why does my dog have diarrhea and throwing up

Mariah Brown

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Mariah Brown

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Greetings! Are you wondering why your dog is experiencing episodes of diarrhea and vomiting? You’ve come to the right place! As a pet owner, it can be worrying to see your furry friend going through these uncomfortable symptoms. In this article, we will delve into the possible causes behind why your dog is experiencing diarrhea and throwing up, and discuss effective solutions to help them feel better. So, let’s find out why your dog is experiencing these digestive issues, shall we?

As a pet owner, I understand firsthand the concern and importance of finding answers when our beloved dogs are unwell. Diarrhea and vomiting in dogs can indicate an underlying health issue, and it’s essential to identify the cause to provide the right treatment. By empowering ourselves with knowledge about the causes and solutions for this problem, we can take better care of our furry companions and ensure their well-being.

why does my dog have diarrhea and throwing up

Causes of Dog Diarrhea and Vomiting

Dietary Indiscretion

One common cause of dog diarrhea and vomiting is dietary indiscretion. This occurs when dogs consume something they shouldn’t, such as spoiled food, garbage, plants, or even human foods that are toxic to them. The sudden change in their diet can irritate their digestive system, leading to these symptoms.


Viral or bacterial infections can cause gastrointestinal upset in dogs, resulting in diarrhea and vomiting. These infections are often contracted through exposure to contaminated food, water, or environments.

Allergies and Food Intolerances

Just like humans, dogs can have food allergies or sensitivities that can cause digestive issues. Common allergens include certain proteins, grains, dairy, or additives in their food. Food intolerances, where dogs have difficulty digesting specific ingredients, can also lead to diarrhea and vomiting.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a chronic condition where the gastrointestinal tract becomes inflamed. This inflammation can lead to diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and other digestive symptoms in dogs. IBD requires veterinary diagnosis and ongoing management.


Intestinal parasites, such as worms or protozoa, can cause diarrhea and vomiting in dogs. These parasites can enter their system through contaminated food, water, or exposure to other infected animals.


Pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas, an organ responsible for producing digestive enzymes. When the pancreas becomes inflamed, it can lead to digestive issues, including diarrhea and vomiting. Pancreatitis can be caused by various factors, such as high-fat diets, obesity, or certain medications.

Symptoms to Look Out For

Abdominal Pain

If your dog is experiencing abdominal pain, they may exhibit signs such as restlessness, panting, or a hunched posture. They may be reluctant to move or show discomfort when you touch their stomach.

Lack of Appetite

A dog with diarrhea and vomiting may lose their appetite and go off their regular food. They may show disinterest in meals and treats they once enjoyed.


Lethargy refers to a lack of energy or interest in regular activities. If your dog is unusually tired, less active, or sleeps more than usual, it may indicate an underlying health issue.


Excessive drooling can be a sign that your dog is feeling nauseous or experiencing discomfort in their digestive system.

Pronounced Swallowing

If your dog frequently licks their lips, swallows repeatedly, or seems to be gulping, it may indicate nausea or discomfort in their stomach.

What Should You Do If Your Dog Has Diarrhea and Vomiting?

If your dog is experiencing diarrhea and vomiting, it’s important to take appropriate steps to address the issue. Here are some initial actions you can take at home:

Provide Fresh Water

Make sure your dog has access to clean, fresh water to prevent dehydration. Encourage them to drink small amounts regularly, especially if they have been vomiting.

Withhold Food

Temporarily withhold food for 12-24 hours to give your dog’s digestive system a rest. However, always consult with your veterinarian before initiating any fasting period, as some medical conditions may require a different approach.

Feed a Bland Diet

After the fasting period, gradually reintroduce a bland diet to soothe their stomach. This can consist of easily digestible foods, such as boiled chicken and rice, or specialized bland diets recommended by your veterinarian.

Use Digestive Supplements

Probiotics or digestive supplements can help restore the balance of good bacteria in your dog’s gut and aid in the recovery process. Consult your veterinarian for appropriate supplements for your dog’s specific condition.

While these steps may provide relief for mild cases, if your dog’s condition worsens or persists, it’s crucial to seek veterinary care for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

When Should You Take Your Dog to the Vet?

While some cases of dog diarrhea and vomiting can be managed at home, certain symptoms may indicate a more serious underlying issue. Here are signs that warrant a visit to the veterinarian:

Blood in Stools

If you notice blood in your dog’s stool, it may signify a more severe condition that requires immediate veterinary attention. Blood can be bright red or appear as dark, tarry stools.

Mucus in Stool

The presence of mucus in your dog’s stool may indicate gastrointestinal inflammation or infection. If you observe this symptom, consult your veterinarian for further evaluation.

Excessive Lethargy

If your dog becomes unusually lethargic, weak, or disoriented, it may indicate a more severe health issue. Urgent veterinary care is recommended to determine the cause and provide appropriate treatment.

Refusal to Drink Water or Eat

If your dog rejects water or food for an extended period, it can lead to dehydration and further complications. Consult your veterinarian if your dog shows no interest in drinking or eating.


Dehydration in dogs can occur rapidly, especially when they are experiencing diarrhea and vomiting. Signs of dehydration include dry gums, sunken eyes, decreased skin elasticity, and excessive panting.

No Response to Home Remedies

If your dog’s symptoms do not improve with home remedies or worsen over time, it’s time to consult a veterinarian for a comprehensive evaluation and appropriate treatment.

Treatment Options for Dog Diarrhea and Vomiting

The treatment for dog diarrhea and vomiting can vary depending on the underlying cause. Once your veterinarian has diagnosed the specific issue, they may recommend the following:

Veterinary Examination

Your veterinarian will conduct a thorough physical examination to assess your dog’s overall health and identify any specific signs of discomfort or abnormalities.

