Effective Home Remedies for Vomiting Dogs
When to Consider Home Remedies for a Dog That Is Vomiting?
If your dog is throwing up, the first thing you should do is assess whether this is really something you can take care of at home. There are some causes of dog vomiting or nausea that you can treat yourself, but some causes are quite serious and will require a trip to the veterinarian.
If your dog is otherwise healthy, and you strongly believe that the vomiting is due to overeating or an abrupt diet change, then it is reasonable to try some natural at-home treatments.
When to Use Home Remedies
- Your dog vomited once or twice
- The vomiting is not progressing rapidly
- Your dog is still bright and alert
When Not to Use Home Remedies
- Your dog is repeatedly vomiting or attempting to vomit (even if nothing is brought up)
- Your pup is acting lethargic
- There is blood in the stool or profuse, watery diarrhea
- Excessive drooling
- Your dog won't eat or drink (lacks an appetite)
- You have a senior dog
- You have a pet that is already suffering from another illness and doesn't have the strength to handle a normal bout of vomiting
In these cases, seek your vet's advice immediately.
Dog Vomiting Treatment: How to Help Your Pet Get Through the Spell
When I worked at an animal hospital, I learned about some home remedies that can give relief to vomiting dogs. While they are mostly effective, these home remedies may not work for all dogs, and, in some instances, veterinarian attention is required to solve the problem.
Follow these steps to treat your vomiting dog at home:
- Fast your dog. This will give his gastrointestinal tract some rest and time to recover. With food out of the way, there should be less vomiting. If the dog vomits yellow bile, it simply means the dog is vomiting on an empty stomach. Usually, a 24-hour fast is necessary for adult dogs, while puppies should not be fasted for more than 12 hours.
- Feed your dog a bland diet. After the fasting period, when the vomiting should have ceased, take away his normal food and replace with boiled chicken and rice or boiled ground beef and rice. If you use chicken, make sure it is skinless and boneless; if you use burger, make sure the fat is drained off. Either way, rice should make up the bulk of the meal—the meat is just there to make it enticing for the dog. Keep giving this diet until the dog gets better. Then, over the next few days, gradually reintroduce his regular food.
- Provide ice chips. It is very important that your pet stays hydrated during this time. If your dog cannot keep water down, offer ice chips, which are less likely to trigger more vomiting. You can try to offer water later. If your dog goes for 24 hours without drinking water or eating ice chips, see the vet immediately.
- Check the gums. Have him seen immediately if his gums turn pale, whitish, grayish, or purple. A normal gum color should be a healthy bubble-gum pink. Press your finger on his gum; the finger mark should turn whitish and then pink again. If the gum takes a few seconds to turn back to pink, the dog needs to be seen as soon as possible. It could be a sign of anemia, poison, or bloat.
Home Remedies for Vomiting in Dogs
You may be wondering what you can give your dog for vomiting. The following remedies can relieve an upset stomach, but if symptoms persist, discontinue treatment and see a vet immediately.
- Pepto-Bismol: Ask your vet if you can try to give over-the-counter Pepto-Bismol. If he agrees that it might help, he will give you dosing instructions. As with any medication, there may be side effects. Pepto contains aspirin, so do not give if your dog has an allergy to aspirin. Ask your vet first!
- Electrolytes: If your dog is able to keep liquids down, ask your local veterinary clinic on recommendations for rehydration. Make sure the electrolytes offered do not contain artificial sweetener such as xylitol.
- Probiotics: Probiotics for dogs are definitely great (if supplied by a veterinary manufacturing company). In addition to soothing your dog's tummy when he is nauseous, probiotics promote a healthy gut when taken on a daily basis. Purina Fortiflora is a popular product that is recommended and sold by vets.
- Ginger: Consider a pet-safe treat or tea that incorporates ginger. Ginger is thought to have an antiemetic effect by blocking the serotonin receptors in the gut that causes nausea. If you are considering feeding ginger in raw or powder form, refer to the correct dosages outlined by DogsNaturally.
- Slippery Elm Bark: This herbal remedy contains tannins that help reduce inflammation. It can soothe an upset stomach and relieve diarrhea and is also loaded with vitamins. Slippery elm bark should not be given to pregnant dogs or those taking medications.
- Massage: Your dog may enjoy a relaxing massage. Gently rub his stomach, but don't press. If this causes him to throw up even more, discontinue.
Check for Dehydration
Feeding your dog too much water can cause him to vomit even more, but you don't want him to be dehydrated either. Limit the water bowl and offer ice chips instead.
How to Check for Signs of Dehydration
- To check for dehydration, gently pinch the skin on the dog's shoulder blade or back into a little tent shape.
- If the "tent" collapses promptly, the dog is well hydrated.
- If the "tent" stays up for a few seconds or longer, the dog needs immediate vet attention, including fluids given under the skin or intravenously.
See a Vet Immediately If...
Take your dog to the vet if he becomes lethargic, the vomiting continues after 24 hours, the vomiting returns despite diet change, or other symptoms develop, such as diarrhea, lack of appetite, or fever.
Why Is My Dog Throwing Up?
- Overeating or Eating Too Fast: If your dog throws up shortly after every meal, you should consider investing in a slow-feeder bowl. It is usually designed with a maze to help prevent your dog from taking big bites.
