My Dog Vomited: What Now?

If your dog vomits, this is concerning, but not necessarily an emergency. Some dogs vomit yellow bile if they haven’t recently eaten. Other times, it’s related to their diet.

Apr 1, 2024byNikita Hillier
my dog vomited what now

Finding out that your dog has vomited can be cause for concern, so it’s important to take a step back, approach the situation with a level head, and then take appropriate action. While some vomiting cases require quick veterinary intervention, other times, it’s not a huge deal.

In this blog, we will examine some of the reasons why dogs vomit, discuss any causes for concerns, and explain when you should seek professional help. Shall we?

Understanding Why Dogs Vomit

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Vomiting in dogs is a very common occurrence and can result from many things. Understanding what could make your dog throw up could inform your next steps.

Sometimes, vomiting results from:

  • Something they ate: Dogs will always scavenge for things they don’t need or shouldn’t be eating. Vomiting can just be a natural response to ingesting spoiled food, garbage, or foreign objects. If you believe that your dog ate something they shouldn’t have, err on the side of caution and go to the vet.
  • Gastrointestinal issues: Conditions like gastritis, inflammatory bowel disease, or gastroenteritis can contribute to vomiting. This can be triggered by infections, sensitivities to food, stress and anxiety, or other health concerns.
  • Motion sickness. Just like humans, dogs can get motion sickness when in the car for extended periods. The American Kennel Club notes that this is especially common in puppies, who are still developing the structures in the inner ear needed for balance.

Yellow Bile is Generally Not Cause for Concern

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Some dog owners will find a puddle of yellow liquid and assume it’s pee. However, it could also mean that the dog’s stomach is empty, and this is causing the dog to vomit. This seems counterintuitive (after all, how can a dog throw up if there’s nothing to throw up?), but it does happen. It’s called bilious vomiting syndrome (BMS), and it’s usually not a big deal.

If you suspect BMS, try feeding your dog some foods that are easy on the stomach, like rice and chicken broth. If throwing up yellow bile continues, you should visit the vet, as this could be a sign of a more serious issue.

Home Care for Vomiting: the Wait-and-See Approach

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For cases where your dog is vomiting but in good spirits and not experiencing severe symptoms, there are some things you can do at home to help your dog recover and feel more comfortable. This includes:


  • Offering adequate hydration: Make sure that your dog has access to clean and fresh water. If they are struggling to keep water down, you can offer them ice cubes or ice chips to lick.
  • Withholding food (if you don’t suspect BMS): Temporarily withhold food to help your dog’s stomach settle. When reintroducing food, only allow bland food such as boiled chicken and rice in small portions.
  • Monitor for dehydration: Check your dog for any signs of dehydration, including dry gums, sunken eyes, or lethargy. If you suspect dehydration, consult your vet right away. Dehydration can lead to fatal symptoms.
  • Reduce stress: Stress can cause painful gastrointestinal issues. Keep your dog in a calm, quiet, and comfortable space to reduce their stress levels.

When to Consult Your Vet

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While some cases of vomiting resolve on their own, others require immediate veterinary attention. Some signs that you should go to an emergency vet include:

  • There’s blood in your dog’s vomit. If your dog’s vomit looks like strawberry jam, go to the vet immediately. This could be a symptom of hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, a serious condition that typically affects young to middle-aged small dogs. It can turn fatal without proper care.
  • Weakness or lethargy: If your dog is weak, lethargic, or unable to stand, this could indicate that their organs are shutting down—a serious problem.
  • You have a puppy or senior dog. Puppies and elderly dogs are very vulnerable to certain health issues. If you notice vomiting, book an appointment with your vet to get them checked out.
  • Fainting or collapsing: Fainting or collapsing is a severe symptom that will require urgent veterinary care. This could indicate internal bleeding or that your dog isn’t getting sufficient oxygen to the brain.
  • Uncoordinated movements: If you notice your dog experiencing a lack of coordination, disorientation, or stumbling, this may suggest a neurological issue and mean that your dog needs veterinary care.

What if My Dog Is Trying to Vomit?

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Bloat is a life-threatening condition where the stomach fills with gas, twists on itself, and cuts off blood flow to major organs. Breeds with big, deep chests like Great Danes, Pitbulls, and Boxers are much more susceptible. A dog with bloat will try to vomit, but they can’t.

You Can Protect Your Dog From Bloat

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There are steps to prevent bloat, but if you suspect it, immediate veterinary attention is crucial. Here’s what to know about keeping your pal safe from this serious condition:

  • You should know the symptoms: The symptoms of bloat include vomiting, a distended abdomen, restlessness, and rapid breathing. These symptoms may escalate rapidly, which is why urgent care is so important.
  • This condition requires immediate vet attention: Bloat is always a veterinary emergency. If you suspect your dog has bloat, do not spend any time Googling or asking your family and friends for advice. You have a limited window of time for survival, so get your dog in the car and to the vet.
  • Know the risk factors for bloat: As noted, certain breeds are much more susceptible to bloat due to their deep chest. Make sure that you know if your dog may be at risk. It is a good idea to feed smaller, more frequent meals, and keep your dog calm and still after meals to reduce the risk.
Nikita Hillier
byNikita Hillier

Nikita is a huge animal lover who has grown up on a farm with many different animals, from dogs and cats to horses and cows! She has a lot of experience in the equine industry and is even in the process of studying for an internationally accredited Equine Sports Massage Certificate! In her spare time, she enjoys writing and spending time with her beloved animals!