Why Is My Dog Throwing Up And Is Lethargic?

Have you ever heard of vomiting in dogs?

If your dog has been vomiting for more than 24 hours, it’s time to see a veterinarian.

Vomiting can happen at any age, but it’s most common in puppies and older dogs.

It’s also one of the first signs that your pet may have a medical condition or illness.

Vomiting can occur when your pet eats something harmful, such as toxic plants or animals, or if they ingest chemicals, medication, or alcohol.

In some cases, pets will vomit due to stress, anxiety, or physical pain.

But what exactly does it mean?

What are the different types of vomiting?

And how do we know if our pet needs immediate veterinary care?

The short answer is that vomiting is an indicator that your pet may need medical treatment.

The longer answer involves understanding what causes certain types of vomiting.

Let’s start with the basics.

Why Is My Dog Throwing Up And Is Lethargic

Possible causes of your dog’s symptoms

Vomiting can happen when a dog gets sick with anything from food poisoning or an infection.

However, there are other reasons why your dog might be vomiting, such as allergies, intestinal problems, or even kidney issues.

There may also be another reason that you haven’t considered, but this is most likely what’s happening.


If your dog has been vomiting frequently, the first thing you need to do is check if they have any allergies.

You can do this by giving them some food with an allergen.

If they start coughing or sneezing, then you know that they have an allergy.

Intestinal Problems

Another possibility is that your dog has an intestinal problem.

This means that their stomach is not working properly.

They will either throw up repeatedly or vomit once every few days.

As soon as you notice any signs of vomiting, contact your vet immediately.

Kidney Issues

Your dog could have a kidney issue that causes them to vomit.

If this happens, you should take them to a vet immediately.

It’s important to make sure that they aren’t bleeding internally.

Otherwise, there isn’t much you can do except give them fluids and pain medication.

When to see a veterinarian

Vomiting is one of the most common signs of illness in dogs.

It can be caused by different diseases, including digestive disorders, liver disease, kidney disease, or other problems like worms or tumors.

If your dog is showing any of these symptoms, make sure to contact your vet immediately.

A veterinarian will be able to determine if your dog needs immediate treatment, or if they have an underlying condition that requires further testing.

Signs of acute vomiting

Acute vomiting in dogs can be caused by many different things, but there are some general guidelines that apply to all cases of vomiting.

Here are the most common signs to watch out for:

  • Your dog is vomiting frequently (at least four times per day).
  • The vomit looks like coffee grounds mixed with blood.
  • Your dog seems weak or tired.
  • They seem listless or depressed.
  • Their gums may appear red.
  • There may be diarrhea as well.
  • Your dog may have difficulty breathing.
  • They may have a fever.
  • They may have a rash on their skin.

If your dog is exhibiting any of these symptoms, call your vet right away.

Your vet will run tests to find the cause of your dog’s vomiting, which can include:

  • Blood work to check for parasites, infection, or inflammation.
  • A urine sample to test for diabetes.
  • An X-ray to check for intestinal obstruction.
  • A CT scan to look at internal organs.
  • A bone marrow biopsy to check for cancer.
  • An endoscopy to examine the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, and colon.
  • A gastric lavage to flush out the stomach contents.
  • Stool samples to check for parasites.
  • Fecal culture to check for worms.
  • Bloodwork to check for organ damage.
  • Treatment for whatever is causing the problem.

How to care for your dog at home

There are many different things that can cause vomiting in dogs.

Some common causes include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Food poisoning
  • Parasites or worms
  • Bloat (a condition where gas builds up inside the stomach)
  • Seizures
  • Heartworms
  • Kidney disease
  • Vomiting due to stress or anxiety
  • Infectious diseases such as parvovirus, distemper, and kennel cough
  • Foreign bodies in the gastrointestinal tract
  • Dietary indiscretion
  • Intestinal blockage
  • Cancer or tumors

If you notice any of these symptoms in your dog, contact your vet immediately.

It may not be possible to treat some of these conditions at home, but with proper diagnosis and treatment, you will be able to help your dog feel better.

The following information will provide tips on how to care for your dog when they have an upset tummy.

1. Prevention

Before we get into what your pet needs when they throw up, let us first discuss prevention.

There are various ways that you can prevent your dog from getting sick in the first place.

