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Vomiting in Dogs

While the occasional illness may be nothing to worry about, severe or ongoing vomiting can indicate a larger issue. Here, our Nashua vets discuss internal medicine conditions and other causes of vomiting in dogs and offer advice on what to do.

How Vomiting Impacts Dogs

Vomiting (and diarrhea) in dogs is a common sign of an irritated stomach and inflamed intestines or gastrointestinal upset in dogs.

Almost every dog owner understands that while vomiting in dogs is unpleasant and can be distressing, it is your dog’s way of emptying their stomach of indigestible material to prevent it from remaining in their system or reaching other areas of its body.

What are the causes of vomiting in dogs?

There are many possible causes of vomiting in dogs. In some cases, it can even occur suddenly in previously healthy dogs.

It's possible that your dog ate too quickly, ate too much grass, or ate something their stomach doesn't agree with. This type of vomiting may occur only once and be accompanied by no other symptoms. As a result, vomiting in dogs isn't always a cause for concern.

That said, potential causes of acute vomiting (sudden or severe) can be related to diseases, disorders, or health complications such as:

  • Heatstroke
  • Ingestion of poisons, toxins, or food
  • Bloat
  • Reaction to medication
  • Bacterial or viral infection
  • Kidney failure
  • Liver failure
  • Pancreatitis
  • Change in diet

What are the signs that vomiting is an emergency?

Dogs are likely to vomit occasionally without serious issues. If your dog vomits once or twice, shows no other symptoms, and returns to normal, there is likely nothing to worry about. Although, you should still call your vet to let them know.

That said, in some cases, vomiting can be a clear indication of a serious medical issue that needs urgent care. Contact your primary vet or our emergency animal hospital right away if you see any of these signs:

  • Vomiting in conjunction with other symptoms such as lethargy, weight loss, fever, anemia, etc.
  • Suspected ingestion of a foreign body (such as food, objects, children’s toys, etc.)
  • Vomiting a lot at one time
  • Vomiting/dry heaving with nothing coming up
  • Vomiting blood
  • Chronic vomiting
  • Continuous, repeated, or recurring vomiting
  • Vomiting accompanied by bloody diarrhea
  • Seizures
  • If vomit appears foamy or bright green (See below for details)

What is chronic vomiting?

It is considered chronic if your dog has frequently been vomiting or it has become a long-term problem. This can be concerning, especially if you have noticed symptoms such as abdominal pain, dehydration, blood, fever, weakness, weight loss, or other unusual behaviors.

If your dog experiences long-term, chronic vomiting, their illness may be caused by conditions such as:

  • Cancer
  • Liver or kidney failure
  • Uterine infection
  • Constipation
  • Intestinal obstruction
  • Colitis (inflammation of the colon)

As a pet owner, it is always best to err on the side of caution. If your dog experiences excessive vomiting, don't hesitate to contact your primary vet for an examination.

What to Do if Your Dog Ingests a Toxic Substance

If you are concerned about your dog's vomiting or if you suspect that your dog has ingested a toxic substance, immediately contact your veterinarian or our emergency vet or call Poison Control for more advice. Do not induce vomiting in dogs unless specifically instructed to do so. Some substances may cause additional harm if they are thrown up after ingestion.

How can you settle your dog's stomach if they've been vomiting?

If you believe your dog's vomiting is not due to anything serious, there are a few things you can do to help soothe your pup's upset stomach. Of course, we recommend that you call your vet to let them know what's going on; your vet knows your dog best and may be able to offer advice on how to handle your dog's tummy troubles best.

Here are some of the common treatment options for mild vomiting in dogs:

  • Skip your dog's next meal and provide a smaller portion for the following meal. If your dog does not vomit again, return to normal feeding.
  • Provide your dog with a light on-the-stomach formula dog food from your vet's office to help ease them back to normal eating.
  • Make your dog a light meal of cooked chicken and boiled rice and feed it in small portions.
  • Provide your dog with plenty of fresh water to stay hydrated.  
  • If your dog is not back to normal within 24 hours, contact your vet to schedule an examination.

Veterinary Internal Medicine in Nashua

Veterinary internal medicine involves treating diseases and disorders of animals' internal systems. Our veterinary specialists bring extensive experience in diagnosing and treating various internal conditions, including those that cause sudden or severe vomiting in dogs.

At Animal Medical Center of New England, we emphasize a comprehensive, team approach to our cases and work with your veterinarian and other specialists to ensure the best care for our patients.

Our board-certified internal medicine veterinarian in Nashua can also conduct comprehensive diagnostic procedures using our ultrasound technology to support our high quality of care.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet. 

If your dog is experiencing severe or recurring diarrhea, please ask your vet for a referral to our veterinary team in Nashua right away. We are equipped to handle companion animals under a range of internal conditions.

Welcoming Referrals and Emergency Walk-Ins

Animal Medical Center of New England welcomes emergency walk-ins and appointments when your pet needs us most. Our team of specialists is also accepting referrals from primary care veterinarians - fill out a referral form to get started.


Contact (603) 821-7222