If your dog occasionally vomits, it's probably not an indication that she has a serious illness. It is common for dogs to vomit occasionally and it's the natural way your pet's body discards upsetting foods or foreign objects. If it is an occasional bout of upset stomach causing your dog's sickness, it's safe to treat the condition at home---as long as you ensure that your pet is not dehydrated.
Dogs vomit, regurgitate, gag, hack and drop food and water from their mouths. It's important to be able to distinguish just which it is that your dog is doing in order to be able to provide him with proper treatment. When a dog vomits, his stomach muscles heave. He will likely drool, retch and gulp as well. If there is little effort involved, your dog is likely regurgitating his food and not vomiting. If it is simply regurgitation, you will not see his belly heave; however, you may notice gagging or coughing when the food comes back into the esophagus and mouth. Gagging and coughing are more likely the sign of a cough rather than of a stomach upset. In these instances, your pet will likely produce mucus, fluids and foamy materials. This will be a liquid with lots of air bubbles.
Many times, dogs vomit simply because they overate, ate too fast or ate something that upset their stomachs, such as grass. However, both vomiting and regurgitation can be signs of more serious illnesses involving the esophagus, stomach and other parts of the body. If your dog has an occasional bout of vomiting and you have no indications that her condition is something more serious, you can treat her at home.
Begin home treatment for vomiting with a fast of 12 to 24 hours during which you withhold food. During this time, do not administer your pet's heart worm preventative pill. The fast gives the dog's stomach and pancreas a rest. After the fast, give your dog a small amount of sugar water, 1 tsp. sugar to 1 cup of water, or an electrolyte solution.
If your dog keeps the liquids down and does not begin vomiting again, the next day provide her with small amounts of a bland food. Your veterinarian can provide a special food for this purpose or you can make a homemade treat for your sick companion. A cooked (but not fried) egg, along with boiled chicken and rice is a good place to start. Or, you can provide baby food containing meat. Over the next few days, gradually add some of your dog's regular food back into the bland diet---adding a little more regular food at each feeding so that by the seventh day he is eating his regular food only. If vomiting recurs at any time during home treatment, stop your treatment and take your pet to a veterinarian.
If your dog has certain accompanying symptoms, you should not try to treat the condition at home but should take your pet to a veterinarian as soon as possible. These symptoms include: bloody vomit, vomiting that includes a substance that looks similar to coffee grounds, severe abdominal pain, bloated belly or sides, pain, or a fever of 103 degrees F or higher. You should also seek immediate veterinary care for vomiting if your dog has ingested ibuprofen, naproxen or aspirin in the last week, is diabetic, has cancer or kidney disease, or is taking digoxin or digtoxin for a heart condition.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.