Vomiting and diarrhea in dogs

Most dogs have episodes of vomiting or diarrhea at one time or another. Usually, it is not a serious illness or problem, but rather that they have eaten something they could not digest well or something they were not used to.

Vomiting and diarrhea in dogs may be due to our pet having eaten too much, too fast or in too much heat. In all these cases you can wait a few hours to see how it evolves before taking your friend to the vet.

It is natural for the animal to feel down when it has had one of these episodes, but if it shows no other signs of illness, such as fever or excessive fluid loss, you can wait about 12 hours to see if it improves.

Do you know the difference between regurgitation and vomiting?

The first thing we must differentiate is what the dog has expelled.


Regurgitation is the expulsion of food that has not reached the stomach, or that has been in it for a very short time and, therefore, has not been completely digested. It is not accompanied by the syncopated movements of the abdomen or the straining typical of vomiting.

In a regurgitation you will see undigested feed being expelled. This can give you a good idea of how your dog chews. If he expels whole grains without chewing, it is an indication that the size of the kibble is not right for him and you should increase the size to force him to chew properly.


Vomiting, on the other hand, occurs with little or no trace of solid food. Do not be alarmed by the color, this is not an indication that the dog is in better or worse health. If it has eaten recently, it will probably have a dark brown color. If it had an empty stomach, they may have a yellowish color due to the bile that will be expelled or green due to the mucus found in the stomach.

Remember that isolated vomiting need not be a cause for concern, but if they are very frequent you should visit your veterinarian.

What to do when a dog vomits or has occasional diarrhea?

  • The first thing you should do is to remove all food so that he fasts for 8 to 12 hours. If he is vomiting, you should also remove the water until about 2 hours have passed since the last vomiting.

Don’t be afraid that he will get dehydrated, he will lose even more fluids if he drinks water and vomits it, and he will feel sick for a longer period of time.

  • When the 2 hours have passed, give him just a few sips of water or saline and wait 30 minutes to see if he vomits or not.
    If he is very thirsty, you can give him an ice cube to lick to cool his mouth while he drinks only a small amount of liquid. About 20 minutes later, as long as there is no repeat vomiting, you can give him another small amount and repeat until he is fully hydrated.
  • When a dog vomits or has diarrhea you should not offer food immediately. Wait until your pet is hungry to feed it and allow at least 4-8 hours, depending on how it feels.

The first meal should be meager and highly digestible, whether it is part of a can of foodintestinal  or a little rice with cheese or skinless chicken. If all goes well, repeat another small portion at 4 hours and then increase the portions, mixing his normal diet until he is back to his usual way of eating.

Symptoms of vomiting or diarrhea in dogs that you should be alarmed by

If your pet vomits again and does not start to feel better after a few hours, do not wait any longer and take it immediately to the veterinarian. The recommendations we give you are useful for mild cases when the dog has eaten something inappropriate. If you suspect that it may be a more severe case, it is best to have it checked by a professional.

These are some symptoms that require immediate veterinary attention:

  • Blood appears in the dog’s vomit or stool.
  • Vomiting does not stop or continues to occur, even if you have not ingested anything.
  • The animal has fever, tremors, convulsions, severe abdominal pain or marked malaise.
  • Vomiting and/or diarrhea persist for 24 hours despite fasting, or fluid losses are very abundant.
  • You suspect that your dog may have ingested a toxic substance (toxic plants, antifreeze, poisons, etc.).
  • Episodes of vomiting and diarrhea recur very frequently.
  • In the case of puppies, you should not wait so many hours to seek help. They dehydrate more quickly and have less body reserves to resist. If they do not start to improve after 8 hours, it is better to go to the veterinarian.

Remember that if your dog has vomiting or diarrhea you should consult your veterinarian. What we tell you in this article is a guideline and should always be consulted with a professional.

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