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What To Do When Your Dog Vomits

What To Do When Your Dog Vomits

Chris Cole
09/11/2017

Every dog owner has a visceral reaction to that Urp.. Urp... Urp... noise that dogs make just before they throw up. It's enough to make you instantly jump out of bed in the middle of the night, and will have you rushing for an old towel in a matter of seconds.While it's not unusual for dogs to vomit on occasion, dogs never vomit for no reason. There's always a cause, and there's plenty you can do to help soothe your dog's stomach so they can feel better soon.

What To Do If Your Dog Is About To Vomit

Right before dog's vomit, they tend to hunch over, possibly from stomach contractions. They may drool, have a glassy look in their eyes, and the sides of their mouth may be pulled back in an odd sort of smile. There's usually a gagging or hiccupping noise just before it happens.If your dog is about to vomit indoors, and you want to lessen the mess, you can quickly grab a napkin or towel to place under their mouth. You'll have to do this quickly enough to catch the vomit, but not so swiftly that you scare your dog. This is a skill you'll hone after a long time of dog ownership.Gently stroke your dog's back if it seems to help. Do not interfere, just allow it to happen. When a dog vomits, their body is trying to get rid of a possibly toxic substance in their stomach, so it's best to allow it to take its course.

What To Look For In The Mess

In some cases, your dog might try to eat the vomit again. This is less than ideal because that will make it harder to determine if there is something wrong with the food they upchucked.Watery yellow vomit, or foamy vomit, is an indicator of the "hunger pukes," or bilious vomiting. Bile is a substance created in the liver, that may enter your dog's stomach when they have not eaten in a long time. Dogs usually vomit bile when their stomach is empty, often in the morning or late at night. It's especially common in dogs that are fed once daily. To resolve it, break up your dog's daily food allowance into multiple meals throughout the day. You can also give your dog a snack between meals. A dry biscuit makes a good bedtime or between-meals snack. You can also offer your dog an edible chew like Tripe Sticks to clean their teeth while they snack.If your dog vomits up undigested food, particularly if it's been hours since they have been eaten, their digestive system might have a hard time breaking down their food. If you have recently switched to a new food, your dog might have a tough time digesting it, and you may want to switch back to their old food, or mix the new food with the old formula to help their digestive tract gradually adapt to their new diet.If your dog suffers from motion sickness, only vomiting in a moving car, nerves may be contributing to their nausea. A calming spray can help, along with taking very brief trips and building up to longer drives. Many puppies grow out of car sickness over time.When your dog vomits up an obviously harmful object or substance, like chocolate, pieces of sticks, or anything that you know would have made them ill, you should take them and a sample of the vomit to your veterinarian. Your dog may not have necessarily vomited up everything. Poisons can remain in the bloodstream, and foreign objects can injure your dog's intestines if they continue to pass through the body.Any sign of blood in your dog's vomit can indicate internal bleeding, which can occur if they swallow something with sharp or jagged edges, like a piece of a stick. Take your dog to the veterinarian right away if you see any blood in the mess, and bring a sample of the vomit with you for testing. If it's the middle of the night, find an emergency vet near you, as your dog may not be able to wait until morning.Trying to vomit but nothing comes up is an indicator of bloat, a condition in which the dog's stomach is twisted. This is an emergency that can quickly kill your dog. Rush to the vet!Take your dog to the vet if vomiting persists for over 48 hours, or sooner if they seem extremely ill, or if they are lethargic and/or if their gums are pale.

How To Care For Your Dog After They Vomit

Some dogs seem perfectly normal after they vomit, while others may slow down and just want to rest. You should limit food intake for at least 12 hours to give their digestive system a break.Keep your dog hydrated by offering water flavoured with unseasoned meat or vegetable broth. Avoid broths that contain onion, which is poisonous to dogs.After 12 hours, you can offer your dog easy-to-digest food like unseasoned, cooked chicken or ground turkey with plain white rice. Boil the meat and drain off any fat.By 24-48 hours, if your dog seems like they are feeling better, you can offer them their usual food. However, make sure their food has not been opened for more than 2-3 weeks. Old bags of kibble can go bad and make your dog sick. You can freeze the food if it lasts longer than a few weeks, or buy smaller bags.