What do you do if your dog can’t keep water down? The Ultimate Guide

First Things First: The Difference Between Vomiting and Regurgitation

We need to have a bit of terminology lesson first, as many dogs who “vomit water” are actually regurgitating. Have no fear if you’d misused the words in the past, as vomiting and regurgitation are often confused with one another.

For one, vomiting is the expulsion of food location deep within the GI tract, whereas regurgitating is spitting up food or water that’s recently been ingested.

You’ll also notice a difference in the act, since vomiting is more violent with noticeable retching while regurgitation is more passive with food typically expelled gently or “spit up.”

Not to be gross, but there’s a clear difference in the contents expelled in vomiting and regurgitation, too.

When regurgitating, your dog will spit up undigested food or water, and the mixture is often watery. With vomiting, the expelled product may contain partially digested food and can be a variety of colors, though it’s usually clear, green, or a hue similar to your pup’s food.

What Does It Look Like When Dogs Vomit or Regurgitate Water?

When your dog vomits up water, he produces a mostly clear fluid that contains water and stomach fluids. Sometimes, it may include mucus, foam, or food remnants, too.

It’s important to note that clear vomit isn’t always water, however, and it could include clear liquids (including potentially dangerous ones) that your dog’s system can’t digest. This makes determining the root cause of your dog’s vomiting or regurgitation important to rule out illness.

Why do dogs throw up so often?

Throwing up is one of the most common reasons dogs visit to the veterinarian, but in most cases, it’s nothing to worry about. According to Dr. Wedderburn, “Dogs have evolved as scavengers, and what that means is they’ve evolved to be very quick to eat something that they find.” That includes water. If a very thirsty dog returns from a long walk and eagerly gulps down a ton of water, their stomach will fill up faster than their system can handle. Ice cold water especially increases the likelihood of their stomach contracting, which of course leads to throwing up. “What happens then is, their body automatically assesses what’s landed in their stomach and makes a decision as to whether that’s good or bad,” Dr. Wedderburn explains. “Dogs are quick to vomit compared to some other species, so we wouldn’t worry quite so much about dogs vomiting compared to perhaps another species of animals.” Still, throwing up can mean other serious issues, as Dr. Butzer goes on to inform us.

What to do when your dog not eating food or drinking water l Tips on LOSS OF APPETITE l

It’s a scenario that’s all too familiar to so many dog owners: you return from a long walk with your dog, let them in the house, and as soon as you remove their leash, they head straight for the water bowl. They slurp up the water until it’s nearly empty, as drool and water drips from the corners of their mouth. Finally, they stop to catch their breath, panting. And seconds later, you watch your dog throw up the water they just drank all over the floor. If this has turned into a frequent occurrence for your dog, it’s time to start paying closer attention to their drinking habits. While throwing up after drinking water is common dog behavior, according to veterinarians Pete Wedderburn, DVM of BrayVet Hospital and Lindsay Butzer, DVM of Clint Moore Animal Hospital, it could also be a sign of an underlying health issue. If you’re concerned about why your dog might be doing this, read on to learn more.