The Causes of Dog Vomiting

Dog vomiting is never fun. Not only is it a mess to clean up, but it can raise worrisome questions about the health of your pet. Fear not, though, as most causes of vomiting are relatively benign. However, in a few cases, vomiting can be a sign of a more serious illness.



Some vomiting can be caused by an obstruction of the digestive system. If the object is stuck in the stomach or the small intestine, the dog may try to dislodge it by vomiting.


There are a number of viruses, including parvovirus, distemper and coronavirus, to which dogs, particularly young ones who have not received all their shots, are susceptible. Infected dogs will usually show other signs as well, such as loss of appetite and diarrhea.


If a dog ingests poison, its body will often attempt to expel it by vomiting it out. If you suspect that your dog has eaten something toxic or poisonous, it should be taken to a vet immediately.

Stomach Ulcer

If the vomit contains blood, or if its his stool is black and tarry, this may be a sign that the dog has developed a stomach ulcer. A dog with an ulcer requires immediate medical attention.

Food Allergy

Dogs, like people, can often have food allergies. Recount what your dog has eaten recently and attempt to determine if it has ingested any unusual foods, particularly dairy or gluten. If the symptoms clear up quickly, it may have been a simple allergic reaction.


Dogs, particularly those of middle-age or older, often begin to develop tumors. Tumors that affect the liver, kidneys or digestive system call all cause vomiting, but should produce other symptoms as well.


Sudden changes in diet, as well as the ingestion of unusual foods, such as garbage, can induce vomiting in dogs. Dogs should be denied food until symptoms pass and then put on a bland diet.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Particularly common to German shepherds and basenjis, this disease can cause dogs to vomit frequently, particularly when they get up in the morning or when they become excited. Most vets treat it with a modified diet and anti-inflammatory drugs.


Two types of intestinal parasites, hookworms and giardia, and common to many dogs, particularly puppies. Other symptoms include weight loss and diarrhea.

Organ Problems

Finally, many diseases that weaken the kidneys or the liver, such as pyelonephritis and hepatitis, can induce vomiting in dogs, particularly older ones. Symptoms and treatments vary depending on the illness.