By Gary Walker
Dog vomiting is quite natural canine behavior. All dogs do it, and some do it frequently, and for a number of reasons.
So before you grab your car keys to rush the dog off to the vet, stop awhile! In most cases, there is no need for concern. Vomiting is just a natural way in which dogs remove unwanted matter from the body.
Of course, I’m not suggesting that you ignore it completely, because sometimes vomiting does suggest a more serious problem. But you’ll need to observe the dog for other symptoms, for example, diarrhea, loss of appetite and general listlessness.
If you notice these symptoms it’s time to visit the vet, although most likely it is still nothing to be overly concerned about.
Here are some common reasons why a dog may throw up;
Eating too fast – Many dogs tend to woof their food down, a throw back to the days when they could be attacked while eating. Feeding 3 to 4 smaller meals rather than one large meal may sort out the problem and will also protect against bloat, a potentialy deadly condition.
Consuming Grass – Nobody really knows why dogs eat grass, but many of them seem to love it. Some experts believe they eat grass to induce vomiting, while others say that eating too much grass makes them vomit. Either way, eating grass often makes a dog throw up.
Eating the wrong things – Dogs that are fed on junk food and table scraps, and dogs that make a habit of raiding the trash can, are always likely to throw up. A healthy diet and preventing access to the trash will sort this out straight away.
When should I be concerned?
Although vomiting is usually nothing to worry about, it should also not be ignored. The first thing you should be alert to is the frequency. Once in a while is not a problem, once or twice a day, merits a veterinary check up.
Also be alert for the symptoms I mentioned earlier, lethargy, lack of appetite, and diarrhea, as well as other signs, like blood, or unusual coloration in the vomit. In these instances, get the dog to the vet right away.
Vomiting may also be due to a more serious cause, for example your dog may have eaten a household poison, like a pesticide, or even a poisonous plant. If you think this may be the case then immediate veterinary treatment is called for.
How To Prevent Your Dog From Throwing Up
If you have a dog that throws up on a regular basis, there are a number of commonsense measures that you can put in place to reduce it.
Start by feeding your dog a healthy diet. Cut out all table scraps and junk foods and ensure that your dog cannot get into the trashcan. Feed your dog more frequent, smaller meals and add a fibre suppliment, so the dog is less inclined to eat grass.
These steps should be enough to reduce dog vomiting, but if not, it is advisable to speak to your vet.