Vomiting in dogs occurs when the dog’s body wants to get rid of something that shouldn’t be in the body. Dog owners know how difficult it is to stop their dogs from suddenly gulping down unsavory debris found outside. It’s just plain instinct that compels dogs and other wild-turned-domesticated animals to eat anything that smells or tastes strong. Dogs may also throw up when they have an illness or disease.
Other than eating something old and moldy they find outside, dogs will also vomit if they are suffering from:
- Inflammation of the intestines and stomach (gastroenteritis)
- Obstructions within the intestines (tumors, foreign material)
- Parasites (roundworms, tapeworms, heartworms)
- Kidney/liver disease
- Certain types of cancer
- Canine diabetes
- Food intolerance/allergies
Before administering home remedies for dog vomiting, owners should take their dog to a veterinarian for an examination to rule out chronic diseases that require prescribed treatment. Vets will perform several diagnostic tests to determine the reason for a dog’s vomiting, such as blood/fecal/urine analysis, ultrasound imaging of the dog’s abdomen and biopsies.
Tips for reducing vomiting in healthy dogs (i.e., dogs that are not ill or suffering from a chronic disease) include:
- Avoid making sudden changes to your dog’s diet. For example, if you normally feed your dog a high-quality or prescription brand dog food and, for some reason, begin giving your dog a lower quality, off-brand dog food, your dog may vomit or simply stop eating.
- Do not give your dog a toy made of thin rubber, fabric or decorated with detachable items. Dog toys that may be chewed into small pieces and easily swallowed can produce gastrointestinal blockages and irritation conducive to chronic vomiting.
- Research the kinds of table scraps that may upset your dog’s stomach. Anything greasy, salty or containing processed sugar may cause vomiting or even make your dog ill enough to warrant a trip to the veterinarian.
Additionally, some dogs are overly curious about “edible” items they find while sniffing around grasses and bushes. If you have one of those dogs who just can’t resist snatching up questionable debris, consider putting a muzzle on your dog when you take him for a walk. Also, inspect your yard every day for dead birds, mice and other creatures your dog may find tantalizing.
Tips to Reduce or Eliminate Vomiting
Put Your Dog on a 24-hour Fast
Just like the human gastrointestinal tract is irritated by something that shouldn’t have been consumed, the canine gastrointestinal tract can also be temporarily upset by unusually bad food. If you think your dog is vomiting because of eating something he usually doesn’t eat, try withholding all food (not water) from your dog for 24 hours to allow your dog’s gut to completely eliminate substances causing irritation. After the fast is over, give your dog a small portion of dog food and then wait a few hours before providing him with a regular portion.
Supplement a Dog’s Diet with Fiber
Fiber-rich foods may absorb substances in the stomach and intestines causing your dog to throw up. Fiber also facilitates digestion and relieves constipation. Foods containing fiber that are safe for dogs to eat include apples, canned pumpkin, and brown rice. A mixture of 70 percent boiled rice and 30 percent fresh, baked or boiled skinless chicken (white meat) is the kind of bland diet dish dogs will eat that can help reduce frequent vomiting.
Elevate Your Dog’s Food Bowl
Dogs suffering regurgitation disorders and vomiting often benefit from having their food bowls placed on stands that put bowls a few inches up off the floor. This can facilitate the act of swallowing so that food reaches the stomach before it has a chance to be regurgitated.
Start Feeding Your Dog a Prescription Dog Food Brand
Hill’s and other high-quality dog food brands offer wet and dry dog food containing ingredients to help optimize your dog’s digestion. In addition to containing insoluble and soluble natural fibers, these specialty foods also provide omega fatty acids, high amounts of B vitamins, electrolytes and antioxidants to replace lost nutrients and promote overall gut health.
Supplement with Dog Probiotics
More veterinarians are now recommending probiotics for dogs with sensitive digestive systems that cause them to vomit frequently. In the dog (and human) gut, billions of bacteria interact together to maintain health and normal functioning of the intestines, colon, and stomach. Existing in the gastrointestinal tract are a mixture of “good” and “bad” bacteria. When the balance of good and bad bacteria becomes imbalanced due to stress, diet, illness or other factors, the bad bacteria promotes the development of a wide variety of health issues, including vomiting in dogs.
Canine probiotic supplements provide an optimal combination of living bacteria to restore your dog’s gut health. Some of the beneficial bacteria included in dog probiotics include L. acidophilus, L. casei, L. bifidum and B. animalis. Although human probiotics are available that contain similar types of bacteria, veterinarians recommend dog owners give their dog’s probiotics specially formulated to address a dog’s gastrointestinal needs. Significant differences between the human and canine gut involving stomach acidity and digestive enzymes mean dog owners should not supplement their dog’s diet with human probiotics and expect to see desired results.
Oral probiotics for dogs can be hidden in your dog’s food or wrapped in a piece of chicken or turkey. Depending on how unbalanced a dog’s gut bacteria is, it may take a week to 10 days before your dog’s vomiting and overall health noticeably improves. As stated previously, always take your dog to the veterinarian if probiotics and home remedies for vomiting in dogs fail to stop your dog from throwing up.
Disclaimer: the advice and information in this article is not intended to be used as a replacement for professional medical advice from a veterinarian.