dog is vomiting and has diarrhea

Mariah Brown

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Mariah Brown

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Welcome to this comprehensive guide on dog vomiting and diarrhea. Are you searching for information on why your dog is experiencing these symptoms? You have come to the right place. As a dog owner, I understand how concerning it can be when our furry friends are not feeling well. In this article, we will explore the possible causes, symptoms, and treatment options for dog vomiting and diarrhea. Let’s dive in and find out what could be affecting our beloved pets, shall we?

dog is vomiting and has diarrhea

Common Causes of Dog Vomiting and Diarrhea

Sudden Dog Food Changes

One possible reason for your dog’s vomiting and diarrhea could be a sudden change in their diet. Dogs have sensitive digestive systems, and abrupt changes in their food can disrupt the balance and cause gastrointestinal upset. It is important to introduce new foods gradually, allowing their system to adjust.

Ingestion of Spoiled Food or Certain Human Foods

Dogs are curious creatures and may sometimes ingest spoiled food or certain human foods that are unsafe for them. This can lead to digestive issues, including vomiting and diarrhea. It is crucial to keep harmful substances out of their reach and ensure they only consume dog-friendly and fresh food.

Food Allergies and Intolerances

Just like humans, dogs can develop food allergies and intolerances. Ingredients such as grains, dairy, or specific proteins may trigger an allergic reaction, resulting in gastrointestinal distress. Identifying and eliminating the allergens from their diet can help alleviate these symptoms.

Gastrointestinal Inflammation

Inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract can cause dogs to experience vomiting and diarrhea. This inflammation can be caused by various factors, including infections, allergies, or inflammatory bowel disease. Identifying the underlying cause is crucial to provide appropriate treatment and relief.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

Inflammatory bowel disease is a chronic condition that affects the gastrointestinal tract. It can cause recurring bouts of diarrhea and vomiting in dogs. Appropriate management and diet modifications prescribed by a veterinarian are necessary to help control the symptoms and improve the dog’s quality of life.

Foreign Body Ingestion

Dogs are curious by nature and may ingest non-food items such as toys, socks, or even rocks. This can lead to an intestinal blockage, causing vomiting and diarrhea. If you suspect your dog has ingested a foreign object, immediate veterinary assistance is crucial.

Viral and Bacterial Infections

Some viral and bacterial infections can cause gastrointestinal distress in dogs. Parvovirus and canine distemper are examples of viral infections that can lead to severe vomiting and diarrhea. Prompt veterinary care is necessary to diagnose and manage these infections.

Intestinal Worms

Intestinal parasites, such as worms, can also be a cause of vomiting and diarrhea in dogs. These worms can disrupt the digestive system and lead to various gastrointestinal symptoms. Regular deworming and prevention measures are essential in maintaining your dog’s health.

Tumors in the Gastrointestinal Tract

In some cases, tumors or growths in the gastrointestinal tract can cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs. These tumors can obstruct the digestive system or release toxins that disturb its normal function. Timely diagnosis and appropriate treatment are crucial in managing this condition.


Pancreatitis is the inflammation of the pancreas, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs. This condition can be triggered by high-fat diets, certain medications, or other underlying health issues. Dogs with pancreatitis require immediate veterinary attention and specialized care.

Systemic Conditions

Occasionally, vomiting and diarrhea can be symptoms of underlying systemic conditions, such as kidney or liver disease. These conditions require thorough examination and diagnosis by a veterinarian to determine the appropriate treatment plan for your dog.

Identifying Symptoms of Severe Vomiting and Diarrhea in Dogs

Abdominal Pain

Severe vomiting and diarrhea can cause abdominal pain in dogs. They may exhibit signs of discomfort, such as restlessness, frequent pawing at the abdomen, or reluctance to move or be touched in that area. If you notice these symptoms, it is important to seek veterinary attention.


Dogs experiencing severe vomiting and diarrhea may become lethargic and lack energy. This could be due to dehydration and electrolyte imbalances caused by fluid loss. It is crucial to address these symptoms promptly to prevent further complications.


Excessive drooling is another sign that your dog may be experiencing severe gastrointestinal distress. This symptom often accompanies vomiting and diarrhea, and an increased production of saliva may indicate irritation or discomfort.

