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Dog Vomiting: Main Causes & Treatments

This post is written by our holistic veterinarian at "I and love and you", Dr. Angie Krause, DVM, CVA, CCRT

When your pup vomits, it can be hard to know if you should rush them to the vet or give it some time and watch them at home. I am going to explain common reasons that cause dogs to vomit and what you can do about it.

First, let’s review several situations that require a call or a visit with your veterinarian right away.

  1. Your dog has eaten a known toxin, such as chocolate, xylitol, marijuana, or rat poison, and is vomiting.
  2. Your dog has vomited multiple times over 24 hours.
  3. Your dog has been vomiting regularly for more than a week.
  4. Your dog appears to be lethargic and is vomiting.
  5. You are worried for ANY reason.

Most Common Reasons Dogs Vomit

Many causes of vomiting are not serious. Here are the most common non-emergent reasons dogs vomit and what you can do about it:

  1. Being naughty. Dogs can be mischievous! They surf the counters and raid the trash. This can cause significant irritation to their stomach lining which results in vomiting and diarrhea. In veterinary medicine, we call this ‘garbage gut’. If they didn’t eat anything dangerous or toxic, you can support them with a bland diet and probiotics.
  2. It’s been too long since they have eaten. This often manifests as vomiting bile right before a meal. If your dog seems fine otherwise, you can feed them a snack before bed or at lunchtime. If this does not eliminate the vomiting, it’s time to see your veterinarian.
  3. Worms. Depending on where you live, certain intestinal parasites can be common in dogs. Sometimes you can see the worms in the vomitus, but not always. You can check for intestinal parasites by giving your veterinarian a stool sample. I recommend checking two samples 2-3 weeks apart.
  4. Food allergies/sensitivities. These can be really tricky to identify. Food allergies can manifest as vomiting, diarrhea, repeated ear infections and overall itchiness. If you suspect your dog has food allergies, I recommend switching the protein source in their food. For example, if you are feeding chicken, switch to a beef diet.
  5. Eating grass. Most grass, if eaten in sufficient quantity, can cause vomiting. However, sometimes dogs eat grass to find relief from their upset stomachs. It can be tricky to know if they just enjoy the taste of a freshly mowed lawn or if they have a tummy ache. You can learn more about grass eating here.

Do you have questions about your pup’s vomiting? I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment below.

With love,

Dr. Angie

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