Vomiting Puppy – what to do!?

A vomiting puppy can be a real worry to puppy owners.

In the past 8 weeks, Nando has vomited twice.  Once in the middle of the night, once in the morning.  Not too bad, but both times my brain jumped to worst case scenarios, which are:

  1. Foreign Body Obstruction – a very real risk in puppies. Read more here  https://www.acvs.org/small-animal/gastrointestinal-foreign-bodies
  2. Parvovirus – a lower risk in the city, but I was still worried the first time because he had not had all of his vaccinations
  3. Gastroenteritis (food poisoning)  – getting a nasty gut bug from any of the number of things he put in his mouth daily
  4. Constipation/obstipation – getting blocked up
  5. Pancreatitis – if he happened to hoover up something very fatty when I wasn’t looking.

The real case scenarios were: the first time I think I fed him to many chew snacks during the day and it made him feel sick; the second time he vomited up a largish chunk of the cow skin he chews…..so foreign body obstruction, but it resolved itself.

An owner checklist for a vomiting puppy:

Putting my vet hat on, here are my tips if your puppy vomits:

  1. Make a list, mental or on paper, of all of the things he/she might have eaten in the last 24-48 hours.  Anything suspect?
  2. Did he/she poo normally in the last 24 hours – normal volume, normal consistency?
    • Normal volume, and if he continues to poo normally, then you are probably ok.
    • Decreased volume (especially if he has been eating a normal amount) might mean that there is an obstruction or constipation/obstipation.   Sometimes they can have a partial obstruction and poo OK, but then see question 3.
    • Loose consistency or diarrhea – he/she might have an intestinal infection, or be reacting to something he ate (true allergic reactions are rare however).
  3. How many times did he/she vomit?
    • 1-2 times – watch him/her closely
    • 3-4 times – watch him/her very closely (dogs are good vomiters, they vomit reasonably easily, which is a good thing given how much crap they eat, but 3-4 times is getting a bit concerning)
    • 4 times or more – off to the vet
  4. Is the puppy bright and reasonably happy (in between vomits), or depressed, not interested in food, water or play.  If its the latter, then seriously consider going to the vets, especially if it lasts more than 2 hours.

Do you allow a vomiting puppy to drink?  This is debatable, but my answer is initially yes.  If they have only vomited 1-2 times, then water might help lubricate whatever is causing the problem, and the risk of aspiration (breathing water and vomitus into the lungs) is low – that is, if the puppy is vomiting ‘normally’ (a simple heave, heave, heave, vomit action), and have normal throat conformation….sorry French bulldogs, pugs and bulldogs, that doesn’t include you!


Let us know about your Groodle experiences! Same or different?