The best way to do this is by making sure that all of their vaccinations are up-to-date.

Vaccinations can protect your dog against diseases like rabies, canine distemper, and other illnesses.

Make sure that they also receive regular checkups so that your vet can monitor their health.

Also, make sure that your dog is eating a balanced diet that contains all of the nutrients that they need.

You should also limit their access to harmful substances like alcohol, drugs, and tobacco.

Finally, keep an eye out for signs of illness in your dog.

A change in appetite, weight loss, or excessive drinking/barking are all signs that your pet might be suffering from a medical problem.

2. Treating Vomit Sickness

If your dog starts throwing up, there are several methods that you can use to stop the vomiting.

Most common treatments involve inducing emesis (the expulsion of material from the stomach) either through the mouth or rectum.

Your vet should be able to prescribe medications to treat your dog if necessary.

3. Diarrhea

Diarrhea is another common reason why your dog throws up.

When diarrhea occurs, your dog will typically vomit once or twice before passing solid waste.

This process is known as heaving and is normal.

However, if your dog continues to vomit repeatedly without passing stool, you should call your veterinarian.

4. Food Poisoning

Food poisoning is one of the most common reasons why dogs throw up.

Although it is rare, food poisoning can occur after consuming spoiled meat, fish, cheese, milk, eggs, and vegetables.

If your dog eats something that is spoiled and then vomits, they may experience diarrhea, abdominal pain, and vomiting.

If your dog shows signs of weakness, seizures, and difficulty breathing, contact your vet immediately.

5. Parasites or Worms

Another common cause of vomiting is parasites or worms.

These bugs can live in the soil, under leaves, in the grass, or in the animal’s own feces.

They can enter the body through an open wound or through the digestive system.

If you think that your dog has been exposed to parasites or worms, you should bring them to your vet for testing.

6. Bloat

Bloat is an emergency situation that requires immediate veterinary attention.

Bloat occurs when the stomach fills with air, causing the intestines to stretch and become twisted.

If left untreated, the stomach can rupture and spill its contents throughout the abdomen.

In severe cases, the blood vessels in the stomach can burst and lead to death.

To avoid bloat, never leave your dog unattended while feeding or bathing them.

Never feed your pet anything that has not been thoroughly inspected.

Also, never put any foreign objects inside of your dog’s body, including balloons, toys, ropes, or clothing.

7. Seizures

If you see your dog shaking uncontrollably and foaming at the mouth, it may be a sign of a seizure.

Seizures can happen for many different reasons.

For example, they can be caused by a head injury, brain tumor, stroke, or epilepsy.

8. Heartworms

Heartworm infection is another common cause of vomiting in dogs.

Heartworms are parasitic worms that infect the heart and lungs.

Infected animals often appear listless, weak, and tired.

They can also exhibit coughing, wheezing, and labored breathing.

If your dog has been diagnosed with heartworm, you should start taking medication immediately.

If your dog doesn’t improve after receiving treatment, you should consult your vet.

9. Kidney Disease

A kidney disease called polycystic kidney disease (PKD) can cause vomiting in dogs.

PKD is caused by a genetic mutation in the cystine kinase gene.

Symptoms of PKD include vomiting, swelling of the legs and feet, decreased energy, and depression.

This condition usually affects older dogs and is easily treated with medication.

If you suspect that your dog has PKD, you should visit your vet immediately.

10. Vomiting Due to Stress or Anxiety

Stress and anxiety are two major causes of nausea and vomiting in dogs.

If your dog experiences frequent episodes of vomiting, they may suffer from separation anxiety or generalized anxiety disorder.

If your dog suffers from either of these conditions, you should seek professional assistance.

11. Foreign Bodies in the Gastrointestinal Tract

If you find a piece of wood, bone, or hair in your dog’s vomit, you should remove it immediately.

Do not try to force it back down.

Contact your vet if you cannot remove the item yourself.

If your dog vomits multiple times and does not pass the object, they may have swallowed it.

Bring them to the vet immediately if they continue to vomit or show signs of discomfort.


The main cause of vomiting in dogs is food poisoning.

Food poisoning can happen when they eat toxic plants or animals that have been poisoned by pesticides.

It can also happen if they consume contaminated water or soil.

Poisonous plants are common throughout most areas of North America, so it’s important to pay attention to what your dog eats.

