Here's Why Your Puppy Is Throwing Up & What To Do Next

by Richard Walther, DVM
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Here's Why Your Puppy Is Throwing Up & What To Do Next
There are many reasons for puppy vomit, some much more serious than others. Learn why your puppy may be throwing up, what you can to do help, and when to call your vet.

Does your puppy throw up often? Dogs are prone to vomiting, partly because their bodies are built to force out food that disagrees with them far more quickly than people. In a species that is prone to consuming things it shouldn’t, this is a valuable defense mechanism! And while it is harmless in most cases, sometimes a puppy vomiting can signify a severe illness.

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In this post, you’ll learn how to tell why your puppy is throwing up, red flags that indicate reason to be concerned, and what you can give to help your vomiting puppy at home.

How to tell why your puppy is throwing up

There are many potential causes for vomiting in puppies. You can gather hints as to why your puppy shows signs of sickness based on the color, consistency, and frequency of vomit, along with any other symptoms that might be present.

Why is my puppy throwing up white foam?

The most common reason why puppies throw up white foam is due to stomach irritation or indigestion caused by eating something they shouldn't have, like scraps of garbage or rich food. Dogs tend to drool when nauseous, and the excess saliva may be seen as white foam in puppy vomit.

Other possible reasons for throwing up white foam include:

Why is my puppy throwing up yellow bile?

The yellow foam in your puppy’s vomit is bile, a digestive liquid produced by the liver. When dogs go too long without eating, they often vomit yellow first thing in the morning. Bile is also a symptom of various digestive system disorders, including:

You should talk to your vet if your pet is vomiting bile regularly.

Why is my puppy throwing up clear liquid

Clear fluid also occurs when a puppy vomits on an empty stomach. This can result from:

Why is my puppy throwing up puppy throwing up food?

Eating too fast, overeating, anxiety, or even food poisoning can all be reasons why your puppy throws up undigested food. Look for other clues that might tell you whether you should be worried.

For instance, if there’s red blood in the vomit, your pup’s stomach might be ulcerated, whereas if there’s brown blood that appears like coffee grounds, the problem could be in the intestines.

Why is my puppy throwing up worms?

Puppy parasites such as worms are very common, and severe infestations can induce vomiting. In some cases, worms can be noticed in the vomit and/or the puppy poop.

The most common intestinal parasites that affect puppies include whipworms, roundworms, Giardia, and Coccidia. Make an appointment to deworm your puppy. at the vet.

Why is my puppy throwing up with diarrhea?

Certain red flags may accompany vomiting in puppies that warrant a call to your vet as soon as possible, as they can indicate a severe illness, such as parvo, a stomach blockage, or viral infection of the intestines (like coronavirus or rotavirus). These symptoms include:

  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Repeated vomiting
  • Vomit that contains blood
  • Vomiting and acting lethargic or confused
  • Unproductive vomiting (dry heaving or retching)
  • Vomiting with prolonged hiccups in puppies

Puppies are much more susceptible to dehydration than adult canines, so contact your vet promptly if there is any concern.

Why does my puppy keep throwing up?

If your puppy vomits multiple times in a day, for more than one day in a row, or other symptoms accompany their vomiting, it might be a sign of a possible ongoing condition or a more severe disease.

Why does my puppy throwing up at night

When puppies eat something they shouldn’t, their bodies try everything they can to get rid of it. For example, if your pet ate something between 5:00 - 6:00 PM, their body may attempt to eliminate the food between 9:00 - 10:00 PM, which is why your dog is vomiting in the middle of the night.

Dogs often have yellow vomit in the middle of the night or early in the morning. This happens when the animal vomits on an empty stomach and is caused by reflux, acid accumulation, or any other systemic ailment that causes nausea.

What matters is that you keep an eye on your pet and ensure they aren’t showing any other signs of common illnesses in puppies. If your puppy is vomiting frequently during the day and night while exhibiting other symptoms, immediately make an appointment with your veterinarian.

