How do you know if your dog is sick and what to do about it

Most vets will tell you that the most common thing that brings a dog into the clinic is vomiting.It is the most obvious symptom of illness, unlike a low grade fever or lethargy. Dog owners may not readily recognize that their dog is less active or isn’t eating quite right, but will never miss vomiting.You also can miss the sound a dog makes when vomiting.

Most dog owners get panicky when they hear this sound, one because they don’t immediately know what the cause is, and two, they don’t know if they will be able to clean it up completely.Vomiting is one of the most common reasons for going to a clinic or emergency room.

The big question is, when do you worry that vomiting is a sign of something very serious, and what do you do about it.

What you need to know:

  • Most dogs will vomit occasionally. If a dog vomits once or twice but is still acting normal, has normal stools and quickly (over a few hours) resumes eating and drinking -then I’m not too worried. In this case – I’d recommend watching your dog to ensure that the symptoms disappear. Watch for any additional signs such as lethargy, diarrhea or weakness.
  • If the vomiting continues more than a few times, your dog acts “sick”, is lethargic, you see any blood in the vomit or you also see diarrhea
    then you will want to call your vet.
  • There are lots of causes for vomiting that can range from a mild viral or bacterial problem to severe life-threatening metabolic problems such as diabetes, pancreatitis, renal failure or even a gastrointestinal obstruction.

weimaraner-100168452What can you do at home?

Dr. Jon Rappaport, one of my favorite vets, says that if your dog vomited a couple times and is otherwise acting okay – this is what he would recommend:

  • The general approach will be to not give any food or water for a few hours. When you begin giving water, start with only small amounts.
  • Providing that there is no vomiting for two hours after starting the water, then you may begin feeding small amounts of a bland diet.  Feed only a small meatball sized portion at a time.  If there is no vomiting, offer slightly more food a couple hours later.  The key is to feed small amounts frequently.
  • Gradually increase the amount per feeding. If no vomiting occurs, feed this diet for one day then begin mixing in small amounts of the regular food.  Gradually switch your dog to his regular food over the next two days.
  • To make a bland diet, mix equal parts of a protein source and carbohydrate. The protein source can be boiled hamburger, lean beef, chicken or turkey, meat flavored baby food or cottage cheese. The carbohydrate source can be boiled white rice, boiled potato or pasta. You can also purchase canned bland diet from your veterinarian.
  • Please call or see your veterinarian as soon as possible if vomiting continues, you notice diarrhea, your pet won’t eat, or acts painful or lethargic.

If you are a dog lover, then you want what is best for them. Taking your dog to the vet when needed can be very costly and sometimes financially more than you can handle.To offset the rising cost of health care it would be a good idea to get pet insurance. Pet insurance generally gives pet owners the comfort of knowing they can do the best for the dog when a problem occurs.

For more information – go to What else can you do about a Vomiting Dog? Dr. Jon also says to take your dog out on a leash only. Monitor all his urine and bowel movements. You don’t want your dog going out and having problems that you don’t realize. I hope these tips help the next time your dog vomits.  And if you have a friend with a dog – feel free to forward this to them. I’d like to help as many dogs as I can. Many blessings, Val Heart P.S. As you may know, dogs can suffer from a variety of illness, many of which are covered by pet insurance. If you worry about being able to do the best for your dog – consider pet insurance.  Pet insurance allows you to do the best for your dog if there is a problem. To see if it is right for you, go to P.P.S. By the way – the average cost of a vet visit for vomiting is about $430.00. It can be less if things are simple and no diagnostic tests are required and a lot more if an underlying problem is found. Go to to get a free quote and to find out if pet insurance is right for you. Like Me for Dog Posts

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