Dog Vomiting : Causes, Identifying Emergencies & Natural Home Remedies

Dog vomiting is a major physical symptom that affects all animals at one point or another. It is usually the symptom of an underlying illness. 

Occasional vomiting is not uncommon, as it is a natural way of discarding upsetting foods or foreign objects. There are many possible causes, so it is important to collect all of the symptoms and facts in order to get to the underlying cause. 

Dog vomiting is a complex topic and the causes are extremely widespread. It is best to learn exactly what dog vomiting is and how to tell an extreme case from a minor upset stomach.

Dog Vomiting vs. Regurgitation

Have you ever witnessed your dog regurgitating a snack or a meal? This is NOT the same as vomiting.

Vomiting and regurgitation are often confused, so you should know how to tell the difference...

With regurgitation there is very little effort involved. The food expelled comes from the food pipe (esophagus) rather than the stomach meaning it will not be fully digested.

Dog vomiting, on the other hand, is the forcible expulsion of stomach and/or intestinal contents through the mouth. The key discriminating factor between vomiting and regurgitation is the term “forcible expulsion”, meaning it takes quite an effort by the dog to expel the material.

There is often heaving and a loud dog cough or hacking involved when your dog vomits. It is also common for a dog to try and re-consume the expelled material, and it is best to try and stop that from happening if possible. After all, there is a reason their bodies did not want it!

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Gastritis - Facts & Symptoms

Vomiting is a very common occurrence for dogs and is most often caused by irritation of the stomach, also called gastritis. 

Gastritis is very similar to an upset stomach for us. We may eat something that does not sit well and the next thing you know, it is coming up.

Or, we may eat too much of a good thing and regret it an hour later.

Dog gastritis is usually caused by the ingestion of some type of irritating substance. Common irritants consumed by dogs include grass, decomposed or rotten food, paper and bones. 

Your dog will most likely vomit the irritant up first, followed by a clear or yellow fluid from the stomach. If dog vomiting episodes continue, it is wise to consult your veterinarian.

Dogs with gastritis will often seek grass to eat while they are experiencing stomach irritation. This is their instincts talking, as some herbs ease vomiting. Unfortunately, your grass will probably only cause further irritation and more vomiting, so don’t allow it!

Overall, gastritis is usually harmless and can be treated at home. But there are certain instances when you should seek veterinary advice…

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When to Seek Veterinary Assistance for Dog Health Vomit Problems

Diagnosing the underlying cause of dog vomiting may be difficult, but knowing when it is time to get the dog checked out is not!

As discussed above, gastritis is a common upset stomach caused by the digestion of foreign irritating bodies.  It is normal for a dog to vomit once or twice to expel an irritant, but beyond that it becomes excessive and dangerous.

Follow this checklist. If your dog has any of the following, take them in for a checkup:

  • A fever
  • Vomiting a few times in one day
  • Vomit is ejected extremely forcefully and seemingly painfully
  • If there is any blood or coffee grind colored material in the vomit
  • Serious abdominal pain, causing a change in the dog’s behavior
  • A depressed attitude or weak physical movements
  • Lost interest in regular activities

It is important to act quickly if your dog is experiencing chronic vomiting.  Dehydration can occur rapidly when a dog is not keeping anything down, and this can lead to bigger problems.

acupuncture dog

If you're still not sure whether to be concerned, you can ask our veterinarians directly via My Online Vet.

Explain your situation and they'll get back to you no later than tomorrow with the best course of action.

Here are the questions about dog vomiting submitted by other visitors: Ask a Vet Online Library - Dog Vomiting Section

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Common Underlying Illnesses that Can Cause Dog Health Vomit Problems

Unfortunately, vomiting is one of those issues that must be diagnosed and treated on a case by case basis.  There are numerous causes of dog vomiting and often times only a veterinarian can provide an exact diagnosis.

To help begin your research, there are specific illnesses that are commonly linked to dog vomiting, including:

dog health vomit

Less serious causes of vomiting can include overeating and eating too fast. If you have noticed that your dog gets sick almost immediately after eating, this could be the cause.

Try and slow them down by raising the food bowl off the ground. Good raised dog food bowls like this Indoor/Outdoor Raised Bowl from New Age make it easy to set it to the right level for your dog.

If your dog overeats, simply don’t feed them as much food per sitting.

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At-Home Treatments for Minor Dog Vomiting

If your dog is experiencing minor dog vomiting, it is probably safe to try an at home treatment first. 

Fasting

Fast your dog to try and heal the upset stomach.  This is what a dog would do if they were living in the wild.

Basically, it means giving your dog no food or water for 24 hours and then slowly transitioning them back to their normal regimen.  You can feed your dogs a couple of ice cubes during this time if you must.

See our Dog Fasting Guidelines for additional details on how to correctly fast your dog.

Natural Supplements

Natural supplements are available for purchased at many local and online pet stores. These following can help to soothe your dog’s stomach:

  • Digestive enzymes
  • Probiotics
  • Vitamin B complex

Herbs

These herbal teas can be added to your dog’s food and may help to settle their stomach:

  • Chamomile
  • Fennel
  • Ginger
  • Peppermint

There are dog homeopathic remedies and dog acupuncture treatments that have been found very helpful for many dogs with re-occurring stomach/vomiting issues.  It is best to locate a homeopathic veterinarian or acupuncturist near you who can provide you with all the essential information about these treatment options.

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