Why Does My Dog Throw Up in the Morning? 10 Potential Causes

poodle dog with vomit on the floor
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Dr. Paola Cuevas

Veterinarian, MVZ

Information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinary research.

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There are so many reasons why owning a dog is one of the most fulfilling relationships you can have. But with good comes bad, and part of that friendship comes with vomit. Clean dinner or a frothy liquid isn’t exactly our idea of ​​a good time.

But why do some dogs seem to vomit more frequently in the morning? Here we discuss this issue and when you should take your puppy to the vet, as well as tips on how to help your dog.

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10 Potential Causes For A Dog To Throw Up In The Morning

1. empty stomach

black dog vomiting
Image Credit: Memorial, Shutterstock

This is probably the most common reason dogs vomit in the morning. It’s known as bilious vomiting syndrome, which is when dogs vomit foam and bile, usually early in the morning, but otherwise seem fine. When fasted for too long, intestinal and gastric reflux can occur, leading the dog to vomit bile.

Bile is made by the dog’s liver and stored in the gallbladder. When food passes through, bile enters the small intestine and aids in the digestion of food.

So when your dog vomits a yellowish-green substance, it is bile that has abnormally entered the stomach. The more empty and inactive the stomach, the more bile reflux is triggered and the more acids build up, irritating the stomach lining.

The solution is to feed your dog at regular intervals twice a day so that he doesn’t go as long without food. This solution should work most of the time, but there could be other health issues, so if it doesn’t work, you should take your dog to the vet.


2. Foreign body

dog vomiting
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If a dog ingests anything inedible, it can lead to stomach irritation, which can lead to vomiting, especially when the stomach is empty. Sometimes the dog may eventually vomit the object, but the vet often needs to check what’s going on inside the dog with X-rays or ultrasounds.

The object can often be removed by endoscopy or, in the worst case, by surgery.


3. eat too fast

french bulldog eating food from a bowl
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When dogs eat food too quickly, especially on an empty stomach, it can cause them to vomit again. When dogs eat too quickly, they also swallow air along with the food, which can potentially lead to gastric torsionotherwise known as bloat, which is a life-threatening condition.

There are many reasons why dogs swallow their food, some of which could be medicine related. It may be a good idea to ask your veterinarian to do some tests to be sure.

If your dog is swallowing food because of competition with other animals, try feeding everyone separately. You can also try giving your puppy small, frequent meals. There are also slow feed bowls that make it harder for a dog to eat quickly.

Speak to your veterinarian to rule out any health issues and get advice on which approach might best help your dog.


4. Grass

little dog who smells nag eats grass
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If your dog vomits soon after going outside and eating grass, it’s quite common. It’s the grass itself that causes the vomiting, and it’s largely normal dog behavior.

The greatest risk is poisoning from chemicals used to treat the garden, familiarize yourself with others signs of intoxication and take your dog to the vet if that’s something you’re concerned about.

If your dog regularly eats grass, it’s a good idea to provide a safe garden. You should also make sure your dog is up to date on his vaccinations and deworming schedule.


5. Exercise after eating

running fox terrier toy
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If your dog has eaten a large breakfast and then goes out for intense exercise, it can lead to a vomiting session. Just as people can get sick when exercising after eating, so can dogs.

The best solution is to give your dog a small meal or treat before going out for a walk or at least making walking a slower, steady activity.


6. Health conditions

sick dog
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Certain health conditions in dogs can lead to symptoms such as vomiting. One of them is pancreatitis, which is inflammation of the pancreas. Some breeds tend to be more predisposed to this condition than others. Other symptoms include lethargy, lack of appetite and abdominal pain.

Inflammatory bowel disease as well as food allergies and sensitivities can cause a dog to vomit in the morning. Other symptoms include weight loss, abdominal pain, fatigue, flatulence, and diarrhea.

One of the main symptoms of megaesophagus is vomiting. Other symptoms include weight loss, excessive drooling, coughing, bad breath, and noisy breathing.


7. intestinal parasites

sick australian shepherd dog lying on the grass
Image credit: EvitaS, Pixabay

Many internal parasites can cause vomiting, although the main symptom is usually diarrhea. Giardia is a small, microscopic parasite that lives in a dog’s intestines. Beyond vomiting, symptoms include diarrhea, frequent urges to poo, lethargy, lack of appetite, and smelly flatulence.

Another microscopic parasite is coccidiosis, which resides in the gastrointestinal tract of dogs. It has the same symptoms as giardia, but it can lead to death if left untreated.


8. Food poisoning

sick dog
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Sometimes dogs eat things they shouldn’t and can get food poisoning, which can lead to vomiting. Whether your pup went in the trash, snatched something off the counter, or ate a plant, any of these items can cause your dog to vomit or experience diarrhea, poor appetite, dehydration, and lethargy.

Drinking contaminated water can also cause vomiting and possibly death.


9. Viral infections

Puppy with parvovirus
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Some viruses include vomiting as one of the symptoms. One of the worst is parvoviruswhich is highly contagious in dogs and exhibits symptoms of lethargy, lack of appetite, fever, vomiting and diarrhea.

As long as you keep your dog up to date with vaccinations, he should be safe from catching parvo.


ten. Medication

pet owner giving medicine to dog
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Some medications can have vomiting as a side effect. Some dogs may even vomit from tick and flea treatments or antibiotics. If you think your dog might be sick from his medication, talk to your veterinarian. They can find another type of medicine that hopefully won’t make your dog sick.

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Conclusion

Most of the time, your dog’s vomiting in the morning is a sign that needs your attention but can be corrected. If the vomit is due to the dog only eating once a day, the best solution is to give him at least two meals throughout the day.

The longer your dog goes without food in his belly, the more likely you are to find a pool of bile on the floor. You can certainly get your dog used to fasting windows and it’s a healthy habit, but he should get at least 2 meals a day. However, if your dog vomits in the morning and exhibits other symptoms, such as loss of appetite, lack of energy, and diarrhea (especially if it has blood in it), take your pup to the vet immediately.

Most of the time, morning vomiting is nothing to worry about, but keep an eye on your pup and note any other symptoms. Your dog’s health is the most important thing.


Featured Image Credit: ThamKC, Shutterstock

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