What to do if your dog keeps throwing up and won’t eat

What to do if your dog keeps throwing up and won't eat

If your dog is constantly vomiting and refusing to eat, it can be a concerning and stressful situation. Vomiting in dogs can be caused by various factors, including dietary indiscretion, gastrointestinal infections, food allergies, or underlying medical conditions. When your dog won’t eat, it adds another layer of worry, as it can lead to nutritional deficiencies and further complications.

So, what should you do if your dog keeps throwing up and won’t eat?

First and foremost, it is important to monitor your dog’s behavior and overall condition. If the vomiting persists for more than 24 hours or is accompanied by other concerning symptoms such as diarrhea, lethargy, or dehydration, it is crucial to seek veterinary attention immediately.

If the vomiting is occasional and your dog is otherwise acting normal, there are a few steps you can take at home to help alleviate the symptoms and encourage your dog to eat. Offer your dog small, frequent meals of a bland diet, such as boiled chicken and rice. This can help soothe their stomach and provide easily digestible nutrients. Additionally, ensure that your dog has access to fresh water at all times to prevent dehydration.

Possible causes

There are several possible causes for your dog throwing up and not eating:

1. Gastrointestinal upset: This is a common cause of vomiting and loss of appetite in dogs. It can be caused by a variety of factors, such as dietary indiscretion, eating something toxic, or having a sensitive stomach. If your dog’s symptoms are mild and resolve within a day or two, it is likely due to a temporary upset stomach.

2. Dietary changes: If you recently changed your dog’s food, it could be causing digestive issues. Dogs may have difficulty adjusting to new diets and may experience vomiting and lack of appetite as a result. If this is the case, gradually transitioning to the new food over a period of one to two weeks may help alleviate the problem.

3. Infections: Infections such as gastroenteritis or parvovirus can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and a loss of appetite in dogs. These infections are often accompanied by other symptoms such as fever and lethargy. If you suspect your dog may have an infection, it’s important to seek veterinary care as soon as possible.

4. Gastric obstruction: In some cases, dogs may vomit and refuse to eat due to a blocked or obstructed stomach. This can occur if your dog ingests a foreign object, such as a toy or a piece of clothing. If you suspect a gastric obstruction, it is important to seek immediate veterinary attention, as it can be a life-threatening condition.

5. Chronic health conditions: Chronic health conditions such as pancreatitis, kidney disease, or liver problems can cause vomiting and a loss of appetite in dogs. These conditions often have other accompanying symptoms, such as weight loss, increased thirst, and changes in behavior. If you suspect your dog may have a chronic health condition, it is important to consult with a veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment.

It is important to note that these are just a few possible causes for your dog’s symptoms. If your dog continues to vomit and refuse to eat, or if their symptoms worsen or are accompanied by other concerning signs, it is always best to consult with a veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

Dietary issues

One possible reason why your dog may be throwing up and refusing to eat is dietary issues. Dogs have sensitive digestive systems and certain foods can upset their stomachs.

One common dietary issue is food allergies or sensitivities. Some dogs may be allergic to certain ingredients in their food, such as grains or specific proteins. This can lead to gastrointestinal distress and vomiting. If you suspect your dog has a food allergy, it may be necessary to switch to a hypoallergenic or limited ingredient diet to identify and avoid the allergen.

Poor quality or spoiled food can also cause digestive issues in dogs. It is important to provide your dog with fresh, high-quality food that is appropriate for their age and size. Check the expiration dates on commercial dog food and avoid feeding your dog any food that has a foul odor or unusual appearance.

Another dietary issue to consider is overeating or eating too quickly. This can lead to digestive upset and regurgitation. To prevent this, try feeding your dog smaller meals throughout the day or using puzzle feeders to slow down their eating.

If your dog has been vomiting and refusing to eat for more than 24 hours, it is important to consult with a veterinarian. They can help determine the underlying cause of the issue and provide appropriate treatment. In some cases, dietary changes or medication may be necessary to resolve the problem.

Gastrointestinal problems

Gastrointestinal problems refer to any issues affecting the digestive system. If your dog keeps throwing up and won’t eat, it is possible that they are experiencing gastrointestinal problems. Common gastrointestinal problems in dogs include:

  • Gastroenteritis: This is inflammation of the stomach and intestines, often caused by a viral or bacterial infection. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, and lack of appetite.
  • Pancreatitis: This is inflammation of the pancreas, which can be caused by high-fat foods, certain medications, or underlying health conditions. Symptoms include vomiting, abdominal pain, and decreased appetite.
  • Gastric ulcers: These are open sores that develop in the lining of the stomach. They can be caused by medications, stress, or a bacterial infection. Symptoms include vomiting, loss of appetite, and black, tarry stools.
  • Inflammatory bowel disease: This is an immune-mediated condition characterized by chronic inflammation of the digestive tract. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, and decreased appetite.

If your dog is experiencing gastrointestinal problems, it is important to consult with a veterinarian. They can diagnose the underlying cause and prescribe appropriate treatment. In the meantime, it may be helpful to withhold food for a few hours to allow the stomach to settle, and then slowly reintroduce a bland diet. Ensure that your dog has access to fresh water and monitor their symptoms closely. If the vomiting persists or your dog’s condition worsens, seek veterinary attention immediately.

Infectious diseases

Infectious diseases can be a cause of vomiting and loss of appetite in dogs. There are several common infectious diseases that can affect dogs, such as parvovirus, distemper, and kennel cough.

Parvovirus: Parvovirus is a highly contagious viral disease that primarily affects puppies. It can cause severe vomiting, diarrhea, and dehydration, leading to loss of appetite. If your dog is displaying these symptoms, it is important to seek veterinary care immediately.

