Dog Vomiting and Diarrhea: Cause, Symptoms, and Treatment

Dog Vomiting and Diarrhea: Cause, Symptoms, and Treatment

Katelyn Son
By Katelyn Son
Medically reviewed by Ivana Crnec, DVM
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What Would Cause a Dog to Throw Up and Have Diarrhea at the Same Time?

What Would Cause a Dog to Throw Up and Have Diarrhea at the Same Time

Dog vomiting and diarrhea often occur at the same time. Many conditions and diseases affect the dog’s gastrointestinal tract, causing vomiting and diarrhea.

Here is a list and explanation of some possible causes of dog vomiting and diarrhea.

  • Diet Changes. Sudden dog food changes are one of the most common causes of vomiting and diarrhea in dogs. Switching your dog food formula without a transition period can wreak havoc on the dog’s stomach and intestines.
  • Dietary Indiscretions. Dogs are notorious for their scavenging habits and digging through the garbage. The ingestion of spoiled food will irritate the GI tract and result in vomiting and diarrhea.
  • Human Foods. Certain human foods can be too hard on the dog’s gastrointestinal system and cause dog vomiting and diarrhea. Table scraps are a common example of such food.
  • Food Allergies. Food allergies and intolerances are relatively common in dogs. Usually, dogs are allergic to protein sources such as chicken, beef, and fish. However, some dogs can also be sensitive to grains and gluten.
  • Gastroenteritis. This umbrella term covers various inflammations of the gastrointestinal tract, including gastritis and colitis. They can be caused by stress, specific foods, or infectious agents.
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Also known as IBD, this complex disease is poorly understood and manifests with intermittent bouts of dog diarrhea and vomiting. Diarrhea can have blood or mucus depending on the IBD type.
  • Foreign Bodies. The ingestion of foreign bodies (chew toys, wood sticks, socks, tennis balls) can cause intestinal obstructions and result in dog vomiting and diarrhea. Intestinal blockage due to a foreign object is a life-threatening situation and requires immediate veterinary care.
  • Infectious Diseases. Certain viral (distemper, parvo, corona) and bacterial infections (E.coli, Salmonella) cause vomiting and diarrhea. These infectious diseases are dangerous and even fatal if left untreated.
  • Intestinal Parasites. Worms in the dog’s intestines (whipworms, roundworms, hookworms, and tapeworms) can trigger vomiting and diarrhea. A dog with intestinal worms will show weight loss, bloating, and poor coat quality.
  • GI Tract Tumors. Tumors in the gastrointestinal tract are not very common. Sadly, if present, they are usually malignant and with a poor prognosis. All tumors in the digestive system can cause vomiting and diarrhea. Tumors are more common in older dogs.
  • Pancreatitis. Inflammation of the pancreas causes bouts of vomiting and diarrhea. Pancreatitis can be acute or chronic. In both cases, it is very painful and requires proper management.
  • Systemic Diseases. Certain systemic conditions such as liver or kidney disease cause vomiting and diarrhea, among other signs and symptoms.

What Are Some of the Symptoms of Severe Vomiting and Diarrhea in Dogs?

Some of the most common signs of dog vomiting and diarrhea include:

  • Loss of Appetite. This is the most common sign that things are not okay with your dogs and cats. This could be because of abdominal pain and thus might require the interference of a vet.
  • Fatigue/Lethargy. Not eating, vomiting, and dog diarrhea can be exhausting and make your dog tired. A lethargic dog will be disinterested in everyday activity and spend its time sleeping.
  • Drooling. Drooling is a sign your dog is feeling nauseous. Excess drooling is accompanied by pronounced swallowing.

What Should I do If My Dog Has Diarrhea and Vomiting?

Here are some things to do in case of dog vomiting and diarrhea:

  • Hydration. Dog vomiting and diarrhea can quickly result in dehydration. To avoid the issue, make sure your dog gets plenty of fresh water. It can be hard to make a sick dog drink water, so if you suspect dehydration, it is important to seek veterinary care.
  • Bland Diet. A bland diet is as close to the natural diet of your dog. A bland diet also is easier to digest and more appealing to your dog. If they are not eating properly, a bland diet might be your best option to ensure that they get their daily nutrition.
  • Supplements. There are many supplements formulated to soothe the digestive system and promote gut health. They usually contain probiotics and prebiotics. The perfect supplement for digestive health is Honest Paws Probiotics for Dogs. It contains different bacteria strains and dietary fiber. It comes in the form of chicken-flavored powder and is packed in single-dose sachets.
  • Vet Visit. This is the most important factor in the treatment plan. Take your dog to the vet to get the problem diagnosed. They might suggest blood tests and other diagnostic procedures to determine the underlying cause and make a proper treatment plan.
Honest Paws Pre+ Probiotics
  • Supports healthy digestion
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When Should I Take My Dog to the Vet for Diarrhea and Vomiting?

Dog vomiting and diarrhea require veterinary attention in cases of:

The vet will perform a full physical examination and suggest additional diagnostic tests such as blood work, stool sample analysis, abdominal x-rays or ultrasonography. 

When Should I Take My Dog to the Vet for Diarrhea and Vomiting?

What is the Treatment for Diarrhea and Vomiting?

There are two main treatments for dog diarrhea and vomiting – home remedies and traditional veterinary treatment. Let’s take a close look at each approach.

  • Home Remedies. As mentioned, there are some things you can do at home to manage mild cases of dog vomiting and diarrhea. This includes using a bland diet, giving your dog pumpkin and supplements for digestive support, and ensuring your dog stays hydrated.
  • Mainstream Treatment. The medical treatment is for more severe cases of dog vomiting and diarrhea and depends on the underlying cause. However, all dogs exhibiting these signs at the same time need fluid therapy to prevent dehydration and correct the electrolyte imbalances.

How Long Does it Take for a Dog to Recover from Diarrhea and Vomiting?

It usually takes 2-3 days for dog vomiting and diarrhea to stop.

However, it completely depends on the dog’s breed, size, age, lifestyle, and treatment. If you see no rest in the symptoms for more than three days, it is best to take them to a vet.

How do I Prevent Dog Vomiting and Diarrhea?

There are some basic steps pet parents can take to prevent dog vomiting and diarrhea:

  • Proper Nutrition. It is essential to keep your dog’s nutritional needs in mind and provide high-quality dog food rich in protein, digestible carbs, healthy fats, and micronutrients.
  • No Sudden Food Changes. If switching your dog to a new food formula, make the transition gradually to avoid stomach upsets followed by dog vomiting and diarrhea.
  • Avoid Dietary Indiscretions. Do not give your dog table scraps, and make sure the trash can is dog-proof, as dogs are known for their garbage-digging tendencies.
  • Probiotics. If dog vomiting and diarrhea are common issues, you can use probiotics or fiber supplements on a more regular basis. This will help prevent frequent episodes.
  • Exercise. Regular exercise ensures that your dog will lead a happy and healthy life. Make sure that your dog gets enough exercise every day for additional health benefits.
  • Deworming. Intestinal parasites are a common cause of dog vomiting and diarrhea. It is vital to keep your dog up to date on its deworming schedule to prevent parasitic infections.
  • Vaccination. Regular vaccination is important to strengthen the dog’s immunity and prevent several infectious diseases (like parvovirus) that can result in dog vomiting and diarrhea.