Being concerned about your dog being sick is only natural. As dogs cannot tell you why they are being sick there are symptoms and causes that can be worked through. Most of the time your dog is sick is nothing to be concerned about. Let’s explore causes and treatment:

Common causes for your dog being sick.

Something your dog has eaten.

Most dogs like to eat things they shouldn’t, this can include food that isn’t good for them (see our article here on foods that can be dangerous). Contact your vet immediately if your dog has eaten something they shouldn’t have. Dogs may have eaten too quickly or eaten something a little richer than normal.

Of course, they eat more than just food, it isn’t uncommon for dogs to chew and swallow toys or parts of toys. These can cause blockages and lead to vomiting. Small items of clothing (for example socks) can also be a common cause of gastrointestinal issues in your dog. Human medication can also lead to issues with your dog if eaten. You should always be aware of where medicines are left to ensure out of reach of our furry friends.

Medical issues that may lead to vomiting.

There are many conditions that can lead to vomiting. Certain cancers could cause vomiting as well as some diseases- pancreatic disease or liver and kidney conditions. Worms can also cause your dog to be sick, for vomiting to take place there would need to be a lot of worms! Much like us, bacterial and viral infections can also cause sickness (rotavirus and salmonella being two examples).

When should your dog’s sickness be a concern?

If the sickness persists for more than 24 hours, then that would be cause for concern and you should contact your vet. In the case where some form of foreign object has been ingested then that should be a flag to contact your vet, as sickness is a sign the object may be causing an obstruction. 

If your dog goes off their food that is usually a sign that all is not well (especially if you have a food loving dog such as a Labrador). Signs of blood in the vomit or pooh is also a red flag to call your vet.

They may also display other symptoms such as a temperature (if you don’t have a thermometer then the ears can give a sense of whether your dog’s temperature is raised). Your dog may also be low in energy and/or show signs of pain, both signs would necessitate a call to your vet.

To summarise, anything that is out of the ordinary and is concerning should always be investigated by a vet. 

How to act when your dog is sick.

You should reduce food and liquid intake for several hours. Ideally reintroduce both slowly (liquid after 2 hours and food after 8 hours). Bland food should be given in smaller quantities (chicken and rice, cooked eggs and plan pasta are all good). Assuming the sickness subsides, you should be able to get back to normal after 24 hours.