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Why Is My Dog Throwing Up?

family-footerIf your dog throws up once in a while, there’s no need to panic. Animals have the same stomach reflex as humans, which allows them to vomit when they eat a foreign object their system doesn’t agree with. It’s when your dog continues to throw up that you know you have an ongoing problem that needs to be addressed. Consider some of the most common reasons why your dog is throwing up so you can seek the appropriate treatment.


Eating grass, leftovers from the trash or non-food objects can block the intestines, so your pet throws up as a result of indigestion. When this happens, throwing up just a time or two should be enough for the animal to clear the foreign object.

However, simply changing your dog’s food can cause indigestion. To help avoid this, introduce new food slowly by mixing the old and new brands together. If your pup has a sensitive digestive system, you may need to experiment with different brands and varieties until one sits well with him.

Underlying Medical Problem

If your dog throws up undigested food once or twice a week, there could be an underlying medical problem, such as inflammatory bowel syndrome. One clue is if your pet refuses to eat most brands of dog food, acts lethargic and lacks an appetite.

Other medical conditions that cause vomiting include liver failure, parasites, bloat, cancer and parvovirus. Chronic vomiting caused by a digestive problem or other medical issue requires attention from the vet so you can diagnose and treat the problem.

Speed Eating

Even good food can cause vomiting if your dog eats too fast. You can slow down your voracious canine by feeding him by hand or purchasing a special bowl for speed eaters. Obstructions in the bowl force your dog to eat around them, thus slowing him down.

Reaction to Medication

If your dog recently had an operation requiring anesthesia or has been placed on medication to help with a newly diagnosed medical problem, his vomiting could be a result of these medications. Try offering your dog gentle food he can digest easily along with water to help ensure he doesn’t become dehydrated.

If the vomiting continues for a few days, share your concerns with your vet. A more gentle medication that treats the same condition may be available.

When to Call the Vet

Clearly, some cases of vomiting are acute and will pass quickly. Others are a sign of a serious medical condition. Take your dog to the vet immediately if you think he may have eaten something rotten, poisonous or otherwise harmful. You should also visit the vet if your pet’s vomiting is accompanied by any of the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Swollen abdomen
  • Diarrhea
  • Blood in the vomit or stool
  • Apparent pain or discomfort
  • Lethargic or sluggish behavior

In the end, if your dog has been throwing up, you should take him to the vet if you think there’s even a slight possibility that his health could be at risk. When it comes to preserving the life of your pet, it’s better to the safe than sorry!

Even if your pooch has a mild case of vomiting, the vet can provide the right treatment to prevent dehydration and restore the proper electrolyte balance. If your dog has an underlying medical condition, prescription medication can restore his health and prevent future vomiting.

To have your dog examined and his condition diagnosed, please stop by Germantown Vet Clinic today for an emergency visit. Contact us online  or by phone at (240) 252-7467 to let us know you’re coming!

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