What to Do If Your Dog Has Diarrhea and Vomiting

Keep the Dog Hydrated

When your dog is experiencing vomiting and diarrhea, it is important to keep them hydrated. Offer small amounts of water frequently, or consider adding an electrolyte solution formulated for dogs. If your dog refuses to drink or shows signs of dehydration, seek veterinary care immediately.

Feed a Bland Diet

During vomiting and diarrhea episodes, it is recommended to feed your dog a bland diet to ease digestive stress. Boiled chicken and rice, or commercially available bland diets, can help soothe their stomach and promote healing. Consult your veterinarian for specific recommendations.

Use Digestive Supplements like Probiotics

Incorporating digestive supplements, such as probiotics, can help restore the balance of good bacteria in the gut. Probiotics can aid in digestion and strengthen the immune system, potentially reducing the severity and duration of vomiting and diarrhea episodes. Discuss the appropriate supplement with your veterinarian.

Seek Veterinary Care

If your dog’s vomiting and diarrhea persist, worsen, or exhibit concerning symptoms, it is essential to seek veterinary care. A veterinarian can provide a thorough examination, diagnose the underlying cause, and recommend appropriate treatment options to alleviate your dog’s discomfort.

When to Take Your Dog to the Vet for Diarrhea and Vomiting

Signs of Blood or Mucus in the Stool

Finding blood or mucus in your dog’s stool is a worrisome indication that requires immediate veterinary attention. These signs can suggest more severe underlying conditions that need to be addressed promptly.

Excessive Lethargy

If your dog becomes extremely lethargic, shows weakness, or exhibits a significant decrease in activity, it is crucial to consult a veterinarian. Lethargy can be an indicator of dehydration or other serious health concerns that require medical intervention.

Refusal to Drink Water or Eat

If your dog refuses to drink water or eat, it may be a sign of acute illness and dehydration. The inability to remain hydrated can be dangerous and requires immediate veterinary attention to restore fluids and balance.


Dehydration is a significant concern during episodes of vomiting and diarrhea. If you notice signs of dehydration in your dog, such as dry gums, sunken eyes, or reduced skin elasticity, it is essential to seek veterinary care immediately.

Lack of Response to Home Remedies

Trying home remedies is a good initial approach for mild cases, but if your dog fails to respond or shows no improvement after a reasonable amount of time, professional veterinary care is necessary. It is always better to address health issues promptly and appropriately.

Treatment Options for Diarrhea and Vomiting

Home Remedies

For mild cases of vomiting and diarrhea, home remedies can often be effective. These include temporary fasting for 12-24 hours to allow the gastrointestinal tract to rest, followed by small, frequent meals of a bland diet. However, it is important to monitor your dog’s condition closely and seek veterinary care if symptoms persist or worsen.

Medical Treatment

In more severe cases, medical treatment may be necessary. Veterinary care may involve diagnostics, such as blood tests and fecal examinations, to identify the underlying cause of vomiting and diarrhea. Treatment may include medications to relieve symptoms, fluid therapy to combat dehydration, and dietary changes or prescription diets tailored to your dog’s specific needs.

Recovery Time for Dog Vomiting and Diarrhea

The duration of recovery time can vary depending on the cause and severity of the vomiting and diarrhea. In mild cases, with appropriate home care and treatment, symptoms can start subsiding within 1-2 days. However, more severe cases may require longer recovery periods and ongoing management. If you have concerns about your dog’s recovery, consult your veterinarian for guidance.

Preventing Dog Vomiting and Diarrhea

Prevention is key when it comes to ensuring your dog’s well-being. Here are some tips to help prevent vomiting and diarrhea episodes in your furry friend:

Provide High-Quality Dog Food

Choosing a high-quality dog food that meets your dog’s nutritional needs can contribute to their overall health and reduce the risk of digestive issues. Look for well-balanced, complete diets formulated for your dog’s age, size, and specific requirements.

Gradually Transition to New Food

When introducing a new diet to your dog, do so gradually to allow their digestive system to adjust. Start by mixing a small amount of the new food with their current diet, gradually increasing the proportion over a week or so. This gradual transition minimizes the chances of gastrointestinal upset.

Avoid Table Scraps and Garbage

Avoid feeding your dog table scraps or allowing them access to garbage. Human food can be hard for dogs to digest and may contain ingredients that are harmful to them. Stick to their regular diet to maintain their digestive health.

