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If you have a dog, you’re probably used to them eating every last bit of their food– and then going back for more. You usually don’t think twice about your dog’s eating habits, so if you notice them vomiting every time they eat, it’s definitely a cause for concern.
If your dog throws up after eating, you’ll probably have a million thoughts running through your head. Did they eat something bad? Is something wrong with them? Did they just not like the food?
There are many factors that could be causing your dog to vomit after eating, which we will get into more detail below. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the various reasons as to why your dog is throwing up after eating, when you should see a vet, what to do if your dog vomits after eating, and more.
- Why Does My Dog Vomit After Eating?
- When To See A Vet
- What To Do If Your Dog Throws Up After Eating
- Final Notes
Why Does My Dog Vomit After Eating?
Vomiting can be an indication of many different things going on with your dog. Below, we’ve listed some of the most likely causes. But regardless of what you suspect is causing your dog to vomit after eating, you’ll want to stay in touch with your vet so that they can give a proper diagnosis and determine the best course of treatment.
They Ingested Grass
The reason your dog is throwing up may just be because they ate grass.1 Dogs aren't necessarily meant to eat grass, but it’s very common to find your pup munching away on grass from time to time. Dogs eat grass for a variety of reasons:
- Due to missing nutrients (pica)
- They are omnivores and may crave grass as part of their genetic makeup
- To help relieve an upset stomach
As a result of grass eating, some dogs may vomit. But is a dog vomiting after eating grass a cause for concern? It depends on the circumstances. If you notice diarrhea, weight loss, decreased appetite, blood in stool, lethargy, and/or lip licking in addition to vomiting, contact your vet so they can make sure nothing else is wrong. If they don’t show any of these symptoms but you think they may have eaten too much grass, make sure to keep them hydrated but have them fast for 8-12 hours before feeding them anything else.
They Have A Food Intolerance Or Allergy
Dog food allergies and intolerances can also cause your dog to have an upset stomach or vomit after they’ve eaten. In addition to gastrointestinal issues, dogs with food allergies may also display signs of skin irritation, lethargy, and chronic ear and paw infections.
You’ve Changed Their Diet
Just as humans do, dogs also get accustomed to eating a specific diet and when a new food is introduced, they may experience digestive issues, including vomiting. This may even be a result of a food allergy or intolerance, as discussed above.
Instead of changing your dog’s food suddenly, you should do it over time. This will give their system time to adjust to the new ingredients in the food and prevent any digestive issues from occurring. You should aim to transition new food into their diet over the course of 5-7 days. You should incorporate new food by mixing it in with their old food. If your dog has a food allergy or gastrointestinal issues, they may need an even longer transitional period.
They’re Eating Too Fast
Another common reason as to why your dog is vomiting after eating may be because they simply ate too fast. If your dog is throwing up after eating too fast, they will likely have other symptoms as well, such as bloating and nausea.
To prevent them from eating too fast, give them smaller amounts of food multiple times throughout the day or use a food puzzle to slow them down at mealtime. If you have multiple dogs, they may be eating quickly because they feel a need to compete with one another. In this case, you should put your dog food bowls in separate rooms.
They’ve Eaten Something Inedible
If your dog has eaten something they shouldn’t have, like a toy or pieces of paper, they may vomit in an attempt to remove the item. These foreign objects can get stuck in their gastrointestinal tract which causes vomiting as a symptom. Typically, an x-ray or abdominal ultrasound is needed to diagnose this in your pup. Surgery may be required to remove it, so if you suspect your dog is throwing up due to eating something inedible, contact your vet immediately.
There are various illnesses that could be causing your dog to vomit after eating, such as:
- Pancreatitis: Pancreatitis is an inflammatory condition of the pancreas that is commonly found in dogs and cats, and it can be either acute or chronic. One of the main symptoms of pancreatitis in dogs is repeated vomiting, which typically happens either several times within a few hours or over the course of a few days. To treat vomiting as a result of pancreatitis in dogs, a vet will likely recommend medication to prevent dehydration. In addition to vomiting, other signs of pancreatitis in dogs include3:
- Abdominal pain
When To See A Vet
So, my dog vomits after eating. But when should I be concerned1?
You should be concerned about your pet’s vomiting if it’s excessive or happens more frequently. You should also be concerned if you notice diarrhea, weight loss, decreased appetite, blood in stool, lethargy, and lip licking in addition to vomiting. If your dog shows any of the above symptoms, contact your vet as soon as possible, as the vomiting could be a result of a more serious health condition.
What To Do If Your Dog Throws Up After Eating
If your dog does throw up after eating, it can definitely be a worrying thing. A dog throwing up after eating may indicate a simple, straightforward issue like they’ve eaten too fast, or it may be an underlying illness that’s not so easily identified. So if your dog is throwing up after they eat, you should do the following:
1. Identify The Underlying Cause With Help From Your Vet
Even if you suspect that your dog’s vomiting is due to something harmless, you’re always better off being safe rather than sorry and consulting with your vet. Not only will they give you a proper diagnosis for your pup’s vomiting, but also they will help you find the best treatment for them. It’s important to take note of what the vomit looks like and when it happens so your vet can get a good idea of what’s going on.
2. Treat Based On Underlying Issue
With the help of your vet, you can treat the issue based on the underlying cause. For example, if your dog is vomiting due to a change in their diet, you may have to change back to their original diet or implement a specialized diet plan that’s recommended by your vet. If they’re eating too fast, you can try reducing the amount of food fed at once by breaking up mealtimes or by using a food dispenser. You could also try using a food puzzle to engage them/slow down their ingestion. If your dog’s vomiting is due to an illness, the treatment will depend on the primary cause. Your vet may recommend a comprehensive treatment plan that may involve medication or other therapies.
If your dog is throwing up after eating, don’t just brush it off as no big deal. Your dog should not be vomiting when they eat! It’s as simple as that. It’s crucial to figure out the primary cause of your dog’s vomiting so that you can find the proper treatment plan for them. But in order to get a treatment plan for your pup, you need to go to the vet.
Here at Dutch, we believe that every pet and pet owner deserves access to necessary pet care, which is why we’ve made it easier than ever with our telemedicine for pets. Just sign up online and you’ll get the care you need to nurse your sick pup back to health.
Zachary, Jessika. “Why Does My Dog Eat Grass?” American Kennel Club, American Kennel Club, 30 Oct. 2020, https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/why-does-my-dog-eat-grass/.
Brown, Scott A. “Obstructive Uropathy in Small Animals - Urinary System.” Merck Veterinary Manual, Merck Veterinary Manual, 15 Dec. 2021, https://www.merckvetmanual.com/urinary-system/noninfectious-diseases-of-the-urinary-system-in-small-animals/obstructive-uropathy-in-small-animals?query=Bladder+obstruction.
Steiner, Jörg M. “Pancreatitisin Dogs and Cats - Digestive System.” Merck Veterinary Manual, Merck Veterinary Manual, 15 Dec. 2021, https://www.merckvetmanual.com/digestive-system/the-exocrine-pancreas/pancreatitis-in-dogs-and-cats?query=pancreatitis+dogs.