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Experiencing your beloved canine companion throwing up after eating can be distressing and concerning for any pet owner. Concerns about toxins, mold, and disease come to mind. Some may panic about heavy metals in their pet’s food.

While an occasional episode of vomiting may not always be a cause for alarm, frequent occurrences can indicate underlying health issues that require attention.

Similar to humans, dogs can experience digestive issues that lead to vomiting after meals. In this blog post, we will examine the potential causes behind this unsettling behavior and offer guidance on the necessary steps to take next.

Why Is My Dog Throwing Up After Eating?

Why Is My Dog Throwing Up After Eating?

There are several reasons why a dog might vomit after eating, ranging from mild to serious issues. If your vet is appearing lethargic, disoriented, or weak, see a veterinarian immediately!

Here are some potential reasons for why a dog might throw up after eating:

  1. Dietary indiscretion: Dogs are notorious for eating things they shouldn’t, such as table scraps, garbage, or spoiled food. This can lead to upset stomach and vomiting. Even if you believe your pet hasn’t ingested anything they shouldn’t have, it’s essential to recognize that this is a very real and common occurrence.
  2. Food intolerance or allergy: Some dogs may have sensitivities or allergies to certain ingredients in their food, leading to vomiting as a reaction. This occurrence would be rare and requires a veterinary diet elimination trial to rule out.
  3. Overeating: Eating too much food too quickly can overwhelm a dog’s digestive system, causing vomiting.
  4. Gastrointestinal issues: Dogs can suffer from various gastrointestinal problems like gastritis, inflammatory bowel disease, or gastrointestinal obstructions, all of which can cause vomiting.
  5. Pancreatitis: Inflammation of the pancreas can lead to vomiting, especially after eating fatty foods.
  6. Infections: Viral or bacterial infections, such as parvovirus or gastroenteritis, can cause vomiting as a symptom.
  7. Toxic ingestion: Ingestion of toxic substances like plants, household chemicals, or certain human foods (e.g., chocolate, xylitol) can result in vomiting.
  8. Motion sickness: Some dogs may vomit in response to car rides or other forms of motion.
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Dog Ate Something They Shouldn’t and is Vomiting

If your dog has consumed something they shouldn’t have and is now vomiting, act swiftly!

Do your best to identify what your dog ingested and any potential signs of toxicity. Then immediately contact your veterinarian or an emergency animal clinic to seek guidance.

If your pet ingested something they shouldn’t have but appears stable, you can contact the Pet Poison Poison hotline for advice. This is a paid service, but if you have pet insurance, it may be covered.

Provide them with detailed information about the ingested substance, the time it occurred, and any accompanying symptoms your dog is displaying.

While monitoring your dog closely, refrain from attempting to induce vomiting unless specifically instructed by a veterinary professional, as some substances can exacerbate the situation if brought back up.

Pay close attention to any changes in your dog’s condition, such as increased lethargy or distress, and follow any advice provided by your vet, which may include seeking immediate veterinary care or administering first aid at home.

Do not give your dog hydrogen peroxide without veterinary guidance.

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Toxic Ingestion in Dogs

Toxic ingestion in dogs occurs when they consume substances that are harmful to their health.

The following things are toxic to pets and may require immediate attention:

  • Grapes
  • Chocolate
  • Onions
  • Certain plants (indoors and out)
  • Many wild mushrooms
  • Many essential oils
  • Rat poison
  • Household chemicals and cleaning agents
  • Automobile fluids such as gas and oil
  • Coolant (for your car, which is often sweet to the taste and thus appealing)
  • Xylitol (found in candy and gum)
  • Medications (including pet medications on which they may overdose)
  • Weed and other recreational drugs

In many cases, if your dog is throwing up because they ate something toxic, it’s an emergency. Go to the veterinarian immediately.

Symptoms of toxic ingestion vary depending on the substance ingested but may include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, tremors, seizures, difficulty breathing, and collapse.

