It’s not uncommon for dogs to vomit every once in a while - especially if they gulped down their dinner too fast. More often than not it’s nothing to be concerned about, but sometimes it can be a sign of a more serious underlying disease. This blog will help you understand the most probable causes of vomiting and teach you to recognize when your puppy should be taken to the vet.
Why does your dog vomit?
There are several reasons for puppies to vomit - some of them are more serious than others. But first and foremost it’s important to understand the difference between vomiting and regurgitating.
Vomiting vs. Regurgitating
Sometimes it is difficult to distinguish between the two since both look very much alike. If your dog vomits, it means they are forcefully trying to remove partly-digested food from their stomach, which might be accompanied by drooling, retching, and contraction of the abdomen.
Regurgitating on the other hand often happens before the food reaches the stomach, while it is still in the esophagus. It often occurs if your puppy swallows its food too fast. If regurgitating happens frequently it is best to contact your vet to find the root cause.
If you do recognize that your dog is vomiting, here are some plausible reasons why:
1. Dietary indiscretion
The most common cause of vomiting is something called dietary indiscretion - also known as scavenging or eating something they shouldn’t have, which leads to gastrointestinal upset that occurs when a dog ingests something that its body cannot tolerate.
Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas. It can be caused by a high-fat diet, obesity, severe trauma, a history of dietary indiscretion, toxins, and certain medications. In some cases, it can also be a genetic predisposition. Whatever the cause, pancreatitis is a serious condition and should be addressed by a veterinarian as quickly as possible. Other than repeated vomiting, some distinctive symptoms might include hunched back, the pain of abandonment, diarrhea, loss of appetite, dehydration, lethargy, and fever.
3. Intestinal parasites
There are several types of internal parasites that cause problems in dogs. These include roundworms, heartworms, tapeworms, hookworms, and whipworms. Intestinal worms can be a serious problem in young puppies. Hookworms can cause anemia and roundworms can lead to poor growth and development. In adult dogs, however, intestinal parasites are only occasionally something serious.
4. Viral infection
Puppies and dogs usually become infected through virus particles in the air or in the respiratory secretions of infected dogs. Most dogs recover within 2 to 3 weeks. However, some dogs may develop secondary bacterial infections which may lead to more severe illness and pneumonia.
5. Other common causes
There are many other causes of vomiting: toxins or poisons, diet change, kidney or liver failure, heat stroke, bacterial infection, and reaction to certain medications.
What to do if your dog vomits?
As said previously, vomiting is often not a major concern. If your dog is sick, a bland diet can help relieve symptoms while also giving your dog the nutrition it needs to recover.
- Chicken and rice are prime ingredients in many dog foods, and these mild foods sit well on upset canine stomachs
- Shredded chicken is easy on upset stomachs and acts as a huge eating incentive for dogs with decreased appetites. It is easy to digest and is packed with essential vitamins, minerals, fats, and amino acids
- Pumpkins have many digestive health benefits. Pumpkin is high in fiber, which helps regulate the canine digestive systems. It also contains many vitamins and minerals, giving your dog a nutritional boost along with a little digestive help.
- Bone broth is a very mild, liquid meal that sits easily in upset canine stomachs. It is also a nutritious and delicious way to add moisture and flavor to dry food and encourage dogs with reduced appetites to eat.
- Baby food - veterinary emergency hospitals often use certain types of baby food to feed the dogs in their care. Baby food is very easy to swallow and digest and is a great way to give oral medications.
When to visit a vet?
If it happens frequently, however, there are other signs to look out for to determine whether or not you should consider visiting the vet. Before going to the vet, take note of color, consistency, frequency of vomiting, and presence of foam in the vomit.
If you decide that vomiting might be a sign of something serious, you should check in with your veterinarian immediately.