Why Does My Dog Throw Up?

Just like people, sometimes a dog will throw up (vomit). No one likes to see their beloved pet sick or suffering so if your pooch throws up you might automatically become worried and rush the dog to the veterinarian. There is nothing wrong with being cautious and seeking out medical care. However, you might wonder why does your dog throw up and should you be concerned? 

Regurgitating vs Vomiting

Regurgitation and vomiting are two different things. Yes, they are both forms of ‘throwing up’ but they are also different.

  • Vomiting:  A dog will vomit after being sick. The animal smith drool, lick, swallow, and display signs of being lethargic. Vomiting usually includes powerful heaves of the dog’s abdominal wall which contracts and expands to expel the food. Vomiting occurs as a way to protect the dog’s body from soiled food or some other problem. 
  • Regurgitation: A dog regurgitates in a passive way. It is usually undigested food that comes up during regurgitation. Regurgitation often happens as a result of excitement or because the animal is motion sick. 

Things That May Cause Vomiting

A dog vomits for a variety of reason such as the following:

Side effects to medication or surgery

  • Exposure to toxins
  • Food allergies
  • Diabetes
  • Heart problems
  • Parasites
  • Obstructions of the intestine
  • Head trauma
  • Cancer 

Types of Vomit

  • If your dog vomits yellow foam than it simply means the dog’s stomach is empty. The yellow foam is bile that is naturally produced by the dog’s gastrointestinal tracts.
  • Bright green indicates that the dog might have been poisoned and you should immediately seek medical care.

What to Do After Your Dog Throws Up

If your dog throws up only once or twice and then is fine, then it is probably okay to not take the animal to the veterinarian. Instead, remove food and water for six to eight hours If the vomiting stops then slowly give your dog a little water and then a little food. If after 12 hours, the dog does not vomit then you can let the animal enjoy a bland meal such as boiled chicken or white rice. 

If your canine vomits more than once or twice then you should seek veterinarian care, especially if the dog displays the following symptoms:

  • Vomits blood or a foreign object
  • Depression
  • Diarrhea
  • Projectile vomiting
  • Vomiting without producing any vomit (dry heaves) 
  • Vomiting in a young puppy ( a puppy cannot vomit a great deal, or they face dehydration). 

How to Prevent a Dog from Throwing Up

Do not give your dog bones which can easily break or splinter in the animal’s digestive tract and lead to vomiting. 

  • Avoid giving your dog toys they can chew up into small pieces and swallow
  • Keep your dog out of kitchen trash which can lead to the ingestion of spoiled items or toxins
  • Avoid feeding table scraps. 

If your dog throws up, remember that it’s not uncommon or a dog to vomit. It happens and its normal. However, you’ll want to remain vigilant to watch for other signs that there might be a problem and your dog requires a trip to the veterinarian.


  • Thank you for the info … I have a dog that does vomit three or four times a week it seems when it’s bad,

    Michael C Parsley

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