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Dog Vomiting & No Longer Eating: Top Reasons and Remedies to Help

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white Pomeranian sitting next to his dog food bowl but not eating

Dogs are known for their voracious appetite and for eating anything in sight, so it can be an alarming situation for any pet owner when their furry friend suddenly starts vomiting and stops eating. It’s especially concerning if they seem down or unwell in themself. If this is the case with your pup, you may be wondering what could be causing such symptoms and are looking for ways to help them get better. You are not alone, this is an all-too-common issue I see in my clinic. In this article, I will take you through some common reasons behind why dogs vomit and refuse meals as well as provide top home remedies that can help put your pup back on track — so let’s get started!

Common Causes of Vomiting & Loss of Appetite in Dogs

There are many possible causes for a dog to vomit and stop eating, but some of the most common ones include:

1. Dietary indiscretion: This is when a dog has eaten something it shouldn’t have. It could be anything from garbage to spoiled food, or even an excessive amount of their favorite treat! The symptoms usually appear within around 24 hours of the dog eating the offending item and will often include vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite. In mild cases of dietary indiscretion where your dog is still bright, it can be okay to wait and see if they improve – feed them bland food, little and often, and keep them well hydrated. However, if they are unwell in themself, vomiting multiple times a day, or becoming dehydrated then veterinary attention will be necessary. Your vet will be able to prescribe anti-nausea medication and fluid therapy to help get your dog back to feeling right again.

2. Viral or bacterial infections: Viral and bacterial infections can cause your pup to become lethargic, vomit, and lose their appetite. These infections can range from quite mild to severe and often require veterinary treatment. Your vet will be able to determine if your pup has an infection, and depending on the severity will be able to provide antibiotics or other medications.

3. Intestinal parasitism: Intestinal parasites such as roundworms, hookworms, and whipworms can cause your pup to experience vomiting, diarrhea, and lack of appetite. Some of these parasites can also spread to humans so it is important to seek veterinary attention if you suspect your pup may have a parasite. Your vet will be able to provide medication to help get rid of the parasites and also advise on how to prevent future infestations.

4. Allergies: Food allergies are common in dogs and can cause them to experience vomiting, inflamed and itchy skin, and a lack of desire to eat. Some of the most common food allergens are chicken, soy, eggs, or gluten but dogs can be allergic to anything. If your pup has allergies, it is important to identify what is causing the reaction so that you can avoid these triggers in the future. Your vet will be able to help you with this and can also provide medication if needed.

5. Pancreatitis: This is an inflammation of the pancreas that can cause abdominal pain, vomiting, and lack of appetite. Pancreatitis is most common in middle to older-aged dogs and can range from mild to severe. Treatment usually involves medication and supportive care such as pain relief, fluid therapy, and a prescription low-fat diet

WATCH: 3 Important Tips To Care For an Old Dog [VET VIDEO]

6. Kidney disease: This is a serious condition in dogs that can cause them to vomit, experience increased thirst and urination, and have a decreased appetite. Kidney disease is most common in older dogs and treatment involves helping to correct electrolyte imbalances, stabilizing kidney function with dietary changes, and providing fluids to keep the dog hydrated.

7. Liver disease: Liver issues can lead to vomiting, jaundice (yellow discoloration of the eyes and gums), and loss of appetite. There are many different causes of liver disease, some of which are more easily treatable than others and so it’s important to take your dog to the vet for investigations as soon as possible. Treatment for liver disease depends on the underlying cause and can include medications, special diets, and supportive care.

8. Cancer: Cancer can cause vomiting, weight loss, and poor appetite in dogs. Treatment will depend on the type and stage of cancer but may involve surgery, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, or radiation therapy. It’s important to take your pup to the vet if you notice any changes in their appetite or behavior as cancer can be treated more successfully when it is detected early.

9. Inflammatory Bowel Disease: This is a condition in which the intestinal lining becomes inflamed and can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and decreased appetite. Treatment involves dietary management, medications to help reduce inflammation, and supplementation with vitamins and minerals.

10. Stress: Fear or anxiety can cause your pup to feel nauseous, vomit, and steer clear of food. If your pup is going through a stressful situation such as moving houses, the introduction of a new pet, or loud noises then they may need some extra TLC to get through it. It is important to provide your pup with a safe and secure environment, along with plenty of physical and mental stimulation so that they can feel comfortable in their new circumstances.

How to identify the underlying cause

If your pup is exhibiting signs of vomiting and lack of appetite, there are a few things you can do to try and identify the underlying cause.

First, consider any recent changes in diet, environment, or activity level – is your dog a scavenger? Is there anything that they may have eaten while out on a walk that could have caused these symptoms? Next, keep a log of any vomiting episodes and note the time, frequency, and appearance of the vomit. This is all useful information and will help your vet determine how long the issue may have been going on. Finally, look for any physical changes such as weight loss, lethargy, discoloration of the gums or eyes, and abdominal discomfort. Take your dog to the vet if they are displaying any of these symptoms as there could be a more sinister underlying cause.

Home remedies to help a dog that is throwing up and not eating

If the underlying cause of your pup’s symptoms is not serious, there are some home remedies that you can do to help them feel better.

1. Offer small meals of boiled, white meats such as chicken or turkey mixed with a bland carbohydrate like white rice. This should help settle your pup’s stomach.

2. Provide plenty of fresh, clean water for drinking, and consider using a slow feeder bowl to make it easier for your pup to eat small meals throughout the day.

Disclaimer: This content is not a substitute for veterinary care. Always consult with your vet for health decisions. Learn more.

3. If your pup is still struggling to eat, then consider giving them a bland snack such as plain boiled potatoes or boiled carrots.

4. Give your pup plenty of rest and love. Make sure they have access to a quiet, comfortable place and avoid strenuous exercise until they are feeling better.

5. Try giving your pup some natural remedies such as ginger or giving them some probiotics to help restore the balance of good bacteria in their gut.

It’s important to take your pup to the vet if these symptoms persist or if you are concerned about the underlying cause. Your vet can run tests to help determine what is going on and provide appropriate treatment for your pup. With the right care and attention, your pup should make a full recovery in no time!

When does my vomiting and inappetent dog need to see the vet?

If your pup’s vomiting and inappetence continue for more than 24 hours, it is important to take them to the vet. Symptoms such as lethargy, abdominal pain, or weight loss also indicate that they need to be seen by a professional. It’s also important to note that older dogs are more prone to more sinister underlying conditions so always err on the side of caution (Read our article about Older Dogs Vomiting & How to Help). Your vet can assess the situation and run tests to identify any underlying causes of your pup’s symptoms. Treatment will depend on the cause but could involve medications, dietary changes, or further investigations.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are the symptoms extremely dangerous to the dog’s health? 

This depends on the underlying cause. A young dog that is vomiting and well in itself likely has a case of dietary indiscretion that might resolve with time. However, generally speaking, vomiting and inappetence can indicate an underlying condition that needs to be addressed.

Can home remedies solve all underlying issues?

No. Home remedies can help with mild cases of vomiting and inappetence but more serious issues will need to be addressed by a vet as there could be something more sinister going on. It is important to take your pup to the vet if they are not showing any signs of improvement and its vomiting persists.


  • Dr Alex Crow, Veterinary Surgeon

    Alex Crow, VetMed MRCVS, is an RCVS accredited Veterinary surgeon with special interests in neurology and soft tissue surgery. Dr Crow is currently practicing at Buttercross Veterinary Center in England. He earned his degree in veterinary medicine in 2019 from the Royal Veterinary College (one of the top 3 vet schools in the world) and has more than three years of experience practicing as a small animal veterinarian (dogs and cats).

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