If you’re getting ready to welcome a new puppy into your home, you likely feel excitement and nerves all at once. If this is your first puppy, you may have many questions.
Puppies are fun, playful friends that bring joy to your home, and it’s important to know how to take care of them. If your puppy starts throwing up, it can be pretty alarming, and it’s essential to be prepared.
Why is your puppy throwing up, and how can you help soothe their stomach upset? Let’s take a closer look at everything you need to know.
Potential Causes of Vomiting in Puppies
Vomiting is the active expulsion of food contents from the stomach. Dogs are more likely than other animals to vomit in response to various factors. It’s important to understand that vomiting differs from regurgitating, which your dog may immediately do after eating.
In a lot of cases, it’s harmless if your young puppy throws up. Your puppy’s body is extra sensitive as it is, so it’s not uncommon for puppies to throw up. It can be helpful to understand the potential causes of dog vomiting.
If your puppy throws up as soon as you bring them home, the culprit may be simply nervousness. If your new pup has only ever known another home or a shelter, they may feel nervous or stressed in response to a new environment, which can irritate the digestive tract.
If your puppy throws up just once due to stress, there’s no need to worry. Be sure to monitor their symptoms closely during their first hours at home.
Eating New Dog Food
Puppies require different food than grown dogs, and they eat more frequently, too. When it comes time to wean your pup off their puppy food and onto regular dog food, it’s essential to be careful in doing so.
Dogs are creatures of habit. Introducing new things can feel scary and may irritate the intestinal tract when not done properly. Be sure to introduce new foods very slowly and gradually into your pup’s diet. If you don’t, your pup may throw up as a result.
Start by adding a few tablespoons of new dog food one at a time and mixing it with their old dog food. After a few days, add a few more tablespoons of new dog food to their current food and remove the same amount in their current food. Repeat this until you can eventually fill their entire bowls with the new food!
Eating Too Fast
Puppies and all dogs love to eat, leading some dogs to inhale their food rather than eat slowly and deliberately. Eating too quickly can increase your pup’s risk of choking, gagging, or even regurgitating their food.
If your puppy eats too fast, this can not only lead to throwing up, but it can also lead to bloat.
Bloat is a serious condition that occurs when your dog eats too quickly, causing the stomach to expand quickly and twist in the abdomen. Bloat causes intense abdominal pain, and your puppy may act like they want to throw up but nothing comes out.
Bloat is life-threatening, so if you suspect your pup is suffering from this condition, seek medical help right away.
If your puppy eats too quickly, consider the following methods for helping them eat slower:
- Spread your dog’s food out into a muffin tin or slow-eating mat. These tools help spread your pup’s food out so they eat more slowly and deliberately.
- Use a food puzzle, which helps your pup eat slowly while also offering cognitive stimulation to support brain health.
- Hand-feeding your dog food is a great way to help them slow down. It also supports bonding between you and your pup.
Dog Food Allergies
If your puppy is throwing up, it could be due to a dog food allergy. Like humans, dogs can be allergic to certain ingredients in their food. Chicken, lamb, dairy, wheat and gluten, soy, and corn are the top dog food allergies.
If your dog is allergic or has an intolerance to a specific ingredient, you’ll notice a range of symptoms accompanying vomiting.
Here are a few symptoms to look out for.
- Licking of the paws or fur
- Itchiness or hives
- Swelling of the face, lips, or ears
- Excessive scratching
- Gastrointestinal discomfort
Dog food allergies are rarely serious, but they can lead to anaphylactic shock in some cases. A good rule of thumb when introducing new ingredients to your puppy is to go very slowly, gradually, and monitor behavior closely during the first few exposures.
This method will help you watch for any signs of intolerance before giving your pup large portions of new food.
Here at Sundays, we exclude the most common allergens from our dog food. With USDA-grade beef, your dog can enjoy itch-free eating with nutrients packed into every bite. Cleaner ingredients make for cleaner bowls. Learn more about how to help your dog with food allergies with this guide.
Eating Non-Food Items
Some dogs eat non-food items like grass, rocks, dirt, or even poop because of a medical condition known as pica. Pica is an eating disorder that makes dogs (and some humans) want to eat non-food items. This condition could result from a lack of mental stimulation, a nutrient deficiency, or curiosity.
There are many risks to eating non-food items. Not only can your dog lack the nutrients they need to thrive, but they can also risk tearing their stomach lining, choking, having diarrhea, becoming constipated, or developing an intestinal obstruction from a foreign body.
What Should I Do If My Puppy Is Throwing Up?
Many factors could cause your puppy to throw up. What should you do if your pup does start to throw up? First, don’t panic. It’s not uncommon for puppies to vomit occasionally to get rid of the food they didn’t like or expel a non-food item.
Still, here are a few guidelines to follow when taking care of your sick puppy.
Wait To Give Your Pup Food and Water
If your dog is throwing up, be sure to withhold food and water for a few hours. Your pup’s stomach is fragile, so it’s important to let it settle before exposing it to more food. Wait anywhere from six to eight hours before giving your pup a small amount of food and after vomiting.
Even when you’re ready to give them fluids again within an hour or so, be sure to do so slowly. Monitor how much your dog drinks to ensure you prevent dehydration without overwhelming their stomach. Do the same when you’re ready to introduce food back into their diet, too.
When Should You See Your Veterinarian?
In most cases, throwing up is harmless for puppies. However, there are some cases where you may want to take your pup to the vet.
First, if you suspect symptoms of bloat, take your dog to an emergency medical center right away. Bloat is an emergency that requires immediate attention.
If your pup vomits once, there’s usually no need to be too concerned. However, if your pup vomits twice or repeatedly vomits over a few days, it may be time to see your vet. It is also a good idea to see your vet if you notice unusual behavior accompanying vomiting, like lethargy, loss of appetite, or loss of interest in toys.
Your vet can perform diagnostic tests like X-rays and biopsies as needed to make a diagnosis.
How Sundays Can Help
It can also help to check your dog food’s ingredient list. If they’re consuming dog food allergens, synthetic ingredients, or fillers like corn and soy, they may throw up as a result.
If you’re ready to upgrade your dog’s food, look no further than Sundays. No fridges were harmed in the making of this dog food.