It’s also possible that your dog may have eaten something poisonous without realizing it.

This could include items such as mushrooms or berries.

Some plants and fungi contain compounds called alkaloids that can make your dog sick if ingested.

There are many different types of mushrooms and berry plants around most parts of the United States, so it’s important to watch out for them.

If you suspect that your dog ate something poisonous, contact your local animal control office immediately.

They will know how to handle an emergency situation like this.

You should also call your veterinarian if your dog seems to be having any other issues besides vomiting.


Vomiting in dogs can be caused by many things including:

  • Dehydration
  • Toxins
  • Food poisoning
  • Eczema
  • Infection
  • Liver disease
  • Heart disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Bloat
  • Intestinal blockage
  • Cancer

If you think that your dog may have eaten poison or ingested some foreign object, contact your vet immediately.

It is possible for your dog to ingest toxic materials without showing any symptoms at all.

However, if they develop any symptoms, they will need immediate medical attention.

Here are other signs that might indicate that your dog needs emergency care.

  • Excessive thirst
  • Rapid breathing
  • Shaking or tremors
  • Weakness
  • Clumsiness
  • Seizures
  • Difficulty walking
  • Dilated pupils
  • Depression

When your dog is vomiting, you should not try to clean it up yourself.

Instead, call your vet immediately so he or she can help your dog.


Vomiting is considered an important indicator of illness or disease in dogs.

If your dog is showing signs of nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea, they may have one of several illnesses or diseases that can lead to these symptoms.

However, if your dog is only experiencing mild to moderate vomiting, there are other possible reasons why this might occur.

The most common reason your dog is vomiting

Many times, vomiting is caused by eating too much food at once.

This can happen when your dog eats a large meal and then doesn’t eat again until the next day.

The excess food will make its way into their stomach and cause excess pressure that can lead to vomiting.

Another common cause of vomiting is due to stress.

When dogs are stressed, they often vomit to try and get rid of the excess energy.

Other times, a dog may vomit because of a digestive issue such as gastritis.

Other possible causes of your dog’s vomiting

There are many other reasons that your dog may experience vomiting.

Some of the most common causes include:

  • Exposure to poisonous plants or insects.
  • Seizures (epilepsy)
  • Cancer
  • Parasites
  • Kidney failure
  • Infection

If you notice any unusual behavior, changes in appetite, weight loss, and/or vomiting, please consult with your veterinarian immediately.

Your vet will perform a physical exam and complete a thorough health history to determine the underlying cause of your dog’s vomiting.

Possible causes of your dog’s symptoms

There are several possible causes of your dog’s symptoms that may not be obvious or evident at first glance.

Here are some of the most common ones:

  • Vomiting can also result from an infection with bacteria, viruses, parasites, or fungi.
  • Your dog may have eaten something toxic like antifreeze, rat poison, or a chemical spill.
  • Certain drugs and toxins can cause your dog to vomit.
  • A blockage in your dog’s stomach or intestines can cause vomiting.
  • If your dog is pregnant, they may experience nausea, vomiting, or abdominal pain.
  • In rare cases, vomiting can be caused by heart disease (cardiomyopathy), kidney failure, liver failure, or cancer.
  • Proper nutrition is essential to overall health.

1. Vomiting can be a symptom of something serious

If your dog vomits every day and seems very ill, this can indicate that there is something seriously wrong with their body.

This is especially true if your dog doesn’t eat or drink anything when they throw up.

It can also become much worse if your dog is vomiting blood or if you notice other symptoms like diarrhea or bloody stools.

This type of vomiting can be a symptom of any number of illnesses and diseases, including but not limited to:

  • Heart disease (cardiomyopathy)
  • Kidney failure
  • Liver failure
  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Parasites (e.g., roundworms, hookworms, tapeworms)

Inflammation of the stomach or intestinal tract

Food allergies

Foreign objects stuck in your dog’s digestive system, such as kibble, hairballs, or coins

Stressful situations, such as having surgery or being separated from family members

Abdominal tumors

Dietary indiscretion


Blood disorders or infections

Chronic illness

It’s important to get your dog checked out immediately if your dog is experiencing these types of problems.

Fortunately, many of these conditions can be treated quickly and effectively.

2. Your dog ate something toxic

Sometimes your dog will eat something poisonous without even knowing it.

