Puppy Vomiting Got You Worried?


Although puppy vomiting is worrying for you, it's actually pretty common, and can happen for lots of different reasons including: 

  • Illness

  • Poisoning

  • A sudden change in diet

  • Eating something they shouldn't (even if it's not toxic)

What's most important is finding out what is making little Fido sick, so let's start there.....





The Most Common Causes Of Vomiting In Puppies/Dogs?


  • An empty tummy!
    strange as this may sound, one of the most common types of puppy vomiting happens when your little guy's tummy gets too empty (such as overnight). A classic sign that this is the problem is if your pup throws up yellow liquid (or it may be white/yellow and frothy), usually first thing in the morning.

  • A worm problem
    a bad case of puppy worms can cause your pup to throw up. If this is the case you will probably find worms in his vomit - maybe just one or two, maybe a whole lot (disgusting I know!). If he's recently been given deworming medicine, then he should be fine once all the worms are out of his system, but if he hasn't been dewormed you need to get him to your vet right away as there's a serious infestation going on.

  • Eating something they shouldn't have
    this is one of the most common reasons for puppy vomiting. They are eternally curious, and in their eyes everything is edible until proven otherwise! You would be surprised at what a puppy can ingest... but ingesting and 'digesting' are two entirely different things. Your puppy may be physically able to eat three plastic grocery sacks, or a pair of ski socks, but he isn't going to be able to digest them. There are also a lot of common household products, plants, and human foods that are poisonous to dogs

  • Illness or disease
    vomiting is one of the first symptoms of many different canine illnesses. It could be something simple such as a mild bacterial infection, or something as serious as the potentially deadly Parvo Virus. There are usually (but not always) other signs of illness along with the vomiting, such as diarrhea, lethargy, a fever, loss of appetite and so on.

  • Some medicines
    certain medications can cause your puppy to throw up. Classic examples include de-wormers (mentioned above), antibiotics and some medications prescribed for bone/joint issues such as Aspirin or Rimadyl.

  • An allergy or sensitivity
    sometimes the ingredients in a particular dog food can cause a puppy or dog to throw up. True dog food allergies normally cause skin irritation such as 'hot spots', excessive itching, hairloss and so on. But, a sensitivity to a certain ingredient can cause digestive upset, including vomiting and/or diarrhea. Occasionally a reaction to vaccination, or medications (such as certain antibiotics or deworming medications) can cause puppy vomiting


Ugh! I don't feel so good :(

Little English Bulldog pup flat on his back!

So, how do you know whether your puppy needs veterinary help or not?

It can be tricky, but here's a start....

If your little guy managed to eat a plateful of peanut butter sandwiches or/and a block of cheese, throwing it all up should make him feel better and it's unlikely that he'll have any long term effects from his 'binge'.

But, if he's practically inhaled a whole chocolate cake or the kids Halloween candy or been licking up laundry detergent he's likely going to be in serious trouble and you need to get him help right away.

And, if he's eaten something that was moldy, contaminated or old, he could get a bacterial infection that makes him sick, just the way you would if you'd eaten food that had gone bad.

Puppies also tend to swallow a lot of things that are simply not meant to pass through a digestive system (think tennis balls, rocks, balloons, pencils... )

By some miracle, most of the time these weird snacks manage to defy nature and work their way through your pups innards and out the other end without incident!

But when an inedible object gets 'stuck' inside your puppy's intestines or bowels, then it's a BIG problem and your little one needs veterinary help right away.

Emergency surgery is a distinct possibility!

These types of vomiting need to be evaluated by your vet right away...

  • Vomit that contains blood

  • Repeated vomiting that empties your pup's tummy and yet he continues to retch and gag and can't hold down any food or water

  • Throwing up that is accompanied by ANY other signs of illness such as puppy diarrhea
  • Extreme lethargy, listlessness or exhaustion
  • A seriously distended belly, dry-heaving or signs of stress(such as whining, pacing, panting). This could be a sign of bloat.


There Are Actually Different Ways Of Throwing Up!


  • Vomiting
    a dictionary definition of the word 'vomiting' includes 'to eject the contents of the stomach through the mouth', 'send out forcefully' or even 'to eject violently', and all of these pretty much paint a good picture of what's involved!

    It's usually what you see when a dog is car sick, ill, or has food poisoning and so on. Your pup may drool first, then start to heave (caused by the strong contractions of his stomach muscles)....and eventually he'll just vomit.

  • Regurgitating
    the dictionary definition of regurgitation include the descriptions'to rush or surge back', and 'to pour back'. Definitely sounds less violent doesn't it?

    If a dog regurgitates it's food, it usually takes a loss less effort than vomiting does, almost as though the food (or whatever else is returning!) is coming back up by itself. It may seem to just pour out with little help from your pup. If your puppy eats too fast, or too much, he may well regurgitate his food, and health conditions such as Megaesophagus can also cause this.

  • Gagging
    this can also be called 'retching' and looks similar to choking. If your dog is gagging, he may be hacking or coughing in an attempt to bring something up. In this situation you'll see more muscle movement in his chest than in his belly.

    If your dog has tried to swallow something that has got lodged in his throat, has certain esophageal or heart/lung problems, bloat or an intestinal obstruction he may hack, cough or even gag in this way. Gagging rarely results in food (or much else) coming back up though.

Sometimes a puppy (or dog) who has problems with his esophagus or teeth, or even has neurological issues, won't be able to keep food or water in his mouth.

It will sort of 'fall out' or 'pour/drip out' when he tries to eat or drink.





Getting The Right Treatment Is Very Important

Help your pup feel better with these treatment options..

All the information on this page should help you to decide whether or not your puppy's vomiting is an emergency, but it's not always easy to be sure.

If you're in any doubt,it's always much better to be safe than sorry - and I'd recommend getting your pup seen by a vet right away if you're at all concerned.

Click here to learn more about how to treat vomiting in puppies

You'll find all the information and advice you need to make sure your puppy gets the help he needs.


Related pages............


› Puppy Vomiting

› Puppy Vomiting


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