Distemper: Distemper is another viral disease that can affect dogs. It is highly contagious and can cause symptoms such as fever, coughing, vomiting, and loss of appetite. Distemper can be serious and potentially fatal, so it is important to have your dog vaccinated against this disease.

Kennel cough: Kennel cough is a respiratory infection that can cause coughing, sneezing, and loss of appetite in dogs. It is often spread in environments where dogs are in close proximity, such as boarding facilities or dog parks. If your dog is experiencing these symptoms, it is best to keep them away from other dogs and seek veterinary care.

If your dog is exhibiting symptoms of an infectious disease, it is important to isolate them from other animals and seek veterinary care. In some cases, treatment may involve medications to manage symptoms and supportive care to help your dog recover. It is essential to follow your veterinarian’s recommendations and keep your dog’s vaccinations up to date to prevent these infectious diseases.

Steps to help your dog

If your dog is throwing up and won’t eat, there are several steps you can take to help them feel better:

Step 1: Assess the situation
First, assess the severity of the symptoms. If your dog is vomiting frequently or displaying other concerning signs such as diarrhea, lethargy, or difficulty breathing, it is important to contact your veterinarian immediately.
Step 2: Withhold food and water
For the first 12 to 24 hours, it is best to withhold food and water from your dog to give their gastrointestinal tract a rest. This will help reduce further irritation and vomiting.
Step 3: Offer small amounts of water
After the initial fasting period, you can offer small amounts of water to keep your dog hydrated. However, do not force them to drink if they are not interested.
Step 4: Gradually reintroduce food
Once your dog’s vomiting has stopped and they are showing signs of improvement, you can start reintroducing small, bland meals. Boiled chicken and rice are often well-tolerated options.
Step 5: Monitor your dog
Keep a close eye on your dog’s behavior and monitor their bowel movements. If their symptoms worsen or persist, it is essential to seek veterinary attention.
Step 6: Consult with your veterinarian
If your dog’s vomiting and loss of appetite persist for more than 24 hours, it is crucial to consult with your veterinarian. They can conduct a thorough examination and provide appropriate treatment.

Remember, if your dog is experiencing severe symptoms, it is always better to err on the side of caution and seek professional veterinary help.

Monitor their symptoms

If your dog is repeatedly throwing up and refusing to eat, it’s important to monitor their symptoms closely. Keep an eye on how often they are vomiting, the consistency and color of the vomit, and any other accompanying symptoms they may be experiencing. This information will be helpful for your veterinarian in determining the underlying cause of their condition.

If your dog is consistently vomiting multiple times a day or the vomit contains blood or bile, it’s crucial to seek immediate veterinary attention. This could be a sign of a more serious condition that requires prompt medical intervention.

Other symptoms to watch out for include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Lethargy or weakness
  • Diarrhea
  • Excessive thirst or urination

If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s important to inform your veterinarian. They will be able to provide you with guidance on what steps to take next and how to best care for your dog.

Consult a veterinarian

If your dog continues to vomit and refuses to eat, it is crucial to consult a veterinarian as soon as possible. Vomiting and loss of appetite can be symptoms of various underlying health issues.

A veterinarian will be able to thoroughly examine your dog and determine the cause of the vomiting. They may ask you questions about your dog’s diet, recent changes in their routine, and any potential exposure to toxins or harmful substances. It is important to provide the veterinarian with as much information as possible to aid in the diagnosis and treatment process.

The veterinarian may recommend running tests such as blood work, X-rays, or ultrasounds to gain further insight into your dog’s condition. These diagnostic tests can help identify any potential issues with your dog’s organs, digestive system, or overall health.

Based on the findings from the examination and tests, the veterinarian will develop a treatment plan tailored to your dog’s specific needs. This may include medication to alleviate symptoms, changes in diet, or further monitoring of your dog’s condition.

Remember, a veterinarian is the best source of guidance and expertise when it comes to your dog’s health. They have the knowledge and experience to properly diagnose and treat your dog’s condition, providing the best chance for a full recovery. Delaying a visit to the veterinarian can lead to worsening symptoms and potential complications.


What are the possible reasons why my dog keeps throwing up and won’t eat?

There can be several reasons why your dog is throwing up and refusing to eat. It could be due to an upset stomach, food allergies, gastrointestinal obstructions, infections, or underlying health conditions. It is best to consult with a veterinarian to determine the specific cause and appropriate treatment.

My dog has been throwing up for several days now. When should I be concerned?

If your dog has been vomiting persistently for several days and is also refusing to eat or drink, it is a sign of a more serious problem. It is recommended to seek veterinary attention as soon as possible to determine the underlying cause and prevent dehydration and further complications.

What can I do at home to help my dog stop vomiting and start eating again?

If your dog is experiencing mild vomiting and loss of appetite, you can try several home remedies. Offer small amounts of bland food such as boiled chicken and rice, keep them hydrated with plenty of fresh water, and consider giving them over-the-counter medications like Pepcid AC, after consulting with a veterinarian. However, if the symptoms persist or worsen, it is essential to seek professional veterinary care.

My dog only vomits after eating certain foods. Is this a sign of allergies?

Vomiting after eating certain foods can indeed be a sign of food allergies in dogs. It is recommended to keep a close eye on your dog’s diet and note which specific foods or ingredients trigger the vomiting. Consult with a veterinarian to discuss dietary changes and possible allergy testing to determine the exact allergens and find the appropriate treatment plan.

My dog throws up immediately after eating. What could be causing this?

If your dog consistently vomits immediately after eating, it could be a sign of a digestive disorder or gastrointestinal issue such as gastroenteritis or gastritis. It is advisable to consult with a veterinarian to examine your dog and determine the underlying cause. They may recommend dietary changes, antacids, or other medications to manage the symptoms and promote better digestion.

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