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Why Does My Dog Keep Throwing Up? | Pupford

September 30th, 2023

Filed under Health + Wellness

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The thought in your head of 'why does my dog keep throwing up?' is not a fun one. As a responsible pet parent, you're rightfully distressed when your dog vomits. It can be scary to see your doggo retching up the contents of his/her stomach while you stand by, unsure what you can do to help him or her.

The good news is that most of the time vomiting in dogs is harmless and nothing to worry about. However, in a small number of instances, vomiting may be a harbinger of something more serious going on with your pooch. A primer on why dogs throw up (or why puppies throw up) can help ease your mind.


dog vomit or dog regurgitation

First things first. Some pet parents are confused about vomiting versus regurgitation.

  • Vomiting involves the forceful ejection of the contents of the dog's upper small intestine and stomach.
  • Regurgitation occurs passively and involves your dog expelling or "hacking up" food and fluid that has not had a chance to be digested yet.

A big differentiation between the two—vomiting and regurgitation—is that vomiting generally occurs alongside other symptoms of nausea, including retching, abdominal contractions, and excess drooling. By contrast, regurgitation is generally accompanied by coughing and labored breathing.

You can usually tell if your dog has vomited or regurgitated by looking at the contents the dog expelled. Is it cylindrical in shape, much like an esophagus, and does it appear to be undigested? If so, this is regurgitation.

Both vomiting and regurgitation require careful monitoring of your dog’s behavior during and after they experience it. You’ll want to monitor their behavior and get in touch with your veterinarian if you notice any pain or whimpering. In general, we recommend playing it safe and calling your vet if you are feeling worried, especially when you are talking about a puppy.


reasons why dogs throw up

When it comes to answering the proverbial question "why do dogs throw up," the truth is that dogs do not always need a reason to vomit. Vomiting is a common behavior, even in healthy dogs.

In fact, a dog may vomit right out of the blue and then walk away from the vomit, oblivious to the heartache and worry he may have just caused you.

This normal sort of dog vomit may be due to your dog swallowing something that didn't agree with him/her or even eating too fast. If your dog vomits but has no other symptoms, then chances are good there's nothing to worry about.

Related Reading: My Dog Eats Too Fast! Here's How to Slow Down a Dog Eating

Some other reasons dogs vomit include:

  • Sudden dietary changes.
  • Food allergies and intolerance.
  • Rotavirus or other viral infections.
  • Bacterial infections, including salmonellosis.
  • Liver or kidney failure.
  • Underlying medical problems.

What your dog's vomit looks like can cue you into what's bothering him or her.

For example:

  • Acid buildup or acid reflux in dogs can lead to vomit that is yellow or white and foamy.
  • Irritation in the dog's stomach may cause a slimy, mucus-type of vomit to be expelled.
  • Worms in your dog's vomit can indicate an infestation that must be treated right away.

Problems in the gastrointestinal tract can also lead to bloody vomiting, which is always cause for urgent veterinary help since it can indicate anything from ingestion of rat poison to a stomach tumor or ulcer.


should you be worried about dog throw up

Dog vomiting can be an ominous sign of something more alarming, especially if it is continuous or if your dog vomits chronically.

A trip to the vet may also be warranted if your dog:

  • Vomits an excessive amount.
  • Vomits blood.
  • Has the dry heaves (nothing comes up when he retches).
  • Vomits and is running a fever, has lost weight, or is lethargic.
  • Vomits and has been diagnosed with anemia.
  • Vomits and has bloody diarrhea.
  • Vomits and has seizures.

Dogs may also vomit or attempt to vomit if they have swallowed a foreign object that has become lodged in their throat. This is a medical emergency and requires immediate attention from your veterinary professional.


step to take when your dog throws up

The bottom line when it comes to why dogs throw up or why puppies throw up is that it's usually nothing serious.

Still, a consultation with your vet can help ease your mind and rule out any more significant problems with your dog. Whether your dog is big or small, as a pet parent, you worry about them when they're not feeling well. When in doubt, always reach out to your vet for advice and treatment.

Here’s what a vet appointment for vomiting may look like:

  • Vets will want to know what your pup has been eating the past few days or weeks
  • They may check if your dog is dehydrated. Vomiting causes dogs to lose a lot of water and vets may water to replenish them if they diagnose dehydration.
  • They will want to know the frequency of vomiting and how your dog was reacting. It’s likely they will want to determine if they were vomiting or regurgitating, as we outlined above.
  • They may ask you to isolate your pup's diet to bland food. This consists of easy-to-digest foods for your dog like unseasoned chicken, beef, or turkey. Rice, potatoes, eggs, and bananas are also considered part of a healthy bland diet for a pup.

These are just examples to get you prepared for a trip to the vet for vomiting. We recommend following your veterinarian's specific instructions, and to ask a lot of questions when speaking with them. The more questions you have prepared when you get to the vet, the more information you will receive to help you best take care of your doggy.


In most cases, a dog vomiting can just be a natural reaction to something undesirable in their body. But, if it is happening frequently, includes blood, or your dog is dry heaving it can be a sign of a larger problem.

If you're unsure, go to your vet. Always!

As pup parents, we have a responsibility to learn as much as we can about our dog's health and safety, and that's why we created the Dog First Aid Course with Dr. Shleby Baden. Learn all about the online Dog First Aid course here!


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