A dog vomiting white foam or bile can be a worrying sight for an owner. Even more so a dog vomiting blood. But whereas the sight of blood immediately presses alarm bells, how serious is a dog vomiting bile that seems otherwise well?

This article answers questions such as what causes vomiting, symptoms to watch for, and when to see a vet. It also suggests practical ways to keep tabs on a sick dog and spot game-changing complications early.

The Causes of a Dog Upset Stomach

Sickness or vomiting is a symptom, rather than a diagnosis in its own right.

The most straightforward cause of a dog upset stomach is simple garbage gut. This is where the dog scavenges something unwholesome, which the body then rejects by vomiting it out. This is an example of primary gut disease, meaning the problem lies directly with the stomach or intestines.

Other causes of gut inflammation or irritation include:

  • Food intolerance or allergy
  • Intestinal parasites
  • A foreign body lodged in the guts
  • Gastro-enteritis
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Cancer

But dog vomiting can be a complication of a more general condition. For example, severe kidney disease causes toxins to build-up in the bloodstream. These natural poisons inflame the stomach lining and cause sickness.

Other examples of secondary causes of a dog upset stomach include:

  • Pancreatitis
  • Liver disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Cancer
  • Sepsis or toxin ingestion

Some of these causes are more worrying than others. So what signs should you be alert for?

Early Clues to a Dog Upset Stomach

The dog may be off-color before starting to vomit. These are non-specific signs which flag up the dog needs keeping a close eye on developing symptoms.

Signs to watch out for include:

  • Going off food
  • Restlessness (the result of stomach ache)
  • Sounds of a stomach gurgling or churning guts
  • Groaning
  • Drooling
  • Retching
  • Excessive flatulence
  • Lack of energy
  • Reluctance to go on walks
  • Increased or decreased thirst

If you notice any of these, keep a close eye on your pet pal. Check for further symptoms such as diarrhea by following your pet out into the yard.

When Should I Worry about my Dog Vomiting?

A dog vomiting bile as a one-off may simply be down to hunger and an empty stomach. But if it happens repeatedly, a disease may need to be ruled out.

How do you, a responsible owner, tell the difference and know when to contact the vet?

Here are seven signs that should have you reaching for the phone:

  1. Repeated Vomiting: A dog vomiting several times an hour, or for longer than four hours at stretch, should see the vet
  2. Not Keeping Fluids Down: If the dog drinks water then brings it back up, this quickly leads to dehydration
  3. Other Symptoms: If the dog shows other signs such as diarrhea, running a fever, or lacking in energy, then take note
  4. Pain or Distress: Restlessness, excessive panting, looking at the flanks, or stretching in a strange way can all be signs of abdominal discomfort that needs checking out
  5. Blood: The presence of blood in vomitus is not normal and needs following up
  6. Other Medical Conditions: If the dog has other problems such as diabetes, heart disease, or kidney disease, then vomiting may destabilize that condition and its’ better to seek help early. This also includes the very young or elderly, who quickly become dehydrated.
  7. Non-Productive Vomiting: A retching dog that doesn’t bring anything up can be a sign of bloat. This is an emergency, so call for help immediately.

And finally, listen to your ‘gut instinct’ (excuse the pun). If you are concerned about your dog vomiting, then phone the vet for advice.

But here’s a thing. How do you keep tabs on a dog when you can’t stay home?

Happily, PetPace is the answer.

Spotting Complications when you Can’t Stay Home

A PetPace collar is a comfortable device which monitors your pet’s vital signs and activity levels.

This allows you to know remotely how your dog is feeling and provides a vital insight into their health.

In practical terms, information relayed by the collar tells you if the dog is restless, in pain, feverish, or rapidly deteriorating.

Here are some examples:

  • Restlessness: The collar tracks the dog’s position (lying, sitting, or standing) and activity levels. Unexpected activity at a time when the dog normally sleeps can indicate distress, nausea, or pain.
  • Fever: The app monitors body temperature. A fever is an important sign to seek veterinary attention. Likewise, a subnormal temperature signals the dog needs urgent help.
  • Complications such as Dehydration: PetPace keeps tabs on the dog’s heart and respiratory rate. If the dog becomes dehydrated this affects their circulation, which PetPace spots and sends an alert.
  • Shock: Should the dog have a serious problem, such as bloat, and go into shock multiple vitals go off which can be detected by PetPace.

And the reassuring thing is, you don’t need to monitor the app constantly (Not a great look when you’re in an important business meeting.) If your dog’s health changes for the worse, the app sends an alert. So no news is good news as far as a dog vomiting is concerned!

Dog Vomiting: Vigilance is Vital

Vomiting is just a symptom. The wise owner keeps an eye on their sick dog for complications such as dehydration or developing disease. In addition, knowing when a pet is in pain or feverish helps you make a judgement call about the urgency of a vet visit.

A PetPace collar monitors the dog’s activity levels and vital signs, even when you’re not home. A bit like having a vet tech holding your dog’s paw in your abscence, PetPace gives you peace of mind and an alert if it’s time to worry. That’s enough to take a weight off anyone’s mind!