Why is My Dog Vomiting?

black and brown shepherd mix dog lying under a blanket

It’s never a good time when your dog is not feeling well. But, when you decide to add a puppy to your family, you’re also taking on those rough times when your dog is feeling sick. When your dog is vomiting, it’s a concerning situation. But, it isn’t always something serious and it doesn’t always mean a trip to the vet. While making your dog comfortable and cleaning up the mess, try to figure out why your dog is vomiting. Figuring that out can help you figure out whether your dog vomiting is normal or serious and what to do next. Here are some reasons why your dog might be throwing up:

1. Your Dog Ate Too Fast or Too Much

If your dog tends to scarf their food down as quickly as possible, they may throw up afterward. In this case, vomiting will occur shortly after eating and will contain undigested food. In this case, it is technically regurgitation and not vomiting, but it’s still a mess. A slow feed bowl and smaller portions can help your dog slow down. If your dog tends to eat fast and is also at a higher risk for bloat, you definitely want to slow them down. Bloat in dogs can quickly become dangerous, so it’s best to do what you can to avoid it.

Your dog may also vomit if they’ve eaten too much. Some dogs will graze throughout the day and just eat when they’re hungry while other dogs will eat whatever is in the bowl. If your dog will gobble down whatever is put in front of them, no matter how much it is, you can help them by offering standard small portions and using scheduled feeding times. This can help an overweight dog get healthy and can reduce the dog vomiting that’s happening after a meal.

2. Something They Ate Doesn’t Agree With Them

Your dog could be throwing up because they ate something that doesn’t agree with them and their stomach is upset. This could occur after a diet change. If you haven’t changed your dog’s food recently, think about what else they could have eaten.

Your dog could be vomiting due to a food intolerance, potentially after eating grass, or after getting into the trash and ingesting garbage. If they don’t return to normal after throwing up and continue to be lethargic or show other symptoms, it’s time to visit the vet. It could just be an upset stomach, but it could also be something more serious. Either way, your vet will be able to help.

3. Your Dog May Have Ingested Something Toxic

There are plenty of toxic foods for dogs that they should avoid. But, just because it’s bad for them doesn’t mean they won’t eat it. If your dog is vomiting, it could be because they ingested something toxic.

If you can track down what they may have eaten, you’ll have a better idea of whether to let them work it out of their system or get to the vet immediately. If you can’t figure out what they’ve gotten into or you don’t know how toxic what they’ve eaten is, go to the vet right away. This is especially important if the vomiting doesn’t stop or is occurring with other symptoms.

4. They Could Have Motion Sickness

Many dogs have motion sickness and will get sick in the car. So, if your dog has thrown up in the car or after a car ride, it’s likely they just had a bout of motion sickness. As long as they return to their normal selves after being out of the car for a while and return to drinking and eating normally, they’ll be okay. If motion sickness causes a lot of issues for your dog, you can talk to your vet about some prescriptions that can help stave off motion-related nausea.

5. Your Dog Had Surgery or is Taking Medication

Some dogs will experience nausea after surgery or as a side effect of some medications or certain anesthesias. So, if your dog has recently had surgery or is taking a new medication, throwing up could be normal.

Keep an eye on them and make them comfortable, but also give your vet’s office a call to make sure vomiting is a normal side effect for the situation or the medication they’re taking. Your vet will be able to reassure you and give you the next steps. They may also recommend that your dog stops taking the new medication. You won’t know until you call them and explain the situation.

6. They Could be Dealing With a Health Condition

Throwing up is a common symptom for a lot of things, which can sometimes make it hard to tell when it’s a normal incident and when it’s an indication that something else is happening. In general, if your dog vomiting is an isolated occurrence and they continue to eat normally, act normally, and go to the bathroom normally, it’s normal and not a cause for concern.

However, if it’s not an isolated occasion and your dog doesn’t return to normal afterward or is showing other symptoms or odd behavior, it’s time for a visit to the vet. In dogs, frequent or chronic vomiting can be a side effect of a plethora of other health conditions like intestinal parasites, gastritis, intestinal blockages, bloat, kidney or liver failure, heat stroke, viral infections, and more.

Your dog vomiting after eating something disagreeable is normal, but frequent or chronic vomiting is one of the symptoms you should never ignore in your dog. So, if they continue throwing up, their vomit contains blood, or it is accompanied by other symptoms, then you want to make sure you get to the vet.