› Throwing Up Undigested Food

Why is that Dog Throwing Up Undigested Food?

Is Your Dog Having Problems Throwing Up Undigested Food?Help for dogs that throw up undigested food.

When you see a dog throwing up undigested food, what is your first reaction?  Disgust?   Pity?   Concern?   Confusion?  Maybe all of the above, but if it is your dog that is having a problem, you are most likely going to wonder what is causing it and what you can do. 

What Causes a Dog to Throw Up His Dinner

Causes can be mild to severe and you need to look at the total picture before jumping to conclusions.  Most of the time, the cause is something mundane that you have control of, but not always. 

We can often divide causes into several categories:

  1. How he's eating
  2. What he's eating
  3. Undiagnosed health problems he's experiencing
  4. Normal Behavior

How He's Eating:  Typical Eating Habits

  • Did he eat too fast?
  • Did he eat too much?
  • Did he drink too much water after gulping down his food?
  • Was he too active after eating his dinner?
  • Was he experiencing any stress during mealtime?  (New people in the home, new pets, new location, return from the vet or groomer)

What He's Eating

If you can't rule out the simple causes, you need to look a little deeper.

  • Did he get into something he should not be eating? (Chocolate)

  • Is the dog food fresh and healthy? (Even dry food has a shelf life.  Was there a recall on the food?  Did the food get stale and moldy before serving?)

  • Did he swallow something that he shouldn't have eaten such as a toy or chew bone.
  • Has he been eating grass or something else outside? (Twigs, poisonous plants, pebbles)

  • Did he eat his or another animal's poop?

  • Did he experience a sudden change of food?

What substances go into the stomach may have a big impact on later vomiting. 

This is how the body protects itself but eliminating nasty substances that could make the dog even sicker.  If this is the case, the dog is actually better off throwing it back up.

A Dog Throwing Up Undigested Food Could Mean Health Problems

If your dog throws up undigested food once and only once, then there is not likely to be a health problem brewing but if the dog throwing up undigested food becomes a habit or chronic, there could be some problems. 

If your dog regularly throws up, you need to seek veterinary care.  Some of the more serious reasons for vomiting in

  • Liver disease
  • Pancreatitis
  • Kidney failure
  • Cancer
  • Stomach ulcers
  • viral or bacterial infections
  • Intestinal parasites

Many of these serious problems are also accompanied by other signs such as lethargy, blood in urine or stool, fever and dehydration.  These are problems that need veterinary attention.

Normal Behavior

Another term used for the dog throwing up undigested food is regurgitation.  Mother dogs in the wild do this all the time to feed their growing puppies. 

Solutions

If your dog is throwing up undigested food do to eating habits or a food indiscretion, you probably have nothing to worry about. 

Take away food and allow the dog to fast for 12 to 24 hours. 

Introduce food slowly or feed a bland diet of unseasoned rice and chicken or boiled ground beef and rice. 

If you choose to feed beef and rice, be sure to skim off any fat that rises to the surface of the water during boiling.

If your dog eats too quickly, try a bowl that is specifically made for dogs that prefer to inhale rather than eat their food.


Other options that might help:

  • Give your dog probiotics with his food or offer a small dollop of plain yogurt. 
  • Keep mealtime calm for anxious dogs.

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