Vomiting dog: Relieving symptoms and preparing for your appointment

Why is my dog vomiting? 

Vomiting is a common reason for dogs to go to the vet. There are many different reasons your dog may be vomiting. It can be the body’s way to remove nasties from the gut, it can be a pain response, or it can simply be because your dog has eaten too much too quickly!  

Is this something I should worry about? 

Usually, vomiting is a short and easily treated illness and your vet will be able to give you medications to help your dog feel better quicker. Sometimes though, the vet may need to do some tests and they may want to keep your dog in the clinic to give them fluids. 

Is there anything I can do while waiting for my vet appointment? 

Until you have seen or spoken to your vet don’t feed your dog. You should, however, continue to offer your dog water in little amounts often, this will help to keep them hydrated. Keep your dog quiet and comfortable, don’t exercise them as this could worsen their illness and make them more dehydrated.  

What info should I give the vet? 

Your vet will ask questions about your dog to try to understand the cause of the vomiting. Some of these may include:  

  • Does the dog try to vomit but not produce anything? You might want to consider filming your dog to help the vet determine whether they’re vomiting, retching or coughing as it can be quite difficult to work out. 
  • What is the appearance of the vomit? The vet wants to know whether there is blood, undigested/digested food, bile etc, in the vomit since this can help determine the cause of the vomiting. 
  • Has there been a change in the dog’s diet or has the dog recently eaten a very fatty meal? A common cause of vomiting is a change of diet. High fat treats such as meat or cheese can have the same effect. 

What will the vet do? 

The vet will perform a clinical exam of your dog and if your dog’s symptoms are mild enough, the vet may suggest treatment just to relieve discomfort. This can include not feeding your dog for a few hours and then feeding an easily digestible low-fat diet such as chicken and rice. 

If your vet is suspicious of certain gut illnesses, they may suggest x-raysultrasound scans or blood and urine tests. The treatment in these cases will be dependent on the cause and in some cases, the vet may want to keep your dog in the hospital to give them fluids and medications. 

Is there anything I should do to stop this happening again? 

Whilst in many cases there is little we can do to stop our pets getting ill, there are a few things we can do to reduce the risks, such as keeping toxins, poisons and rotten food well out of reach of dogs, not allowing them to drink from dirty watercourses, not giving anti-inflammatory drugs on an empty stomach and supervising them while playing with balls, sticks etc. to ensure they don’t swallow them.