Why does my puppy throwing up in the car

If your puppy vomits while traveling by car, they’re likely suffering from motion sickness. This appears to be more common among puppies than grown-up dogs. It usually doesn’t cause them significant harm or distress, but if you’ve ever gotten carsick, you know it can be an unpleasant experience.

boston terrier puppy in car

So, how to prevent a puppy from throwing up in the car? Stress and anxiety can exacerbate the condition, so start socializing your puppy to brief, enjoyable car rides as soon as possible.

Avoid feeding your puppy before a car trip, and make them feel safe and secure in the car by using pet carriers or harnesses. If it continues to be a problem, talk to your veterinarian.

Is it normal for puppies to throw up?

Yes, it's very common for dogs to throw up as they learn what they can and cannot eat. Vomiting in puppies is often harmless and teaches them what foods to avoid. However, in some cases, a puppy vomiting can indicate a severe illness. See your veterinarian if your puppy vomits frequently or if other symptoms accompany vomiting.

If your puppy vomits more than two to three times within a 12- to 24-hour period, it is worth calling your veterinarian.

How to make a puppy throw up?

Inducing vomiting in your puppy might be the first step in saving their life if they consume anything hazardous, like a foreign object or toxin — but you should consult your veterinarian before attempting to make your puppy throw up. If you live close enough to your veterinarian, bringing your puppy in is generally preferable.

If you don’t have time to get to the vet, you can make a puppy vomit up to three hours after they ingest a foreign object or substance, but the sooner, the better. However, inducing vomiting might be dangerous if the puppy seems depressed, dizzy, or loses consciousness. Diluting the poison with food helps delay its absorption; therefore, feeding a small amount of food before inducing vomiting is sometimes recommended.

Note: some pet parents ask if they can use hydrogen peroxide to make dogs throw up, but DO NOT use full-strength hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting in puppies, as it can burn the esophagus. It’s essential that you consult your veterinarian first to determine the appropriate next steps for your dog based on their size and overall condition.

They may request you to bring your puppy in, as well as a sample of the vomit. In that case, your veterinarian will examine your puppy and prescribe the best treatment option.

What to give a puppy when they throw up

If you’re wondering how to help a vomiting puppy at home, here’s what to give them in most cases:

  • Don’t give your pet anything by mouth for two to four hours.
  • After that, offer water at room temperature or ice cubes for your pet to lick to keep them hydrated (but don’t let your puppy munch or crunch the ice cubes).
  • You can also offer a small, bland meal, such as plain chicken with cooked rice.
  • Never give your puppy medications without consulting your vet.

If there are no more instances of vomiting, it was most likely a one-time occurrence, and you can gradually return your puppy to its regular diet. Contact your veterinarian if the vomiting persists. Your veterinarian will probably run diagnostic tests and may recommend appropriate medication, such as metronidazole.

Should I be worried if my puppy throws up?

Ultimately, only a vet can determine why your puppy is throwing up and whether there’s a reason for concern. It could be a case of indigestion or something more serious, like parvovirus.

With pet insurance, you don’t have to sit around wondering and worrying. You can go to the vet right away for answers, knowing you’ll be reimbursed for the cost of the visit and whatever treatments may be necessary to get your four-legged friend back to good health.

Pawlicy Advisor is a free tool to find the best pet insurance policy at the lowest possible price, so your furry family member can always receive the gold-standard health care they deserve.

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Key Takeaways

  • Puppies vomit for many reasons, most of which are harmless — but sometimes, it can be a sign of common illnesses in puppies that require veterinary care.
  • Some of the most common reasons why puppies throw up is indigestion, eating too quickly, parasitic infection, intenstinal blockage, and accidental poisoning,
  • If your puppy is throwing up but acting normal and keeping food and water down, it might be okay to wait and monitor the situation. However, if vomiting persists and/or you notice other symptoms such as diarrhea, lethargy, blood in the vomit, etc., be sure to call your vet.

Ricky Walther, DVM

About the author

Richard Walther, DVM

Associate Veterinarian - Petco

Ricky Walther, DVM, is a small animal general practitioner in the greater Sacramento, California area. Realizing the positive financial and medical impact that pet insurance can provide for pet parents and the profession, he lends support and advice to companies like Pawlicy Advisor that simplify the process of connecting with veterinary financing resources.

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