Unless a veterinarian or the pet poison hotline tells you to, refrain from using hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting in your dog. This outdated practice is associated with many complications and may alter the way a veterinarian can treat your pet.

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Dog Illnesses that Cause Digestive Problems

Several illnesses and conditions can cause dogs and puppies to vomit. All of these require immediate veterinary care (I’m sensing a theme here!).

  1. Gastroenteritis: Inflammation of the stomach and intestines, often caused by infections (bacterial, viral, or parasitic) or dietary factors.
  2. Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD): Chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract, leading to symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, and weight loss.
  3. Foreign Body Ingestion: Swallowing objects like toys, bones, or pieces of clothing can cause blockages in the digestive tract, leading to vomiting among other symptoms.
  4. Parasitic Infections: Infestations with parasites such as roundworms, hookworms, or giardia can cause gastrointestinal symptoms including vomiting.
  5. Liver or Kidney Disease: These conditions can lead to vomiting as well as other symptoms like jaundice, increased thirst, and changes in urination.
  6. Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (GDV), or bloat: A serious condition where the stomach fills with gas and twists, often seen in large, deep-chested breeds. This is a medical emergency requiring immediate veterinary attention. Dogs with bloat will often attempt to vomit but may be unable to produce anything.
  7. Parvo: this serious and deadly condition is preventable with vaccination. It is most often seen in puppies (who aren’t fully vaccinated), however, all dogs are at risk.
Dog throwing up after eating

My Dog Eats Too Fast and Throws Up

It’s common for dogs to eat too quickly, leading to vomiting. Contrary to popular belief, a dog shouldn’t wolf down their meal and lick the bowl clean.

Rapid eating can cause your dog to swallow air along with their food, leading to gastrointestinal discomfort and sometimes regurgitation.

Here are some steps you can take to help your dog slow down while eating and reduce the chances of vomiting:

  1. Slow-Feeding Bowls: Use specially designed slow-feeding bowls or puzzle feeders that have obstacles or compartments, making it more difficult for your dog to gulp down food quickly. I like the Kong Wobbler and this viral bone bowl.
  2. Small, Frequent Meals: Instead of feeding your dog one or two large meals per day, consider splitting their daily food portion into smaller, more frequent meals. This can help prevent your dog from feeling overly hungry and devouring their food too quickly.
  3. Hand Feeding: If your dog’s eating habits are severe, consider hand-feeding them small amounts of food at a time. This allows you to control the pace at which your dog eats and can help prevent vomiting. You can keep the food in a treat pouch and use it for training rewards, too!
  4. Food Moistening: Adding water or low-sodium broth to your dog’s kibble can help slow down eating and also provide additional hydration. Stuff the rehydrated food in a West Paw Toppl and use this as enrichment.
  5. Medical Evaluation: If your dog continues to vomit frequently despite your efforts to slow down their eating, it’s important to consult with your veterinarian. Persistent vomiting could indicate an underlying medical condition that requires attention.
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Pancreatitis Symptoms in Dogs & Puking

Pancreatitis in dogs presents with various symptoms, with vomiting being one of the hallmark signs.

Alongside vomiting, dogs with pancreatitis may exhibit abdominal discomfort, decreased appetite, lethargy, and in some cases, fever and diarrhea.

The vomiting may occur repeatedly and can sometimes contain bile or blood. Pancreatitis requires medical treatment, including fluid therapy, pain management, and dietary adjustments.

Untreated pancreatitis can lead to severe complications. Go to the vet!

Your veterinarian can perform diagnostic tests to confirm the diagnosis and create a tailored treatment plan to address your dog’s specific needs.

Treatment of pancreatitis commonly involves administering intravenous fluids to address dehydration and restore electrolyte balance. Pain management medications may be prescribed to alleviate discomfort, while antiemetics can help control vomiting.

