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What to Do if Your Dog Is Vomiting and Has Diarrhea

President Barack Obama plays with Bo - president obama petting a dog in the oval room of the white h

When your beloved canine companion starts throwing up and battling diarrhea, it’s not just a messy inconvenienceit’s a siren call for your attention and swift action. As a dog owner squarely in the demographic of those who see their dogs as equal family members, I can tell you that this scenario triggers a visceral reaction, a blend of concern, panic, and a fervent desire to do anything to make them feel better.

Having navigated these choppy waters with my own furry friend, I know firsthand the balancing act of determining urgency when to bolt to the vet and when to employ home remedies. It’s a tightrope walk that challenges even the most seasoned pet owners. So, lets plunge into the ins and outs of addressing a dog’s gastrointestinal distress, drawing from expert opinion and personal battle scars alike.

What to Do for Dog Vomiting and Diarrhea

Learn what to do when your dog is throwing up and has diarrhea.
– Quick actions to take at home.
– Indications for seeking veterinary care.
– Causes, suitable diet, and preventive measures.

When to See a Vet

The question isn’t if you should be concerned when your dog is vomiting and has diarrhea it’s how concerned you should be. The spectrum ranges from a mild upset stomach to potential life-threatening conditions. The rule of thumb here is observation and swift judgment. If your dogs symptoms are accompanied by lethargy, blood in their vomit or stool, or if they’re showing signs of dehydration, don’t second-guess get to a vet, stat.

Insider Tip: Keep an eye on their gums. If they’re pale rather than a healthy pink, it could indicate shock or anemia, which means this is no time to dilly-dally.

I remember one particular night, the worry etched deep into my midnight Googling, as my dog’s symptoms escalated. It was clear that waiting until morning was not an option. We needed professional help, and we needed it immediately.

A Personal Story: Dealing with a Dog’s Upset Stomach

When my dog, Max, suddenly started vomiting and having diarrhea, I was really worried. I remembered reading about the importance of monitoring his symptoms, so I kept a close eye on him for any signs of dehydration or worsening condition.

H3: Monitoring Max’s Symptoms

I noticed that Max was becoming lethargic and wasn’t interested in his food, which made me even more concerned. After a day of him not improving, I decided to take him to the vet.

H3: Vet Visit and Treatment

The vet diagnosed Max with gastroenteritis and prescribed a bland diet and medication to help with his symptoms. Following the vet’s advice, I changed his diet and made sure he was getting plenty of rest.

H3: Recovery and Preventative Measures

Thankfully, Max started to improve within a few days and was back to his usual self. To prevent future episodes, I made sure to gradually transition him to new foods and avoid giving him any table scraps.

This experience taught me the importance of being proactive and seeking veterinary care when my dog’s health is at stake.

What Causes Vomiting and Diarrhea in Dogs?

The causes of your dog’s discomfort can be manifold from the seemingly benign act of scarfing down a no-no food to more severe issues like infections, parasites, or even chronic conditions. I learned this the tough way after my dog Hoovered up something unspeakable during a hike. The culprit? A toxic plant that led to a weekend spent at the animal hospital.

Dogs are curious and often indiscriminate eaters. This means that dietary indiscretion is a common cause, but so are allergies, diseases, or stress. It’s essential to monitor their environment as much as their diet. I found that keeping a “dog diary” of sorts helped me track what could potentially upset my dog’s stomach.

Learn more about potential allergens and irritants here.

What to Feed a Dog With an Upset Stomach

Now, if the vet gives you the all-clear and it’s just a matter of nursing your dog back to health, diet is paramount. The BRAT diet (Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, Toast) isn’t just for human stomachs. A bland diet for a few days can be a godsend for a dog’s upset GI tract. Boiled chicken (no seasoning, please) and rice will often do the trick.

Insider Tip: Gradually reintroduce their regular diet over a few days to avoid further upsetting their stomach.

I swear by a gradual reintroduction plan. After a bad bout, I start with a spoonful of their regular food mixed into the bland meal and increase it meal by meal. Patience is key rushing this can land you back at square one.

How to Prevent Vomiting and Diarrhea in Dogs

Prevention, they say, is better than cure. Regular vet check-ups, keeping up with vaccinations and parasite control, and a stable, balanced diet are your first line of defense. But, let’s not forget the power of a keen eye. Knowing your dog’s habits and normal behavior can alert you to issues before they become emergencies.

For those of us who enjoy an active lifestyle with our pets, particularly outdoors, vigilance is crucial. When hiking or playing outside, I keep my dog on a durable, visible leash (like this one) to control what she can sniff and snack on.

Insider Tip: Always carry fresh water and a portable bowl to prevent your dog from drinking from unknown water sources that could be contaminated.

What Not to Do

There are a few “don’ts” when it comes to dealing with a dog throwing up and with diarrhea. Don’t give human medications unless directed by your vet. Don’t feed them heavy, fatty foods. And please, do not assume it will just ‘pass.’

In my early days of dog ownership, I made the naive mistake of assuming a little vomit was no big deal. I learned the hard way that what seems minor can escalate quickly. A proactive approach is always better than a reactive one.

Insider Tip: Keep a dog first-aid kit (like this one) on hand for minor issues and to tide you over while you seek professional help for more severe cases.


Anyone who treats their dog like family knows the gut-wrenching feeling of seeing them ill. Vomiting and diarrhea in dogs are symptoms that demand attention and can be harbingers of both minor and severe health issues. Your actions can make all the difference in your dog’s health and recovery. Stay observant, be proactive about their health, and never hesitate to seek professional help when in doubt. Remember, every dog and situation is different trust your gut as much as you trust your vet. Together, you’ll navigate through to calmer waters and happier days.


What causes a dog to throw up and have diarrhea?

Dogs can experience these symptoms due to dietary indiscretion, infections, or underlying health issues.

How can I help my dog with throwing up and diarrhea?

Ensure access to water, withhold food for 12-24 hours, and consult a vet for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Who should I contact if my dog has persistent vomiting and diarrhea?

Contact a veterinarian immediately if your dog’s symptoms persist or worsen.

What if my dog refuses to drink water when experiencing these symptoms?

Encourage hydration by offering small amounts of water or ice cubes to lick.

How long does it take for a dog to recover from vomiting and diarrhea?

Recovery time varies depending on the cause, but it’s important to seek veterinary advice for proper care.

What if I can’t afford a vet for my dog’s vomiting and diarrhea?

Some animal welfare organizations offer financial assistance for pet medical care. Contact local shelters for guidance.

Victoria Reynolds is a licensed veterinarian with over 10 years of experience in small animal medicine. She received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) from the University of California, Davis, and completed a specialized internship in emergency and critical care at the Animal Medical Center in New York City.

Throughout her career, Victoria Reynolds has worked in various veterinary hospitals and emergency clinics, treating a wide range of medical conditions in dogs, including gastrointestinal issues such as vomiting and diarrhea. She has also contributed to several research studies on canine digestive health, with publications in respected veterinary journals.

In addition to her clinical work, Victoria Reynolds is passionate about educating pet owners on how to best care for their furry companions. She regularly conducts seminars and workshops on pet health and wellness, and her expertise is highly sought after in the veterinary community.


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