What Are the Causes of Vomiting & Lack of Appetite in a Dog?

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The occasional bout of vomiting is usually not a problem, given that it stops relatively quickly and it is not accompanied by other symptoms. However, dogs who vomit and exhibit a decreased appetite may be suffering from serious illnesses. While you should give your dog’s digestive system time to rest before offering food after he vomits, you must consult your veterinarian if he does not begin eating normally within a few days.

Pug resting on a pillow.
Pug resting on a pillow. (Image: Zoonar RF/Zoonar/Getty Images)

A Variety of Causes

The combination of vomiting and loss of appetite can be symptomatic of a serious problem. For example, intestinal obstructions often cause dogs to vomit and refuse to eat. Many other causes are possible, including bacterial or viral infections, bloat, poisoning, dental problems or colitis. Additionally, although rare, vomiting and inappetence may indicate the presence of a tumor. In some cases, social and environmental factors may cause vomiting and reduce your dog’s appetite. This is common among dogs who are traveling or living in unfamiliar surroundings. Additionally, some vaccinations and medications may cause dogs to lose their appetite temporarily.

Withhold Food After Vomiting

Veterinarians advise that you wait between six and 48 hours after your dog vomits before allowing him to eat again. This gives him plenty of time to drink water and rehydrate, and allows his stomach to recover. When you offer food again, provide small meals of easily digested food. Boiled chicken and cooked rice are easily digested and are excellent foods for helping to get your dog on the road to recovery. Most healthy dogs will eat eagerly after such fasts; however, if your dog does not exhibit a strong appetite, develops a fever, becomes dehydrated or vomits blood, consult your veterinarian immediately. Additionally, consult your veterinarian if your dog does not stop vomiting within a couple of hours.

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