Vomiting in Dogs & Cats: Everything You Need to Know

Dogs and cats are what’s known as natural purgers. This means they will vomit on cue to empty their stomachs of unwanted food, material, and fur. Vomiting in pets is a safety mechanism to remove things they feel cannot be digested.

Is It Normal for My Dog / Pet to Vomit?

Vomiting by pets is not normal but is quite common. In most cases, one-off vomiting is just an attempt to eject something they have eaten and is normal in even the healthiest pets. Continuous vomiting, however, is not normal.

What Can Cause Vomiting in Dogs / Pets?

Most one-off cases of vomiting by our pets have been caused by something they have eaten. Vomiting can be caused by eating too quickly or ingesting something disagreeable.

In cases where your pet is vomiting continuously, it could be caused by serious health concerns. Please contact your nearest vet if this is the case.

When is Vomiting in Pets Serious?

It is important to monitor your pets’ symptoms once they have vomited to make sure they are not ill or have consumed something toxic. It is serious if your pet is:

  • Vomiting multiple times within 30-60 minutes.
  • Vomiting mucus without presence of food
  • Vomiting blood or bloody bile
  • Showing other symptoms such as discomfort , pain, diarrhoea or inappetance.
  • Vomiting water after drinking
  • Is lethargic after vomiting

Just like us, vomiting often occurs after feelings of nausea. Signs of nausea include drooling, licking of the lips, or excessive swallowing. Vomiting should not be confused with gagging or retching, as vomiting involves the stomach muscles contracting in order to ‘bring up’ matter.

Check your pet’s vomit to make sure it is free from blood or toxic material. Blood in the vomit is a sign that your pet is seriously unwell, and they should be taken to a vet immediately.

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What You Can Do at Home When Your Pet is Vomiting

If your pet is otherwise bright and happy:

  • Wthhold food for an hour.
  • Don’t let them drink large amounts of water. Encourage small regular sips of water.
  • After fasting, try a small amount of their normal food. If they vomit, consult a veterinarian.
  • If there is no vomiting after this time, continue with small meals every 2-3 hours.
  • Gradually increase back to their normal amount over the next 2 days.

A foreign object in the gastrointestinal tract, bacterial or viral infections, hormone disorders such as pancreatitis, kidney disease, or diabetes amongst others can cause serious vomiting. This will not resolve on its own and requires immediate veterinary attention. If vomiting continues, go to the vet.

If you are ever in doubt about your pet’s health status, please contact your nearest Greencross Vets.

Other Signs of a Serious Issue

  • vomiting is frequent or continual
  • there is blood present in the vomit or it has the appearance of coffee grounds
  • your pet is a puppy or kitten
  • your pet is lethargic
  • your pet has a fever
  • they are panting
  • there is abdominal pain (stretching, groaning) or your pet is restless
  • diarrhoea develops

What You Need to Tell the Vet If Your Pet is Vomiting

  • how often your pet has vomited
  • when they last ate and what they ate
  • the appearance of the vomit
  • if diarrhoea is present and when it started
  • samples of vomit and or diarrhoea are often helpful

Vomiting in Dogs / Pets FAQs

What Causes Dogs to Vomit?

Some common causes of vomiting in dogs:

  • overeating
  • eating too fast
  • disagreeable foods
  • dietary intolerance/allergies
  • intestinal parasites
  • eating toxins or foreign objects (such as chocolate, onion, socks, toys etc)
  • motion sickness
  • internal illness

What Causes Cats to Vomit?

The common causes of cat vomiting:

  • regurgitating of hairballs
  • eating toxins or foreign objects (such as, lilies, hair ties)
  • overeating
  • eating too fast
  • disagreeable foods
  • intestinal parasites
  • motion sickness
  • internal illness

Why Does My Cat Keep Vomiting?

Continuous vomiting in cats can be a sign of more serious medical conditions. If your cat is vomiting more than once a day or for multiple days in a row, you should seek assistance from your Greencross Vet.

What to Give a Dog for Upset Stomach and Vomiting?

There are a range of home remedies known to soothe your dog’s upset stomach. This can include bland foods, such as Hills I/D or Royal Canin gastrointestinal. You can offer these foods as small meals regularly through the day. However, if the vomiting persists, we’d recommend contacting your local Greencross Vet.

Why Is My Dog Vomiting Yellow Foam?

This yellow foam is likely a form of bile – a digestive fluid produced by the liver. Just like with humans, bile is vomited once your pet’s stomach is empty of food. In these cases, it is best to see your local Greencross Vet to ensure nothing more serious is going on. Yellow foam usually is just your pet emptying their upset stomach, but it is best to get this checked out.

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