Why does my dog vomit after drinking?

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Why does my dog vomit after drinking?

Why is it throwing up

The reasons a dog is throwing up after drinking water can be many. It may be a simple case of drinking too fast, but there may also be a more serious underlying cause.

A dog that vomit once in a while should not be a cause of concern, if the dog is its usual active self and does not manifest any other signs of health concerns.

If it happens repeatedly, then you should make sure to have your pet checked by a veterinarian.

What is it throwing up

When your dog is throwing up a clear liquid, it may be easy to assume that it is only water.

There are, however, several water like liquids that may be mistaken for water e.g. gastric juice or bile.

It is important not to ignore it when a dog vomits. Instead be observant and monitor the situation, so you can take proper action to ensure your dog can get back in shape as quickly as possible.


Sometimes a dog may drink too fast. This can stimulate the dog’s gag reflex, causing it throw up the water it just drank.

This can happen on days when the weather is extra hot or after strenuous exercise or a combination of the two.

If this is the case, then you can avoid the problem by encouraging your dog to drink slower.

Ways to do this includes serving the dog water in smaller amounts. Once the dog has finished. You can give it more until it has satisfied its thirst.

You can also opt for placing a large object, like a rock, in the bowl. This will force the dog to drink around the object, causing it to drink slower.

Finally you can serve your dog some ice cubes. As these will melt slowly, drinking too fast will not be an issue.

If the vomiting occurs in-frequently, then it is usually not a cause for concern. If happens often, then it may be a sign of a more serious problem and you should contact a veterinarian to find the underlying cause.

Gastric juice

What may look like water coming out of your dog, may not be water at all. It can be a mix of saliva, water and gastric juices.

It is a thin, strongly acidic liquid. It is almost colorless, making it resemble water.

Gastric juice is part of the dogs digestive system. It is produces by the gastric glands and is part of the process of breaking down the protein found in food.There are a dogs vomits consists of gastric juice instead of partially digested food.

There are severalreasons a dogs vomits consists of gastric juice instead of partially digested food.

  • It may be that the dog has not eaten for a while. Thus, there is no food to throw up.
  • It may be that something is irritating or have become stuck in the digestive tract
  • It may be a sign of a more serious condition like: gastrointestinal blockage, kidney failure, laryngeal paralysis, liver dysfunction, megaesophaus, parasites, thyroid dysfunction, tumor and water intoxication

Single instances of vomiting gastric juices, is usually not a cause for concern. If it happens repeatedly, then it is important to talk to a professional. They can help diagnose and treat your dog appropriately.


Bile, is another thing that your dog may be throwing up. It looks watery and can therefore be mistaken for water if you do not know what to look for.

Bile may not be as clear as water, it can have a yellow or greenish color. This fluid is produced by the liver and stored in the gallbladder.

It is part of the digestive system and gets released into the small intestines as food is eaten. It helps break down the food so it can be used properly by the body.

Some reasons why a dog’s vomit may include bile are: allergies, bilious vomiting syndrome, gastro intestinal diseases, intestinal blockage and pancreatitis.

One time instances of bile, are normally not a cause for concern. If it happens repeatedly, it is important to have your dog checked by a vet, so it can be correctly diagnosed and treated.

What to do after the dog has vomited

When a dogs vomits, it’s good to know what to do.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind.

Inspect the substance

Check if it has any of the following:

  • Bile
  • Blood
  • Foamy and white
  • Food
  • Gastric juices
  • Inedible materials like pieces of toys, textiles etc.
  • Mucus
  • Water

You may want to keep foreign any objects, in case the veterinarian need to inspect them.

Take note of how the vomit appears. Maybe even, take a photo that can be shown to the veterinarian.

Let your dog rest and observe

Do not feed or give water for a couple of hours.

Giving your dog food or water in a situation like this can trigger its gag reflex and cause it to vomit again, making the situation worse.

Instead, observe the dog and take note in case of lethargy, diarrhea and other signs of illness.

If there are no further signs of illness, you can resume the normal feeding routine when the next meal is due.

Natural remedies that may help an upset stomach

When a dog has vomited, its stomach may be unusually sensitive to the foods it eats. In order to avoid further incidents, you can ease your dog back into a normal diet by serving a simpler diet.

Some foods that are good to serve after an upset stomach include


Rice is easy on the stomach and is commonly used to help a dogs stomach get back on track.