Diagnostic Tests

Diagnostic tests, such as bloodwork and fecal analysis, may be conducted to determine the cause of your dog’s symptoms. These tests can help identify infections, check organ function, and rule out potential health issues.

Fluid Therapy

If your dog is dehydrated, your veterinarian may administer fluids to restore hydration levels. This is especially important for dogs experiencing severe vomiting and diarrhea.


Depending on the diagnosis, your veterinarian may prescribe medications to alleviate symptoms, control infections, or treat underlying conditions contributing to the diarrhea and vomiting.

Dietary Recommendations

Your veterinarian may advise specific dietary changes or recommend prescription diets that are easily digestible and appropriate for your dog’s condition. Following these dietary recommendations can aid in their recovery.

How Long Does It Take for a Dog to Recover from Diarrhea and Vomiting?

The recovery period for dog diarrhea and vomiting can vary depending on factors such as breed, size, age, lifestyle, and the underlying cause. In mild cases, where the symptoms are due to temporary dietary indiscretion or minor gastrointestinal upset, dogs often recover within 2-3 days with proper home care and supportive treatment. However, for more complex cases or underlying health issues, the recovery period may be longer. It’s important to follow your veterinarian’s guidance and continue any prescribed treatments or dietary adjustments until your dog fully recovers.

Preventing Dog Diarrhea and Vomiting

While some causes of dog diarrhea and vomiting are unavoidable, there are steps you can take to reduce the risk and keep your furry friend healthy:

Feed High-Quality Dog Food

Selecting a high-quality dog food that meets your dog’s nutritional needs is vital for their overall health and digestive system. Look for brands with balanced ingredients and avoid those with fillers or artificial additives.

Gradual Food Transitions

If you need to change your dog’s diet, do so gradually by mixing the new food with the old food over several days. This gradual transition helps their digestive system adjust to the new diet more easily.

Avoid Table Scraps and Garbage Digging

Table scraps or garbage can contain ingredients that are harmful to dogs. It’s best to avoid feeding them human foods altogether and make sure they can’t access the trash.

Use Probiotics and Fiber Supplements

Probiotics can help maintain a healthy balance of gut bacteria, while fiber supplements can aid in digestion. Consult with your veterinarian to find the most suitable options for your dog.

Regular Exercise

Regular exercise helps promote overall well-being and aids in healthy digestion. Make sure your dog gets enough physical activity appropriate for their age and breed.

Deworming and Vaccination

Follow your veterinarian’s recommendations for regular deworming treatments, as intestinal parasites can contribute to diarrhea and vomiting. Stay up to date with your dog’s vaccinations to protect them from potential infectious diseases.

FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why is my dog throwing up and having diarrhea?

Throwing up and having diarrhea can be caused by various factors, including dietary indiscretion, food allergies, infections, inflammatory bowel disease, parasites, and pancreatitis.

2. Can stress cause my dog to have diarrhea and vomiting?

Yes, stress can contribute to digestive upset in dogs and lead to symptoms such as diarrhea and vomiting. It’s essential to minimize stressors and provide a calm environment for your dog.

3. Can I give my dog over-the-counter medications for their diarrhea and vomiting?

No, it is not recommended to give over-the-counter medications to your dog without consulting a veterinarian first. Some medications can be toxic to dogs or may not be appropriate for their specific condition.

4. Is it possible for my dog’s diarrhea and vomiting to be a sign of a serious health problem?

Yes, severe or persistent diarrhea and vomiting can indicate a more serious underlying health problem. It’s important to seek veterinary care for proper diagnosis and treatment.

5. Can I feed my dog when they have diarrhea and vomiting?

It’s generally recommended to withhold food for a short period to allow your dog’s digestive system to rest. However, always consult with your veterinarian for appropriate dietary recommendations based on your dog’s condition.

6. How can I prevent my dog from getting diarrhea and vomiting?

You can prevent dog diarrhea and vomiting by feeding high-quality dog food, avoiding sudden diet changes, keeping toxic substances out of their reach, maintaining a clean living environment, practicing good hygiene, regularly deworming your dog, and reducing stress levels.

7. Can I use home remedies to treat my dog’s diarrhea and vomiting?

Home remedies can be helpful for mild cases, but it’s essential to consult with your veterinarian to ensure the proper treatment for your dog’s specific condition. Severe or prolonged symptoms may require veterinary intervention.

8. Can diarrhea and vomiting in dogs cause dehydration?

Yes, diarrhea and vomiting can lead to dehydration in dogs. It’s crucial to monitor your dog’s water intake and hydration levels, especially during episodes of diarrhea and vomiting.

9. Can dietary changes lead to diarrhea and vomiting in dogs?

Yes, sudden dietary changes can upset your dog’s digestive system, leading to diarrhea and vomiting. It’s best to introduce new foods gradually and monitor their response to avoid digestive issues.

10. How can I know if my dog’s diarrhea and vomiting are improving?

Signs that your dog’s diarrhea and vomiting are improving include a reduction in frequency, consistency, and severity of the symptoms. However, it’s important to observe overall changes in your dog’s behavior and consult with your veterinarian for proper evaluation.


Now that you have a better understanding of why your dog may be experiencing diarrhea and vomiting, you can take the necessary steps to address the issue. Remember to provide your dog with fresh water, withhold food temporarily, offer a bland diet, and consult with your veterinarian if the symptoms persist or worsen.

By being proactive in preventing digestive issues through proper nutrition, regular exercise, and regular veterinary care, you can help ensure your furry companion stays happy and healthy. If you have any more questions about your dog’s health or want to explore other informative articles, feel free to check out our additional resources below. Here’s to the well-being of your furry friend!

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