If you have a puppy, one of the many experiences you may find yourself dealing with is vomiting. Whether it be because they ate something they shouldn’t have, or perhaps ate too much too fast, puppies get sick just like humans. While some causes of vomiting are completely harmless and will resolve themselves after 24 hours, there are many more serious causes that can lead to complications if left untreated.
If your dog has vomited once or twice over the course of a day there is no need to be alarmed, as this could just be their stomach settling itself. However, if your dog continues to vomit frequently over the next 24 hours it is best for them to see a vet.
- Viral infections
- Foreign objects
- Kidney failure
- Intestinal obstruction (food, hairballs, kitty litter)
- Undigested food or treats that are too hard for the puppy to chew before swallowing.
Viruses can cause vomiting in puppies and they’re the most common cause of vomiting in puppies. The virus causes inflammation in your dog’s intestine, leading to vomiting and diarrhea. It’s very contagious and spreads easily through contact with other dogs or people who have been exposed to it.
While other viruses such as parvovirus and distemper can cause vomiting in puppies, these are less common than Parvo. Foreign objects can get stuck in the intestines and cause vomiting in puppies. This is because the foreign object irritates the intestinal wall which causes an inflammatory response that then results in vomiting. The most common types of foreign objects that can lead to vomiting are grass seeds, sticks, chewed bones, hairballs or kitty litter.
If your puppy is vomiting and has a healthy appetite, try to identify the cause of their discomfort. If the issue is a foreign object stuck in their throat or stomach, remove it as soon as possible. Whether this object was accidentally swallowed or is something the puppy found outside on its own, if it can be removed safely, you should do so immediately.
If your dog has an infection of some sort that is causing them to vomit repeatedly (such as kennel cough or parvo), treatment should be administered immediately. In most cases, you will need to take your pup to see a veterinarian and they will prescribe antibiotics for treatment.
If your puppy has just ingested something that upsets their stomach (such as chocolate), stop feeding them that food item until symptoms have cleared up completely and then reintroduce it slowly into their diet over time so as not to cause another bout of gastrointestinal upset—just in case!
- Feed your puppy a high quality diet. Puppies fed a poor-quality or inappropriate diet can develop nutritional deficiencies that can cause vomiting, diarrhea and poor growth.
- Feed your puppy in a quiet place. If you are going to feed him at the same time every day, he will soon associate eating with that particular location and time of day. This makes it easier for him to learn not to eat the floor or other inappropriate things when he is hungry!
- Do not allow your puppy to eat from the floor! If he does, he may become sick from eating things that don’t agree with his stomach – such as dirt or moldy food – which could make him vomit more often than normal even after recovering from illness caused by infection due to ingestion of these foreign materials (eew!).
What to Do?
If you are concerned about your puppy’s health, take him to the vet. If your puppy is lethargic or vomiting, take him to the vet immediately. A veterinarian will likely perform bloodwork and a urinalysis on your dog so that they can determine if he has an underlying cause for his vomiting.
If your dog is just a little bit under-the-weather, keep them hydrated by giving them small amounts of water frequently (every 15 minutes).
When to Contact Your Vet?
If you think your dog has vomited more than twice, or if the vomiting is accompanied by other symptoms such as fever, lethargy or loss of appetite, please take him to the vet. While this can be a very uncomfortable situation for both of you, it’s important that you get your dog checked out by a professional before any serious complications develop.
It’s tough to watch your puppy vomit. But, remember that if it happens too much or your dog shows other signs of being ill, you should take him to a vet right away. You don’t want your dog to get dehydrated!