Helping a dog to vomit

How-To with: Helping a dog to vomit

“How do I help my dog at home if he starts vomiting?”…It’s a common question  among dog owners. A dog may get an upset stomach due to a virus, from eating a  new, unfamiliar food or from eating a non-food item. Whatever the cause, it’s  important to closely monitor a dog who is vomiting, while also providing  supportive care and home remedies to speed recovery.


    • 1

      Begin by assessing the situation. Check your dog for signs of critical  illness. Signs of a serious problem that requires immediate veterinary attention  includes: pale gums, difficulty walking, walking with a hunched posture, a high  temperature (normal is between 100.5 and 102.5) or severe  dehydration.

    • 2

      Do not feed your dog normal dog food. This will only upset his/her stomach  further. Remove access to dog food.

    • Give your dog a dosage of Pepto Bismol. The Pepto Bismol dosage for dogs is 1  teaspoon for every 20 pounds of body weight, given every 4 to 6 hours. Check  with your veterinarian before giving any over-the-counter medications to your  pet, especially if he’s on other medications. If your dog is actively vomiting,  only give a half dose. Once your dog keeps that down for one hour, give the  second half of the dosage.

    • 4

      Withhold food and water for four hours or until vomiting has stopped for two  full hours. Then, begin giving your dog unflavored Pedialyte in small amounts  (no more than 1/4 cup for a medium sized dog every 20 minutes) to help replenish  fluids and counteract dehydration.

    • 5

      If the dog will not drink unflavored Pedialyte, try chicken or beef broth  (onion-free) or water with beef or chicken bullion added to give it an appealing  flavor. If the dog will still not drink, give the dog Pedialyte using a large  liquid syringe or a turkey baster – this is vital to prevent further  dehydration.

    • 6

      Combat hypoglycemia (low blood sugar which occurs due to not eating) in a  vomiting dog by offering Nutri-Cal gel or maple syrup. For every ten pounds of  body weight, give one large spoonful of maple syrup. (a 50-pound dog will get  five large spoonfuls) Give this every four hours. If the dog will not lick the  spoon willingly, rub it on his/her gums – the dog will lick the syrup off  his/her gums.


    • Once a dog has stopped vomiting for 12 hours, offer a small amount of bland  food – just a couple bites at first. A homemade bland diet for dogs is plain  white rice or plain cottage cheese with a meat like plain skinless  chicken  (boiled) or plain hamburger meat (also boiled, with fat drained  away).

    • 8

      If the dog keeps the two or three bites of bland food down for four hours,  offer a slightly larger amount – five or six bites worth of food. If he holds  this down, offer an even larger amount in four more hours. Continue until the  dog is eating 1/4 to 1/3 of his normal meal size. Then, feed the homemade bland  dog food three to four times a day for two full days. Then, over three more  days, mix in the dog’s normal food, while gradually phasing out the homemade  bland food. This gradual transition is vital to prevent a relapse of the dog’s  vomiting.

    • 9

      If the dog vomits after that first meal, withhold food for an additional 12  hours and continue giving fluids (Pedialyte or broth) once an hour after the  first four hours and maple syrup or Nutri-Cal every four hours. Offer food again  after waiting the additional 12 hours. If the dog still cannot hold down food,  it’s time to visit the veterinarian. A serious problem – like an obstruction or  foreign body in the digestive tract – may be to blame for the dog’s severe  vomiting.

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