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Why is my pet vomiting?

Seeing your pet vomit can be distressing, but it isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Many dogs and cats will vomit to expel something they shouldn’t have ingested or to throw up foreign objects such as toys or bones. Cats also sometimes vomit to bring up hairballs. However, if the vomiting becomes frequent it can be a different story because lots of disorders and infections have vomiting as a symptom.

If you see your pet vomit, or find their vomit somewhere, keep an eye on them. Was it a one-off incident or are they vomiting frequently?

 

Why do dogs vomit

 

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Why dogs vomit

Dogs may vomit for a number of reasons. A dog vomiting is an essential defence mechanism because they have a tendency to eat almost anything. They usually vomit because they are bringing up something they shouldn’t have eaten. However, less frequently it can be a sign of something more serious such as an illness or a gastrointestinal obstruction. Vomiting can be a symptom of digestive problems such as gastroenteritis, which is inflammation of the stomach and gastrointestinal tract, inflammatory bowel disease, intestinal ulcers, food allergies. There are other, much more serious causes, but these are thankfully uncommon.

 

Why do cats vomit

 

Why cats vomit

If you have a cat vomiting, it is most likely due to something minor like they have eaten their meal too quickly or probably eaten something they shouldn’t have. Cats can also vomit due to hairballs (see What to do about hairballs for more information). Other, less likely reasons can include bacterial infections, parasites, viral infections and side effects to medication.

If vomiting is more than just a one-off episode, it can also be due to ongoing and gastrointestinal disorders or more serious, but far less likely causes. This is why it is strongly recommended that if your cat is repeatedly vomiting you take them to see your vet as soon as you can.

 

Taking care of sick dogs

 

How to care for a pet that has vomited

If your pet seems fine after they have vomited and it is just a one-off episode, you might not need to see a vet. Definitely keep an eye on them, though. Remove all sources of food for a couple of hours. If your pet hasn’t been sick during this time, offer water and gradually reintroduce bland meals into their diet, before going back to their regular feeding routine.

 

Taking care of sick cats 

 

When to talk to your vet

If your pet is repeatedly vomiting or is dry retching, then get them to your vet as soon as you can. If the symptoms aren’t that serious, but you are worried about your pet’s health, it doesn’t hurt to give your vet a call for some quick advice over the phone. If you are not sure, it is best to err on the side of caution. Key warning signs of a major problem include frequent vomiting, projectile vomiting, severe diarrhoea, abdominal pain, blood in their vomit or ongoing dry retching.

 

Prevent dogs from getting sick 

 

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How to prevent vomiting

While there are lots of the different causes of vomiting, most vomiting is caused by your animal eating something that disagrees with them. If this is what your vet says is happening with your pet, talk to them about how to manage a change of diet. The ROYAL CANIN® Gastrointestinal diet range has a number of options that can help manage sensitive stomachs and other digestive issues.

 

Prevent cats from getting sick

 

How to care for a pet that has vomited

If your pet seems fine after they have vomited and it is just a one-off episode, you might not need to see a vet. Definitely keep an eye on them, though. Remove all sources of food for a couple of hours. If your pet hasn’t been sick during this time, offer water and gradually reintroduce bland meals into their diet, before going back to their regular feeding routine.

 

When to talk to your vet

If your pet is repeatedly vomiting or is dry retching, then get them to your vet as soon as you can. If the symptoms aren’t that serious, but you are worried about your pet’s health, it doesn’t hurt to give your vet a call for some quick advice over the phone. If you are not sure, it is best to err on the side of caution. Key warning signs of a major problem include frequent vomiting, projectile vomiting, severe diarrhoea, abdominal pain, blood in their vomit or ongoing dry retching.

 

How to prevent vomiting

While there are lots of the different causes of vomiting, most vomiting is caused by your animal eating something that disagrees with them. If this is what your vet says is happening with your pet, talk to them about how to manage a change of diet. The ROYAL CANIN® Gastrointestinal diet range has a number of options that can help manage sensitive stomachs and other digestive issues.