As a dog owner, one of the things you’ll need to deal with alongside the fun and joy of your canine companion is illness. Non-serious illness isn’t a rare occurrence for a dog – even one that’s receiving the best of care – and more serious conditions can emerge, especially as a dog ages.
One of the main symptoms you’ll encounter is sickness – it’s not at all uncommon for a dog to be sick. As a responsible owner, it’s useful to have some idea of what means when your dog throws up, how serious the situation is and what to do next.
Why Do Dogs Throw Up?
There are lots of different reasons dogs can throw up, from simply gorging their food to poisoning or acute liver failure! Fortunately the serious issues are far rarer than the everyday ones. To understand what’s causing your dog to vomit, it’s worth looking at when they throw up and what, unpleasant as it may be, what it’s like.
If your dog tends to vomit immediately after meals and throws up undigested food, then a likely cause is that he’s eating too quickly! This could be a habit he’s got into, or because he feels he needs to avoid missing out. If you’re feeding lots of dogs together, it may be worth separating mealtimes so each one has the opportunity to eat it’s fill without pressure. If this doesn’t help, putting a tennis ball in their food bowl slows them down to a healthier rate of consumption.
If you find your dog is greeting you in the morning with a thrown up patch of pale green foam then you have another feeding issue to look at. Dogs throw up bile when their stomachs have nothing to digest – often a problem overnight. Re-organising meal times to ensure they have a small snack in the evening before bed will likely solve the problem.
More Serious Symptoms
You don’t want to write off a more serious problem when your dog needs a vet’s attention urgently. Be aware of more serious symptoms accompanying vomiting that indicate when a more dangerous health issue could be affecting your dog.
Loss of appetite is a major one – if your dog’s diarrhea and vomiting goes hand in hand with not eating then it’s worth making an appointment at the vet. We’ve already seen how not eating can cause further issues for a dog, and loss of appetite in itself can be a clear indicator for pain or distress.
Failing to vomit is also a symptom you should be aware of – a dog that keeps trying to vomit but doesn’t is clearly in distress and may be suffering from bloat, a serious gastro-intestinal condition that could require life saving surgery!