Most dog owners, at one time or another, have found a pile of puke in their home. Dogs vomit frequently due to reasons such as eating something they shouldn’t, motion sickness, or even stress. However, vomiting is also a symptom of a number of serious illnesses and conditions including bloat, kidney disease and Addison’s disease (adrenal gland insufficiency). The good news is that most episodes of vomiting are benign and can be resolved at home by following these steps:
Look for signs of danger.
If your dog is vomiting, it’s possible that a serious medical condition could be to blame. This can include poisoning, gastric torsion (a blockage of the stomach), and other emergency situations. If you see any signs of danger, call your veterinarian immediately or visit an emergency veterinary clinic right away.
Give him small amounts of water every few minutes to avoid over-hydrating him. Avoid milk, which can make dogs feel worse and harder to digest than plain water.
If your dog continues to vomit, don’t try to force anything down his throat—this may make the problem worse or cause your pet pain if he’s been vomiting for some time.
Look for vomiting triggers.
If you notice your dog vomiting, the first thing to do is check for signs of illness or injury. This may include checking for anything that could be causing distress, pain or discomfort in any way:
- Is the dog showing signs of dehydration?
- Is there an injury on their body that could be causing vomiting?
- Are they feeling stressed by something in their environment (e.g., being left alone too long)?
If you think your dog is vomiting due to something like poisoning or allergies, then your next step should be to try and determine if there are any known triggers for these issues that may have caused the episode of vomiting. If it’s not clear what has caused this behavior, try keeping track of when it occurs so that you can look at patterns later in order to make a diagnosis and find out how best to treat it
Isolate your dog.
Once you have determined that your dog’s vomit is not normal and may be the result of a contagious disease, it’s time to isolate him.
- Keep your dog away from other dogs until you can rule out contagious diseases. It is important that you do not allow your dog to socialize with other dogs until he has been examined by a veterinarian. For this reason, keep him indoors and away from any areas where he may have vomited or urinated. If possible, also wash down any areas where his vomit has landed on floors or furniture using hot water and soap or disinfectant wipes (such as Lysol®).
- Keep food bowls away from areas that might be contaminated by vomiting if possible; otherwise make sure they are thoroughly cleaned after use and sanitized before being used again so as to avoid cross-contamination of germs between animals in the household
Vomiting in dogs can be a serious matter so talk to your vet if you have any concerns.
Vomiting in dogs can be a serious matter so talk to your vet if you have any concerns. If your dog vomits, the first thing you should do is clean up the mess. This will prevent the mess from spreading and reduce the chance of your dog trying to eat the vomit, which could lead to more illness or dehydration.
If vomiting continues for more than 24 hours, becomes bloody, or is accompanied by diarrhea (watery stool), it’s time to get some help from a professional. The signs of danger are:
- Blood in vomit
- Long-term vomiting (more than 24 hours)
- Vomiting with diarrhea
Is your dog vomiting? It’s important to figure out why. If you have any questions or concerns, talk to your vet so they can help you get the very best care for your pup.