How to handle pet vomiting: Regurgitation or Concern Vomiting

It’s never fun when one of your kids is sick. As pet parents, we want the best for our dogs. And when they are vomiting, we know something isn’t right. But how can we tell if we need to seek medical attention or just let them ride it out?

Take your pet to the vet.

In case you’re reading this because your pet is vomiting right now, let’s go through all of the signs that you are having a dog emergency and should take your pet to urgent care immediately. Here are some signs that your dog needs immediate medical attention:

  • Dry-heaving. If your dog is attempting to vomit but nothing is coming up, it could be a symptom of gastric dilatation-volvulus.
  • Vomiting with a distended abdomen.
  • Vomiting but not attempting to move.
  • Vomiting and unable to settle down, and acting anxious or unusual.
  • Vomiting and then falling over.
  • Vomiting with pale gums.
  • Vomiting with an unusually high heart rate.
  • Continuous vomiting after drinking.
  • Vomiting more than 6X in a day.
  • History of eating non-food objects like toys or small household items.
  • Your pet parent instincts are telling you that something is very wrong. When in doubt, it’s better to er on the side of caution and get your pet to urgent care.

Don’t worry, it’s not that serious.

If you have eliminated the above list, you are probably dealing with a less worrisome scenario called regurgitation. Regurgitation is when food or objects come back out from the mouth or esophagus, and not the stomach. The following are more likely reasons for your dog’s regurgitation and can usually be remedied at home with little to no intervention:

  • Your dog ate something that it was not supposed to (like grass or a piece of their chew toy) and is correcting the mistake.
  • Your dog has just traveled in a plane, train, or automobile and has motion sickness.
  • You introduced new dog food too much too soon.
  • Your dog ate human food that is non-toxic (like fish, pork, turkey, cheese, or bread) but is not used to eating human food.

You know your dog best. So, if you have any pet-parent instincts that tell you something is not right, follow your gut and contact your local veterinarian for professional advice.

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