An occasional upchuck is pretty normal in dogs, more so in puppies, since most have the habit of putting unwanted things inside them. When that happens, they naturally want to get the nastiness out by vomiting. Vomiting can also occur after dog eats grass. I have covered a detailed article on the same. Many dogs eat grass only to bring it back out. Some vets and dog owners allow their pet to indulge in this behavior. In general, dog vomiting after consuming grass is fairly normal as long as there are no other symptoms. Let us study when to call the vet when your dog is vomiting.
Should you be concerned about dog vomiting?
Vomiting and diarrhea are fairly common disorders in canines. Like humans, pets also have a ‘vomit’ center in the brain. It is highly developed in canines and this makes it very easy for dogs to vomit. So what causes dog vomiting? The usual suspects include:
- Eating too fast-especially when the dog has been very active or excited or anxious
- Chronic diseases or infections-flu, indigestion etc can cause dog to throw up undigested food.
- Poisons or toxins in food
- Eating spoilt or rotting food/meat
What to feed your dog when it is vomiting
If your dog is vomiting but otherwise normal, withhold food for a day or two. If he/she shows signs of hunger, feed the following:
- Chicken or beef broth with a bit of garlic and ginger. Ginger will curb nausea. Garlic will eliminate infection if any.
- Bland food like rice or boiled hamburger meat.
- Yogurt is good for dogs as it restores the good bacteria in the gut.
- Cottage cheese
- Soup with a few vegetables, bits of rice and chicken.
Wait for 2-3 days to ensure vomiting does not recur before resuming regular food.
When to call your vet
Whether you should call your vet when your dog vomits depends on several factors:
- If the vomiting is violent or projectile
- In case the vomit contains worms, blood, or foreign matter
- If your dog is very restless, pacing
- In case his/her breathing is rapid
If your dog is vomiting but otherwise normal, you may withhold food for 12-24 hours. This will give its stomach much needed rest.
Vomiting caused by stuck objects
Young dogs often swallow objects like toys, bones, stones etc which can get stuck in the esophagus. In some case, your dog will try hard to vomit. Often though, s/he may not be able to expel the object completely which can lead to vomiting symptoms. If you know that the object is not sharp and is small, you can allow your dog to vomit until you see the vet. On the other hand, if the object is large, sharp and pointed, your pet might need surgery for its removal. If this is the case, you can use some home remedies to stop your dog from vomiting until the surgery. Your vet can also prescribe medicine to prevent vomiting till the procedure is performed.
Bloat is also known as gastric torsion or gastric dilation volvulus. It is a life threatening emergency that causes the stomach to distend and fill up with gas and fluid. The stomach also twists internally and that makes it even more difficult for dogs to pass the gas and fluid. Any dog can suffer from bloating but it is mainly seen in large breeds with deep chests like Boxers, German Shepherds, Irish setters etc. One of the main symptoms of dog bloat is attempting to regurgitate or vomit which turns out unsuccessful. Your companion will also be restless and may have bluish gums. He may rapidly become weak. If this occurs, call your vet immediately. Some dogs show chronic bloat symptoms. Some homeopathic remedies can bring these under control. You also need to change your pet’s diet-avoid dry dog food and soybean as some studies have shown these foods to be responsible.
Sometimes, spending a day out in the hot sun can also cause vomiting. Your pet might collapse or faint. This is serious so take your pet to the vet immediately.
Diarrhea and vomiting
Take your dog to the vet if s/he has both vomiting and diarrhea despite not eating for several hours and if the vomitus contains blood. Each dog is different, so it is difficult to say what is causing the symptoms. Food poisoning, intestinal parasites and allergic reaction to food are some of the likely causes of such symptoms. Also take your pet to the vet immediately if
- Stools are bloody, black or tarry, yellow, greenish, gray
- Describe the consistency-whether it is watery, foamy or mucus like.
The yellow substance our dog vomits is the bile from his stomach. It is usually seen in younger, excitable dogs. Upset stomach, stress, anxiety, excitement etc can all cause these symptoms. In most cases though, dog vomiting yellow liquid indicates that his stomach is empty and you need to feed him. The stomach acids build up in the stomach which can cause the bile to come out through vomiting. Some dogs also throw up yellow in the morning after going without food for long durations. In small dos like Chihuahuas, you can prevent dog vomiting yellow by feeding small, frequent meals. What you feed is also very important-check your dog food labels to ensure that your pet is not allergic to any ingredients.
Many small dogs throw up white foam from time to time. This is just saliva and it could be an indication that your pet’s stomach is empty or that he is stressed. In most cases, feeding something will alleviate the issue.
Vomiting after every meal
If your dog vomits after each and every meal, then there is a chance that you are overfeeding him/her. Try reducing the quantity of food. You must also speak to your vet about the right breed-specific dog food for your pet. It is best to feed home-cooked meals so you can avoid harmful ingredients like fillers, preservatives etc. Never feed human food and table scraps to your pet.
Acute vomiting multiple times
Acute vomiting in canines can occur without reason, all of a sudden, without prior indication. A sudden change in diet or eating too much dry food very quickly can cause this. It is best to observe your pet for a while. Avoid feeding for a few hours. If there are other symptoms like diarrhea and fever, seek medical help. If your dog has diarrhea and vomiting for over 3 days, seek medical help immediately.
Vomiting blood is serious. If it continues for several times in a day, please call your vet immediately. It can be a potentially serious issue so do not waste time speculating on your pet’s condition. The best thing for your pet is vet’s advice.
Homeopathic and natural home remedies for mild cases of dog vomiting
Following homeopathic and natural remedies can help your pet when suffering from nausea and vomiting:
- Phosphorus 30 C– this will stop nausea and vomiting.
- Nux vomica 6 C-This remedy will stop nausea and vomiting caused by overeating –place a few pellets on the dog’s tongue every 3 to 4 hours.
- Pulsatilla 6 C- this is a good remedy for vomiting caused by overeating rich, fatty food
- Ipecac– For vomiting blood
- Arsenicum album-for gastritis brought on by spoiled food or rotting meat
- Belladonna –for animals that have fever and vomiting along with dilated pupils
- Magnesia phosphoric– for cramps (pet appears to be doubling up every now and then).
- Goldenseal– for chronic indigestion, poor appetite and weight loss
- Garlic– make an extract of garlic as follows. Chop garlic cloves and steep in cold water for 8 hours. Feed a few teaspoons of the extract to pet using a dropper 3-4 times a day. This will get rid of acute gastritis and improve digestion.
- Peppermint tea- This is a good herbal treatment for pets with vomiting. Brew a strong cup by steeping mint leaves and serve about ¼ cup at a time.
- Hydrogen peroxide- Feed your pet 3% hydrogen peroxide mixed with some milk. Use a syringe to do so. Wait for fifteen minutes to ensure pet does not vomit it out. Feed another teaspoon or so again. You can do this enroute to the vet’s.
How to clean up pet vomit from floors and carpets
- Remove all liquid and undigested food bits by blotting with a paper.
- Do not wipe or rub-press towels into the rug/carpet. Place paper towels on the wet area.
- Allow the towel to absorb the moisture.
- Now make a paste of Borax, lemon juice and bit of water and add it on the stain. Let the paste sit for a few hours.
- Follow with clean water and repeat if needed.
Dog vomiting occasionally and especially after eating grass is usually not a matter of great concern. In some cases, vomiting brings out the nastiness and is necessary to maintain your pet’s health. However, occasionally, it can be a cause of concern. We hope this brief guide helps you make an informed choice as to whether to seek vet’s treatment for your pet.