup has become dehydrated after throwing up.
- Changes in behavior or appetite – Significant changes in behavior or appetite, such as refusal to eat or drink, should be addressed promptly. Also keep an eye out for bloating in the stomach.
- Ingesting a foreign body – If vomiting persists, your dog may have ingested something they shouldn’t have, like a toy or a piece of clothing. Immediately call your vet if you suspect this is the case.
- Dry heaving – If your dog is dry heaving but not expelling any vomit, you likely need to call the vet.
What Should I Do If My Dog Ate Something Toxic?
If you have evidence that your dog has gotten into something that’s toxic for them, call your nearest emergency veterinarian right away. The following foods are known to be toxic to dogs and can cause vomiting:
- Grapes and raisins
- Onion, garlic, and most other spices and dried seasonings
- Fruit and vegetable cores and seeds
- Xylitol or artificial sweeteners
- Alcohol and hops
- Yeast dough
- Raw eggs and raw meats
- Animal bones
Note that the above list is not exhaustive. Please call us immediately if you see your dog has gotten into some food you’re not sure is toxic or dangerous for them, and is throwing up not long after.
Schedule an Emergency Visit with Care First
If your dog is throwing up, please do not hesitate to call us. We encourage you to continue to monitor your dog closely, even if you think that the throwing up is an isolated case. For urgent needs, our veterinarians and staff are trained to provide excellent care. Schedule with our emergency vet now.Back to Blog