Skip to Main Content
Ask About Financing

Vomiting in Dogs: Causes & When to Worry

Vomiting in Dogs: Causes & When to Worry

Numerous reasons might lead to your dog vomiting. In this article, our veterinarians in San Mateo share insights on dog vomiting, including steps to take if your dog starts vomiting and guidelines for inducing vomiting if needed.

Why Dogs Vomit

Vomiting is a frequent sign of tummy irritation and upset intestines in dogs. Most dog owners know that while it might be distressing to see their pet vomit, it's a natural way for them to clear their stomach of undigested stuff, avoiding it from staying in their system or spreading to other parts of their body.

Causes of Vomiting in Dogs

There are various reasons why dogs might experience vomiting and diarrhea. Even a healthy dog can sometimes get sick without an obvious cause and recover quickly. It's possible that your dog ate too fast, consumed too much grass, or had something that didn't agree with their stomach. This kind of vomiting might happen just once and not come with any other symptoms. So, not all instances of vomiting in dogs need immediate worry.

However, sudden or severe vomiting could be connected to diseases, disorders, or health issues like:

  • Heatstroke
  • Ingestion of poisons, toxins, or food
  • Bloat
  • Reaction to medication
  • Bacterial or viral infection
  • Kidney or liver failure
  • Pancreatitis
  • Change in diet

When To Worry About Vomiting in Dogs

Vomiting may be cause for some concern and constitute a serious veterinary emergency if you see any of these signs:

  • Seizures
  • Chronic vomiting
  • Continuous vomiting
  • Bloody diarrhea/vomit
  • Vomiting in conjunction with other symptoms such as lethargy, weight loss, fever, anemia, etc.
  • Suspected ingestion of a foreign body (such as food, objects, children's toy, etc.)
  • Vomiting a lot at one time
  • Vomiting with nothing coming up

Chronic Vomiting

If your dog has been vomiting frequently or it has become a long-term or chronic issue, this is cause for concern, especially if you've noticed symptoms including abdominal pain, depression, dehydration, blood, poor appetite, fever, weakness, weight loss, or other unusual behaviors.

Long-term, recurrent vomiting can be caused by:

  • Cancer
  • Liver or kidney failure
  • Uterine infection
  • Constipation
  • Intestinal obstruction
  • Colitis

As a cautious pet owner, it's always best to prioritize safety and caution when it comes to your pup's health. The best way to learn whether your dog's vomiting is normal or not is to contact your vet.

What To Do If Your Dog Won't Stop Vomiting

Your veterinarian will need your help to find the cause of the vomiting based on your pup's medical history and recent activities. You may be able to provide vital information that can help your vet diagnose the source of the problem and effectively treat it.

How to Induce Vomiting in Dogs

It's common for worried dog owners to look up ways to make their dogs vomit when they've ingested harmful substances. Toxins can upset a dog's stomach and even cause serious harm if they enter the bloodstream and tissues. When dealing with toxins, the goal is to remove them from the body before they cause harm. If vomiting can happen before the intestines absorb the toxins, it might prevent harm.

However, it's important to understand that inducing vomiting at home is generally not recommended unless it's a very serious situation. It's crucial to have a licensed veterinarian's guidance for this process. Always contact your primary veterinarian or a veterinary poison control center before you do anything.

Deciding whether to induce vomiting at home depends on what your dog ate, how much they ate, and how much time has passed. Sometimes, what your dog consumed might not have been toxic, so vomiting might not be necessary.

While vomiting can remove many toxins safely, some substances like bleach, cleaning products, and certain chemicals can cause more damage if they're vomited a second time. It's worth noting that using 3% hydrogen peroxide at home is the only safe way to make a dog vomit, but if it's used incorrectly, it can cause lung issues.

If your dog has existing health problems or shows other symptoms, inducing vomiting could lead to more health risks. If you need to induce vomiting, it's best to have a qualified veterinarian do it at a clinic. 

When Not to Induce Vomiting

Vomiting should never be induced in a dog that is:

  • Having a seizure or recently had a seizure
  • Lethargic
  • Unresponsive or unconscious
  • Already vomiting

What to Do if You Suspect Your Dog Has Ingested a Toxin

Get in touch with your vet or poison control right away if your pet eats something harmful. This helps our emergency vets in Tucson give you guidance on whether to bring your pet in or try inducing vomiting at home.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

If your dog is vomiting a concerning amount, contact our San Mateo vets or seek emergency care right away.

Contact Us To Get Started

At South Hillsdale Animal Hospital, our experienced vets are passionate about the health of San Mateo companion animals. Get in touch today to learn more about our services and becoming a new client with us.

Contact Us

(650) 571-0377 Contact