No matter how vigilant we are when we take our four-legged friends out for exercise, they can gobble down something unsavoury on walks and you may find your dog being sick.

A pet can also have an upset stomach due to a stealth raid on human food, or from guzzling down their own food and water too fast.

The real concern sets in when your beloved pet keeps having vomiting or diarrhoea and it keeps coming back.

This article will help answer the question, “why does my dog keep being sick?” and “when should I consult a vet about my pet’s upset tummy?”. It will also explain what to do when dogs start vomiting.

How can you tell when your dog feels unwell?

Your dog may leave you with no doubt that they have an upset stomach, however, the signs to look for before they throw up include excessive drooling or swallowing, and frequently licking their lips. A sudden increase in grass-eating could also indicate they’re feeling uncomfortable.

Dog’s can’t make themselves sick. They may also refuse food or become restless.

In some cases, you can tell a dog is having tummy problems as its belly visibly contracts or feels hard. Or, your dog may shield its tender or swollen tummy and growl if you try to touch it.

Potential causes of upset stomachs in dogs

What they eat

Have you changed your dog’s diet recently? A new type of food can trigger allergies and sickness in a pet.

If that’s not the case and you’re concerned your pet ate something toxic or rotten, causing vomiting, then it’s important to consult our online vet immediately.

The same urgent need to get an online vet’s opinion applies if you have reason to believe your dog has swallowed a foreign object!

Many canine companions randomly chew on socks, toys and kitchen utensils, among other things. However, fragments of plastic, wood or fabric – and coins and other small items – can get lodged in their digestive system.

Motion sickness

Dogs can become nauseaus when travelling in a vehicle, even when they have been fine on previous occasions. Ask our online vet about travel sickness medications for dogs and the best ways to keep them comfortable on car journeys.


Just like humans, dogs can be sick due to inflammation in their digestive system, which is a condition known as gastritis. They may also have an infection. One of the most serious infections is parvovirus, which causes sickness and diarrhoea. Your dog can be vaccinated against parvovirus, but if you suspect they have it, medical advice from an online vet is vital.

Parasites and diseases

Another potential reason for severe or prolonged sickness in a dog is that they have acquired a parasite in their digestive system or that there is an underlying medical cause.

Things like cancer, pancreatitis, womb infections and kidney and liver disease can manifest as periods of vomiting in dogs. This is why an online vet consultation is crucial.

Ways to help a dog with an upset tummy

Often, when a dog is sick, it’s temporary and easy to deal with. These simple steps will help.

• Give them somewhere quiet to rest but keep a close eye on them.
• Remove access to food for six to eight hours.
• Shouldn’t restrict access to water for pets unless they are going for surgery.
• If you’re confident they’re on the mend, the best food to give a dog that’s been sick is something bland. Pasta, rice, scrambled egg, cooked chicken (skinless and boneless) and white fish are ideal. Start with small amounts introduced at regular intervals to see if they can keep it down.

You can start to mix in their usual food the following day, but keep their meals carefully measured so they don’t overeat. With each meal, move them back to their usual quantities and favourite dog food.

How long is too long for dogs being sick?

Sickness in dogs usually lasts no more than a few hours. You should contact our online vet if the dog vomiting lasts longer or comes back regularly.

Also, seek advice if the sickness is just one of their symptoms. Check to see if they also have a hard, hot or swollen tummy and other signs of distress, if there is blood in your dog’s vomit or they are extremely lethargic.