Simply boil the rice with a pinch of salt as you normally would. Let it cool and serve it a little bit at a time.

If you like, mix it with a bit of chicken as described below.

Skinless boiled chicken

A bit of boiled chicken is a real treat. It can make a seemingly uninterested dog hungry.

Boil and shred the chicken. Let it cool. Then serve it either on its own or mixed with rice.

Do not add any spices as this can easily upset a dog’s stomach.

Sweet potato

Peel, cook and mash sweet potato. Do not add any spices. Let it cool and serve in small portions. Don’t overdo it.


Similar to sweet potato, pumpkin can be used. Peel it and cook with no salt or other spices. Let it cool and serve in small quantities.

Bone broth

A simple broth can do wonders for your dogs stomach.

it is nutritious, flavourful and entices your dog to eat even when he does not feel well.

Fill a pot with one or a mix of bones from beef, pork, turkey or chicken. Do not add salt or other spices.

Cover the bones with a couple of inches of water and cook on low heat for about 24 hours.

Remove the bones. Let it cool and then store in the refrigerator for a couple of hours.

Once cooled, remove the hardened layer of fat from the top of the broth.

Underneath you will find that the broth has become a jelly like substance. Serve it as is or heat it, in order to melt it before serving.

Make sure you do not serve hot broth to your dog, as it may burn your dogs mouth.

Also refrain from giving the bones to your dog as a treat.

Potential underlying causes of vomiting

For any of these potential causes you are advices to contact a veterinarian to get a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.


Allergies can have many sources, some include foods, drugs and insects bites or stings.

If the dog has an allergic reaction it can cause several symptoms to appear.

  • Asthma
  • Coughing
  • Diarrhea
  • Excessive licking of the paws
  • Hair-loss or even bald spots
  • Scratching
  • Scooting
  • Sneezing
  • Swelling of the feet, face and joints.
  • Vomiting

A veterinarian can help determine the best course of action for a particular allergic reaction.

Among others, treatment can include anti-inflammatory drugs, medicated shampoo and allergy shots.

Bacteria from contaminated water

Wag Walking describes that stagnant water, especially in the outdoors, can become contaminated. The contaminant could be one of many including human and animal waste. Bacterias such as campylobacter, leptospira and salmonella can cause your dog to throw up.

In nature, fertiliser could run into the water if you are near farms or other places that use fertiliser.

Small lakes and other stagnant water reservoirs can have a build up of algae. Blue-green algae is toxic and dangerous to both humans and dogs. If sufficient is taken in, your dog may become very ill and can possibly die from the algae.

Bilious vomiting syndrome

From Wikipedia it is found that when bile leaks into the stomach, it can cause inflammation and vomiting can then occur.

Typically the dog will throw up in the morning, when the stomach is empty.

Esophageal dysfunction

A dog that vomits every time it drinks water may have a different health concern. A dog that vomits immediately after drinking water may have an esophageal dysfunction.

Gastrointestinal blockage

Hard objects like rocks can block or partially block the gastrointestinal tract. When it is blocked, water may not be able to reach the stomach, which can cause it to be regurgitated.

Gastro intestinal diseases

VCA Hospitals informs us that if the gastrointestinal tract becomes inflamed, a dog may often experience symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea.

The vomit is often a yellow colored bile, foam.

The stool is often soft and has a pale color.

Other symptoms include tenderness around the stomach, loss of appetite and less interest in being active.

Gastroenteritis is often caused by bacteria, parasites, viruses or a reaction to a new food or medication.

Kidney failure

When the kidneys stop working, the dog stops filtering waste materials. Once kidney failure sets in, the dog has already been sick for months or years without any signs showing.

Symptoms include foul smelling breath, a significant increase in water consumption, increased urination, vomiting, depression, diarrhoea and loss of interest in food.

Laryngeal paralysis

This happens when the larynx cannot move, explains the Pet Health Network. Thus, instead of opening during inhalation, the larynx will stay in a half closed position.

The result is a lack of oxygen in the blood stream and overheating.

Mostly, this is seen in older dogs, but it can also be found in puppies and young adults.

Early on light symptoms like a change in bark, seemingly in bad shape and generally more rapid breathing are symptoms that can be seen early on.

Later on loud breathing, vomiting consisting of white foam, gagging, frequent coughing, as to clear the throat and in the final stages a complete intolerance to exercise and collapse can happen.

