FurzlyWhy Dogs Throw Up?

January 14, 2020by Heidi Tait0
why dogs throw up

If your dog is vomiting and you have typed the question, “Why dogs throw up?” into Google, it is essential first to understand that dogs can throw up for many reasons. You should remain calm and identify if this is an episode worthy of visiting the veterinarian.

The first thing to figure out is if your dog is throwing up or if she is regurgitating. When a dog regurgitates food, undigested food is bubbling up from the stomach and leaving the dog’s body via the mouth. You might hear your dog having trouble breathing or coughing, kind of like a cat when it is expelling a hairball.

Actual vomiting is occurring when food or bile is forced out of the dog’s stomach. This is most likely to occur in powerful bursts and make a much larger mess than regurgitation. Your dog may have been drooling excessively or acting nauseous before the vomiting episode.

why dogs throw up
Photo by Matthew Henry on Unsplash

Before you speed-dial the vet, observe your dog in either case regurgitation or throwing up. Is your dog acting normally while he or she is not retching? How have they seemed over the last few days or weeks?

Also, have a look around, has your dog gotten into something? Or, maybe your dog just ate too fast and started to romp around before he had a chance to digest.

If you are a new dog owner or have not experienced watching your dog be sick, there is no harm in giving the vet a call. The worst thing that could happen is you end up going in for a visit that might not have been necessary.

why dogs throw up
Photo by Emile Pest on Unsplash

If you have a puppy that is vomiting, you should probably call the vet right off. Puppies are susceptible to contracting dangerous viruses, bacteria, and parasites. Their bodies are not yet equipped to fight these dangers. The same goes for older dogs, call the vet right away if they are vomiting.

Why Dogs Throw Up?

The most concise explanation for this is that your dog’s stomach lining is inflamed or irritated for some reason. The vet will name this condition as gastritis.

Gastritis most commonly occurs when a dog eats something that does not settle well. Gastritis and reoccurring vomiting bouts can be a sign of something more serious. If you think that your dog is having an abnormal amount of episodes, bring them in for an exam as soon as you can.

Immediate Dangers of Canine Vomiting

The most concerning part of any animal vomiting is dehydration. Make sure your dog has access to water. If they are unable to stop vomiting and dry heaving, call the vet or go to the animal emergency clinic.

You will also want to remove the animal’s food from its reach. If your dog has vomited, its stomach lining is irritated, and eating food directly after vomiting could cause more vomiting.

Allow your dog a few hours to fast and have some water. You can start reintroducing food by giving them plain cooked chicken, or low-fat, or non-fat cottage cheese. These items should be gentle on the stomach.

After your dog starts eating bland solid food again start reintroducing their regular diet. Depending on the severity of the event, it could take a couple of days to get your four-legged friend back to normal.

why dogs throw up
Photo by Christian Bowen on Unsplash

Harmless Reasons that Dogs Vomit

Many dogs LOVE to eat! Most of them would wolf down their body weight in food if you let them, it’s no wonder why dogs throw up. Some will also eat too fast. Others have owners that feed them food that upsets their tummies like spoiled items, table scraps, or bones that never sit right. Another common but harmless culprit is grass.

Why do dogs throw up? If you know that your dog:

  • Overate
  • Ate too fast.
  • Got into the garbage.
  • Ate too much food handed to them by the kids.
  • Munched too much grass.
  • Ate a non-poisonous houseplant.
  • Ate too much paper.
  • Has had a change in diet.

You do not need to worry. In addition, seemingly healthy dogs can throw up for no apparent reason once in a while and live long, healthy lives despite the fact.

When to Worry and Why

Most vets will tell you that a one and done vomiting episode is nothing to worry about. When the vomiting goes on for an extended period, or it happens intermittently over the period of days, there is more cause for concern.

You should also be concerned if there is:

  • Blood in the discharge.
  • Bloody diarrhea.
  • Dry-heaving
  • Seizures

If any of the above is taking place, you should call your vet as soon as you notice. Some more concerning explanations to the question, why do dogs throw up are:

  • Ingestion of a poison.
  • Infection
  • Parasites, a viral, or bacterial infection.
  • Pancreatitis
  • Heat Stroke
  • Bloat
  • Kidney or liver failure.

These conditions are all going to present with acute vomiting. Acute vomiting is an extreme vomiting episode that will probably result in your dog being tired and out of sorts after.

Another type of vomiting to be concerned about is when it happens on a regular basis and is not directly related to the ingestion of something. More serious reasons for why do dogs throw up are:

  • Cancer
  • Pancreatitis
  • Intestinal inflammation or obstruction.
  • Constipation
  • Parvovirus
  • Liver Disease
  • Systemic Illness
  • Kidney or liver failure.

We certainly hope that nothing like this is wrong with your dog. It is important to keep in mind that throwing up can be a sign of something much more than gobbling down the kibbles too quickly.

Final Thoughts

Why do dogs throw up? The answer might not come easy at first. But, it is likely a non-event, and your dog will be fine soon after the release. Remember, if there is any doubt in your mind, call your veterinarian for advice and remain calm.

Always prepare for the worst and hope for the best! Feel free to start a discussion about how you have dealt with your dog being sick in the comments below. People often find solace in knowing they are not the only person having a similar experience. I hope this helps you to answer your question, why dogs throw up?

why dogs throw up

Heidi Tait

I love to write, research, and animals. I can't wait to get my own place and have a dog of my own! I am going to have to settle for writing about them now! In my free time I enjoy swimming, running, and cooking.

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