My Dog is Throwing Up, Should I Call the Vet?

As a pet owner, it’s normal to worry if your dog is throwing up. Although most of the time, a bout of vomiting is nothing too serious for a dog, this symptom can sometimes indicate a larger underlying health problem that needs to be addressed.

In the article below, we’ll help you learn more about causes of canine dog vomiting and when you may need to call the vet. With the help of this guide, you can determine whether your dog’s vomiting is anything to worry about, and you can understand when it may be time to get some medical help, too.

dog throwing up

Food Intolerance

Food intolerance is one of the most common causes of vomiting in dogs. Any dog who has a food intolerance—even if it is not a true allergy—may be at risk of this type of vomiting. The good news is that food intolerance vomiting can be cleared up quickly by simply changing your dog’s food to something more easily digestible.

If you know your dog has a sensitive stomach or is intolerant of a variety of foods, talk to your veterinarian for recommendations. The vet may prescribe a sensitive diet for your pet, depending on the severity and frequency of their vomiting issues.

Food Changes

Any sudden changes to your dog’s diet can potentially cause a dog to throw up. If you change the flavor or brand of your dog’s regular kibble, or if you give them a new type of wet food or treat that they have never had before, vomiting a couple of times is a normal response.

Transition your dog slowly to a new type of food blend when possible. And if you know your dog has a sensitive stomach, refrain from giving them bites of human food or any new types of treats without first easing into them.


Stress may cause your dog to vomit once or twice, especially following a stressful or upsetting situation. For example, if your dog has had to take a trip to the veterinarian or has heard fireworks or thunder, they may become upset enough to vomit a few times before calming down again.

This type of vomiting will typically resolve itself in a couple of hours. If the vomiting continues for longer than a few hours, your pet should go to the vet. Otherwise, however, you can simply help your dog stay hydrated until the problem eases on its own.

Ingestion of Foreign Object

Dogs are prone to swallowing objects that they should not. It is possible that your dog could swallow part of a chewed-up toy, or an object they find somewhere in your home. In situations like this, your dog may start vomiting and be unable to stop.

If your dog is vomiting blood or has stool in their vomit, these are very serious signs that they have ingested something that is causing an intestinal blockage. Go to the emergency vet right away if you notice either of these symptoms in your dog. Intestinal blockages can quickly become fatal if left untreated.


Toxicity or poisoning may occur if your pet ingests a harmful substance. Some of these substances include chemicals, household cleaners, medication intended for humans or pets, and certain types of human foods, among others. If your pet consumes any toxic substance, you may notice excessive vomiting, and you should take them to the emergency vet right away.

If you suspect your pet has eaten something toxic but you’re unsure, go to the emergency vet anyway. Toxicity can worsen very quickly, and some types of poisoning are only treatable if responded to in the first stages of the condition.

Intestinal Parasites

Intestinal parasites may not always cause vomiting, and they typically are more likely to cause diarrhea. However, in some instances, both symptoms may be present.

If your dog is vomiting and having diarrhea at the same time, go to the vet, as your pet may become dehydrated easily. Additionally, if your dog’s vomit or diarrhea contains visible worms, this is a good indicator that you need to see a vet to clear up the problem. With proper deworming medication, your pet should be back to normal health in no time.

In Conclusion

As you can see, there are many situations in which vomiting is nothing to worry about for your dog. However, in some cases, vomiting may signify an underlying health problem that needs to be addressed quickly.

If your dog is vomiting and the problem lasts more than a day, or if your pet is vomiting along with any other symptoms, go to the vet right away. You may need to see an emergency vet, depending on the symptoms that are present. Otherwise, it is typically okay to wait 24 hours and see if the problem clears up on its own.

Need to talk with a veterinarian about your pet’s care? Book an appointment at any of our Heart + Paw locations today!

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Heart + Paw was founded in 2018 by Chief Veterinary Officer Dr. George Melillo, who currently serves the Mid-Atlantic area. Heart + Paw offers a combination of veterinary care, pet grooming, and dog daycare to help be a resource in your pet parenthood journey.

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