Depending on the severity of the condition, nutritional support may involve withholding food temporarily to allow the pancreas to rest before gradually reintroducing a bland, easily digestible diet such as Hill’s Science Diet Low Fat i/d Digestive Care (only available through your veterinarian).

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Is Purina Making Dogs Throw Up and Have Seizures?

In 2023, a post on social media went viral, suggesting that Purina dog food contained toxic levels of heavy metal and was causing dogs to throw up, have seizures, and die.

The original post was debunked and has since been removed. Despite this, a group of fringe “holistic” veterinarians and one of the plaintiffs in the Hill’s Science Diet Vitamin D recall lawsuit used the social panic over Purina Food to build engagement with their content.

They led and fostered the creation of a fringe extremist community whose beliefs ride on the idea that all kibble is toxic and that veterinarians are intentionally harming pets with food, vaccines, and medications.

This has led to a flood of misinformation circulating on social media platforms concerning veterinarians, Purina, and other kibble brands. If you’ve heard chatter about Purina food being toxic, or veterinarians harming pets for profit, it’s likely coming from this group.

Tread cautiously with social misinformation and double-check the sources of where you hear things.

If your pet is throwing up after eating kibble, and you are concerned that the food itself is the cause, keep the food (in the original bag) and see a veterinarian.

Blood and stool samples can help your veterinarian determine if your pet has ingested something toxic. If the food might be a possible suspect based on the evidence at hand, your veterinarian can facilitate the next steps.

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Salmonella and Bacteria Making Dogs Sick

Salmonella and certain types of bacteria can indeed cause dogs to vomit. Despite a common myth suggesting dogs are immune due to their stomach acidity, they’re still susceptible. Contrary to popular belief, dogs’ stomachs are less acidic than those of humans.

While a dog is less likely to show severe symptoms than a human, the bacteria load can make them feel icky and can be damaging to their internal gut health.

  1. Salmonella: Dogs can become infected with Salmonella bacteria through consuming contaminated food, such as raw meat or eggs, kibble that has been recalled, or through contact with feces (including their own) from infected animals. Salmonella infection, known as salmonellosis, can lead to symptoms including vomiting, diarrhea (often bloody), fever, lethargy, and loss of appetite. It can be particularly dangerous for young puppies, elderly dogs, or those with weakened immune systems.
  2. Other Bacterial Infections: Various other bacteria, such as Escherichia coli (E. coli), Campylobacter, or Clostridium perfringens, can also cause gastrointestinal infections in dogs. These bacteria are commonly found in contaminated water, soil, or raw food. Symptoms may include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, fever, and dehydration.

Dogs with bacterial infections can shed the bacteria in their stool and saliva, putting humans at risk, too.

Preventing bacterial infections in dogs involves practicing good hygiene and food safety measures. Here are some tips:

  • Proper Food Handling: Ensure that your dog’s food is handled and stored safely, especially raw meat and eggs, to prevent contamination with harmful bacteria like Salmonella.
  • Cooking: Cook meat thoroughly before feeding it to your dog to kill any potential bacteria. Avoid feeding raw meat diets unless properly prepared and handled to minimize the risk of bacterial contamination. Note that raw meat diets are associated with a much higher risk of medication-resistant bacteria such as E. coli.
  • Hand Washing: Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after handling raw meat or coming into contact with feces, and encourage family members to do the same.
  • Clean Environment: Keep your dog’s living environment clean, including their food and water bowls, bedding, pooping, and living areas, to reduce the risk of bacterial contamination.
  • Regular Veterinary Care: Ensure your dog receives regular check-ups and vaccinations to help maintain their overall health and immune function, which can reduce the risk of bacterial infections.

If you suspect your dog has ingested something contaminated with bacteria or if they show symptoms of vomiting or diarrhea, consult your veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment. In severe cases, bacterial infections may require antibiotics or other medications to resolve.

Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational purposes only and should not be construed as a substitute for professional veterinary advice, diagnosis, or treatment. 

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