For example, if your dog eats a plant or gets into a toxic substance on purpose (like cleaning spills or getting into a garden hose), they may end up sick because of it.

If your dog ate something toxic, you should call your vet right away so he can check them over and make sure they are okay before taking them home.

In some cases, your vet may need to perform x-rays or blood tests to determine what was ingested and whether your pet needs to go through IV treatment.

3. Certain drugs and toxins can cause your dog to vomit

Some medications can cause your dog to throw up.

Some of the most commonly known include:

  • Antibiotics
  • Antihistamines
  • Antidepressants
  • Painkillers
  • Sedatives
  • Anti-nausea medication
  • Over-the-counter cough medicines
  • Herbal supplements
  • Tobacco
  • Alcohol
  • Other prescription drugs
  • Marijuana
  • Prescription diet pills

4. Blockage in your dog’s stomach or intestines can cause vomiting

Blockages in your dog’s stomach or intestines can lead to vomiting.

However, it’s important to note that blockages are often caused by food particles that stick to the walls of your dog’s stomach or intestines.

To help prevent blockages from occurring, you can try feeding smaller meals rather than one large meal each day.

This will reduce the amount of food particles that get caught in your dog’s digestive system.

When to see a veterinarian

You might have noticed that your dog is not acting like themselves.

They are either losing their appetite or they are having diarrhea, coughing, or sneezing.

These are all signs that your dog needs medical attention as soon as possible.

Vomiting in dogs is a common symptom.

It can be caused by many things, including an infection, food poisoning, kidney problems, liver disease, worms, or even cancer.

There are also certain conditions that will make your dog vomit, such as a tumor or ulceration on the stomach lining.

If your dog is throwing up and lethargic, it could be a sign of something serious.

You should take them to the vet right away.

  • Take your dog to the emergency room if their condition worsens
  • Your vet will perform tests to determine the cause of your dog’s illness
  • Your vet will recommend treatment options based on the results of these tests
  • Your vet will monitor your dog’s progress while they receive treatment
  • Treatments may include medications, surgery, or other procedures
  • Your vet will help you with aftercare

How to care for your dog at home

Most common causes of vomiting in dogs include stomach upset (whether from food or water), an infection, or poisoning by ingesting something poisonous like rat poison.

If your dog is exhibiting vomiting behavior, there are some things that can be done to help calm their symptoms and speed up recovery.

  • Keep the dog hydrated with water if they have diarrhea.
  • Give them anti-emetic medication if they have nausea.
  • Try to identify what may have caused the vomiting.
  • Take the dog to the veterinarian immediately if they have severe vomiting.
  • Do not feed them anything after the vomiting occurs.
  • Provide lots of clean fresh water.
  • Watch for signs of dehydration.
  • Wash their mouth out with warm water and saltine crackers.
  • Ensure they are eating well as soon as possible.


Vomiting in dogs can be caused by many things, including food poisoning, but this article will focus on two common causes of dog vomiting: parvovirus (parvo) and coccidiosis.


Parvo is one of the most common viruses that cause vomiting in dogs.

It is known to affect puppies and young adult dogs, especially those under six months of age, but older dogs are also susceptible to parvo.

The symptoms include diarrhea, fever, and vomiting.

Sometimes they may have runny nose and eye discharge as well.

These signs usually go away within five days, but if they are severe, then they can lead to dehydration.


Coccidia are microscopic parasites that live in the intestines of dogs.

They can cause several diseases, but the most common ones to watch out for are coccidiosis and canine distemper virus (CDV).

Coccidiosis is usually treated with medication, while CDV is treated with antibiotics.

However, if your dog has both coccidiomycosis and CDV, then they need to be treated together.

You can do this by giving them a combination of amprolium and sulfaquinoxaline or by giving them a triple antibiotic treatment.

What else should I know about vomiting in dogs?

Sometimes, vomiting alone isn’t enough to indicate a serious medical issue.
However, if your dog is also having diarrhea along with their vomiting, this is a sign that they need immediate attention.
Another thing to consider is whether your dog vomited before.
If they have had vomiting in the past, then this could be a sign of a new onset of illness.


You can’t just wait until your dog vomits and then take them to the emergency room.

You must act immediately if they are vomiting or have any other symptoms that suggest they may need immediate medical attention.

Megan Turner

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