Use Probiotics or Fiber Supplements

Consider incorporating probiotics or fiber supplements into your dog’s diet with the guidance of your veterinarian. Probiotics can promote a healthy gut microbiome, while fiber supplements can aid digestion and regulate bowel movements.

Ensure Regular Exercise

Regular exercise is crucial for maintaining your dog’s overall health, including their digestive system. Physical activity promotes healthy digestion and helps prevent constipation or other gastrointestinal issues. Tailor exercise routines to your dog’s age, breed, and individual needs.

Keep Up with Deworming and Vaccination Schedules

Follow your veterinarian’s recommended deworming and vaccination schedules to prevent parasitic infections and certain diseases that may cause vomiting and diarrhea. Regular preventive measures go a long way in keeping your dog healthy.

FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can stress cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs?

A: Yes, stress can be a contributing factor to gastrointestinal upset in dogs. Sudden changes in routine, travel, or unfamiliar environments can lead to stress-induced vomiting and diarrhea. It is important to minimize stressors and help your dog feel secure.

Q: Is it normal for puppies to have vomiting and diarrhea?

A: Puppies are more susceptible to gastrointestinal issues due to their immature immune systems and their inclination to explore and ingest inappropriate items. However, persistent or severe vomiting and diarrhea in puppies should always be addressed by a veterinarian.

Q: Can I give my dog over-the-counter medications for vomiting and diarrhea?

A: It is not recommended to give your dog over-the-counter medications without veterinary guidance. Some medications intended for humans can be toxic to dogs. Always consult with your veterinarian to determine the appropriate course of treatment.

Q: Are there any home remedies that can help soothe my dog’s upset stomach?

A: Yes, there are some home remedies that may provide relief for mild cases. As mentioned earlier, temporary fasting followed by a bland diet, such as boiled chicken and rice, can help soothe your dog’s upset stomach. However, it is essential to monitor their condition and seek veterinary care if symptoms persist.

Q: Can parasites like worms cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs?

A: Yes, intestinal parasites can cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs. Worms such as roundworms, hookworms, or whipworms can disrupt the gastrointestinal tract. Regular deworming and preventive measures can help keep your dog free from these parasites.

Q: How can I prevent my dog from ingesting harmful substances?

A: To prevent your dog from ingesting harmful substances, ensure their environment is safe and free from toxic plants, chemicals, or potential hazards. Keep medications, cleaning supplies, and other harmful substances securely stored and out of reach.

Q: Can food allergies cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs?

A: Yes, food allergies can lead to vomiting and diarrhea in dogs. Some common allergens include grains, dairy, and certain proteins. Identifying and eliminating these allergens from your dog’s diet can help alleviate symptoms.

Q: How can I assess if my dog is dehydrated?

A: To assess if your dog is dehydrated, gently lift the skin on the back of their neck or between their shoulder blades. If the skin springs back into place promptly, your dog is likely well-hydrated. If the skin takes longer to fall back or remains elevated, dehydration may be present, and veterinary care is necessary.

Q: Can tumors in the gastrointestinal tract cause chronic vomiting and diarrhea?

A: Yes, tumors in the gastrointestinal tract can cause chronic or intermittent vomiting and diarrhea in dogs. These tumors can obstruct the digestive system and lead to various gastrointestinal symptoms. Prompt diagnosis and appropriate treatment are crucial for managing this condition.

Q: Is diarrhea more concerning than vomiting in dogs?

A: Both diarrhea and vomiting in dogs can be concerning, especially when severe or persistent. While vomiting indicates upper gastrointestinal distress, diarrhea involves the lower gastrointestinal tract. However, if either symptom is severe, accompanied by other alarming signs, or persists, it is crucial to seek veterinary care.

Q: Are there any natural remedies that can help soothe my dog’s upset stomach?

A: Some natural remedies, such as ginger or chamomile, may provide soothing effects on a dog’s upset stomach. However, it is important to consult with your veterinarian before using natural remedies to ensure their suitability for your dog’s specific condition.


Dealing with dog vomiting and diarrhea can be challenging and concerning. Remember to closely monitor your dog’s symptoms, provide care at home as appropriate, and seek veterinary attention if necessary. By identifying the underlying causes, implementing preventive measures, and addressing the symptoms promptly, we can help our furry friends recover and maintain their overall health and well-being.

Do you have more questions or want to explore other topics related to dog health? Check out our other informative articles. Remember, your veterinarian is your best ally in keeping your dog healthy and happy!


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