- Stress: Find the cause of your dog's stress or anxiety and avoid those stressors as much as possible.
- Motion Sickness: Roll down the windows and sit your dog facing forward during car rides. If this doesn't help, ask your vet for a prescription drug to reduce motion sickness. You can also try giving your dog ginger in pill form or treat form, but be sure to ask your vet for a recommendation. Also, try to limit food consumption before traveling.
- Abrupt Diet Changes: This includes switching to a new dog food brand, food allergies, or food poisoning.
- Serious Illness: See a list of serious causes below.
If any worrisome or out-of-the-ordinary symptoms arise along with the vomiting, do not hesitate to have your dog seen by a vet. More likely than not, it’s just a minor issue, but sometimes catching a minor issue will keep it from evolving into a more serious and costly problem. If you suspect a more serious condition is at play, listed below are the causes that call for an emergency trip to the vet.
Causes of Dog Vomiting That Require Veterinary Attention
- Parvo is a potentially deadly virus that can be commonly found in puppies, so if your pup has not been vaccinated or has not yet finished his vaccine series, consider this a possibility. Parvo causes vomiting, bloody diarrhea (often with a foul odor), lethargy, and loss of appetite.
- Pancreatis, or inflammation of the pancreas, may occur after eating a fatty meal. Dogs suffering from pancreatitis need to be fasted but also require vet attention.
- Gastroenteritis is another worrisome condition. Symptoms include vomiting, bloody diarrhea, loss of appetite, and lethargy. At times, the underlying cause may not be found.
- Intestinal blockage can occur if your dog has ingested a bone or a foreign object, such as a sock, a rock, or a corn on the cob. Symptoms include vomiting.
- Bloat is a sudden distension of the stomach. If your dog tries to vomit but is unable to, you may suspect bloat, especially if your dog is deep-chested with a swollen abdomen and he appears to be in distress. If the dog is unable to vomit, he may bring up thick saliva (as seen in the video below). Some causes of bloating include eating or drinking really fast, high-fiber diets, or strenuous physical activities.
- Food poisoning from eating something potentially toxic can certainly cause vomiting. Chocolate, onions, and grapes are some of the most dangerous foods for dogs to consume. If you have a pet that loves digging in the garbage, food poisoning is a likely cause.
- Kidney or liver disease can also cause your dog to throw up.
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is often caused by allergies to foods, such as additives, preservatives, wheat, and lactose.
- Stomach Ulcers that are caused by plant intoxication (mushrooms, sago palm, etc.), pesticide or rodenticide toxicity, chemical poisoning, and heavy metal poisoning result in nausea, vomiting, and anemia.
- Parasites can be contracted through exposure to contaminated soil, water, feces, or food. Puppies usually get intestinal parasites through their mothers. Make sure your dog is up-to-date with all of his/her shots to prevent serious illnesses from occurring.
Behavior of a Dog With Bloat: Emergency Treatment Needed
Why Does My Dog Vomit White Foam or Saliva?
Owners may confuse an infection known as bordetella or "kennel cough" with vomiting because the dog may be gagging, bringing up mucus, or producing foamy fluids. Kennel cough is a highly contagious respiratory infection that spreads when dogs live or socialize together in close quarters, like a kennel or dog park.
Treatment for Kennel Cough
- The cough should go away by itself within two to three weeks.
- Antibiotics and cough medicine can be prescribed if the cough is bothersome to your dog.
- As a form of prevention, schedule your dog for a regular bordetella vaccination.
Home Remedy for Kennel Cough
- Give your dog one tablespoon of honey and one teaspoon of lemon juice mixed in warm water.
- You can administer this mixture hourly.
- If your dog has diabetes, avoid this remedy as the sugar in honey can be harmful.
Why Is My Dog Vomiting Yellow Bile or Yellow Foam?
If your dog vomits yellow fluid in the early morning or late at night, it is likely because he/she is going too long between meals. This is true for dogs that are fed only once a day.
- The solution to this kind of vomiting is not fasting, but the opposite. Reduce the time between meals. This means feeding your dog more frequently, but be sure to reduce the serving size to avoid overfeeding.
- You can also give your dog a bedtime or early morning snack.
Disclaimer: This article is not to be used as a diagnostic tool, nor as a substitute for professional veterinary advice. If your dog is sick, please report to your veterinarian promptly for a hands-on examination.
Veterinarian Discusses Causes of Vomiting
A Vet's Suggestion: Home Treatment for a Vomiting Dog
- Dr. Jennifer Coates, "What to Do When Your Dog Vomits or Has Diarrhea," PetMD. March 16, 2012. Accessed October 11, 2017.
- John Gilpatrick," 5 Reasons Why Your Dog Is Throwing Up Bile." PetMD. Accessed October 11, 2017.
- Amy Flowers, DVM, "Dogs and Motion Sickness." WebMD. January 11, 2016. Accessed October 11, 2017.
- Dr. Mary Fuller, DVM, "Why Does My Dog Vomit Yellow Foam?." VetStreet. May 24, 2012. October 11, 2017.
Questions & Answers
© 2008 Adrienne Janet Farricelli