Liver dysfunction

Among other things PetMd says, the liver helps remove toxins from the blood, metabolises energy sources and produces bile acids, which are needed as part of the digestion process.

When a dog has a liver disease or the liver is not functioning optimally, some of the following symptoms may be seen:

  • Yellowish skin near the eyes, gums and ears a.k.a jaundice
  • Signs of hepatic encephalopathy (or brain disease); like seizures, disorientation, depression, head pressing, blindness and personality changes.
  • Gastro intestinal signs such as; vomiting, loss of appetite, diarrhea, weight loss, increased thirst and urination, changes in stool color.

Some types of liver disease can be cured, while others cannot.

In cases where it cannot, medicines are often administered by a veterinarian to manage the disease.


Megaesophagus is an esophageal motility disorder, which can prevent a dog from fully ingesting food and water, causing regurgitation of any items consumed.

How it works

The food and the water ingested will pass through the esophagus. Normally, once the presence of food in the tube is detected, a reflex action that causes the muscles to contract and relax will facilitate the movement of the food to the stomach.

If the esophagus fails to contract properly, ingested food and water will remain in the esophagus instead of going down directly to the stomach.

Because the food does not reach the stomach, the dog will keep on eating. Filled with food, the esophagus will enlarge, hence the name of this condition.

The food and the water that were stuck in the esophageal tube will be regurgitated back into the throat and vomited by the dog a few minutes after ingestion or it can stay for several hours.

Another neurological reflex is inhibiting breathing while the dog is swallowing to prevent aspiration. Esophageal dysfunction also prevents this process, so that aspiration of regurgitated food can occur.

Most common in

It is a rare congenital disease that commonly occurs in puppies and can usually be seen in larger dogs like Great Danes, Newfoundland, German Shepherd Dog, Irish setter and in Greyhounds.


Since the dog cannot hold down food or water, it will not receive adequate nutrition and it will lose weight because of the inability to swallow.

Foul breath and fever can be noticed as well.

Severe aspiration of digestive fluid can result in pneumonia.

Treatment is geared towards managing the underlying disease.

These underlying diseases include hypothyroidism and myasthenia gravis, an autoimmune neuromuscular disease that is characterised by the weakness of the muscles of the body.


Pancreatitis is when the pancreas is inflamed. The pancreas is responsible for things like insulin production and the secretion of digestive enzymes. Thus it plays an important part in the process of digestion.

Symptoms of pancreatitis include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Abnormal posture e.g. arched back
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Restlessness
  • Swollen abdomen
  • Vomiting

Parasites including Giardia

If your dog has picked up a parasite, this may cause a dog to vomit.

Parasites can come from contaminated water or in rare cases from simply sniffing the ground.

One of the most common parasites is Giardia. Giardia can lead to throwing up after drinking water or vomiting after consuming food.

Symptoms include diarrhea and sometimes the stool will become green and covered in mucus.

Thyroid dysfunction

Thyroid regulates the dogs metabolism.

If the thyroid is not active, hypothyroidism, it can cause a dog to vomit after drinking.

Symptoms include balding coat, excessive shedding, substantially reduced heart rate and lethargy.

More uncommon symptoms include thickened facial skin, sudden lameness, loss of coordination, fat deposits in the corneas, infertility, and an odd tilting of the head.


Cancer in a dogs stomach is very rare. Nevertheless, it can happen.

Some of the consequences of a tumor include chronic vomiting, sometimes containing blood, loss of appetite and weight loss, a black, tar like stool and abdominal pains.

It is diagnosed using x-ray and treated by surgery.

Water intoxication

Drinking is good for your dog, but drinking too much can lead to water intoxication. A condition just a dangerous as dehydration.

While it is not a common conditions, it can happen when more water is taken in than can be processed by your dogs body. This can result in the depletion of sodium, which can negatively affect muscle and nerve functions as well as blood pressure.

Usually this can happen if a dog agents too much water while playing in or with water. In rare cases it can also occur from drinking form a bowl.

Symptoms normally show up faster in smaller breads and dogs that are very fit or thin, as they do not have extra body fat tissue that can absorb the extra fluid.

Symptoms include bloating, loss of balance or coordination, staggering,, nausea, lethargy, glazed eyes, dilated pupils, excessive salivating and light colored gums. Additionally, severe symptoms include difficulty breathing, collapse, loss of consciousness, seizure and coma.

If you suspect water intoxication. Contact a veterinarian immediately.

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