You have boned up on how to take care of your puppy and read about all the fun things that you can do together. But, now you have a puppy vomiting.
When your puppy is vomiting, it can get to be pretty frightening! What can you do?
The good news is that most puppy vomiting is harmless and not an indication of a more serious disease.
However, with puppies, you should not take chances. Puppies have fewer reserves than older dogs and they can quickly go downhill and end up in an emergency situation, if you don’t get things under control.
In this article, I’ll discuss these topics:
- Are you doing something wrong?
- Reasons that puppies vomit
- Is it vomiting or regurgitation?
- When is vomiting a serious symptom?
- What to do if your dog is vomiting
Are you doing something wrong?
Most likely you are not doing anything wrong. Puppies have a tendency to get into anything and everything, and you can’t know everything your dog has done or even what he’s eaten.
So the best thing that you can do is observe your puppy and try to understand what she may be doing to cause the vomiting.
Why Do Puppies Vomit?
There is no single reason why puppies vomit. And no two puppies are ever the same, even if they came from the same litter.
I’ll list the most common reasons for puppy vomiting, and perhaps you’ll figure out why your Bichon Frise has had a problem.
- Eating too fast – Most puppies eat faster than we do. In fact, your Bichon might be finished her meal even before you leave the room. Your dog’s instincts are to finish her food before anyone else can eat it. If your dog vomits right after eating, he may be eating too fast. Or perhaps he is exercising too quickly after a meal. Of course eating too fast is not exactly great for digestion, and your dog may end up vomiting her last meal. If your dog eats too fast, you can easily slow her down with a slow-feeder bowl. The bowl has ridges and valleys that hold the dog food. Because it is not as easy to grab a large amount of food and gulp it down, your dog will have to eat more slowly.
- Sensitive stomach – Some puppies just have a sensitive stomach, no matter what they eat. In this case, a little help with digestion could be in order. Probiotics can help keep your puppy’s digestive system healthy and working well. PetVitality has a probiotic chew that dogs think are treats. If you prefer a powder to put on your dog’s food, Doggone Best has a probiotic powder that people like.
- Nervous Nellie – Your puppy may be a naturally nervous or anxious dog. In fact, many Bichon Frises are high strung. Even a dog who is not usually nervous, can get himself worked up over a trip in the car or a trip to the vet. If your puppy seems anxious, you might want to try a natural product that helps calm him, like Zesty Paws Calming Chews. These are especially good to use if your puppy is anxious once in a while on specific occasions.
- Worms – Most puppies do get worms at one time or another. If your puppy has worms, she could vomit as a symptom. Your vet can help you decide if this is the problem.
- Eating something that isn’t food – Puppies love to explore everything around them. And guess what! One of the ways that puppies explore is by putting things into their mouths. And puppies sometimes do eat things that aren’t food! Your Bichon can get sick after eating poop (his own or someone else’s), plants, chemicals, string, or garbage. None of these things are especially healthy, and they can all make your puppy vomit. By the way, if your dog eats something toxic, it is best for him to get rid of it quickly, by vomiting.
So a question that you might have is, “Why do dogs eat grass?” Many people believe that dogs eat grass, so that they will vomit. Sort of an instinctive way to get rid of anything bad that is in their stomachs.
But the truth is that nobody really knows why dogs eat grass. And some dogs vomit later, while others do not. So the mystery is not solved yet…
Is it Vomiting or Regurgitation?
Vomiting is forceful. The food, fluid or other matter that was eaten is forcefully ejected from your dog’s stomach and upper intestines.
You usually have a warning before this happens, although it may not be very long before your dog actually vomits. Your puppy may drool, retch or have contractions in her stomach.
On the other hand, regurgitation is a passive motion. And the material that is brought up is undigested. When your dog regurgitates something, he may also have trouble breathing and may be coughing.
When is Vomiting a Serious Symptom?
Usually if your puppy has eaten something nasty and then thrown it up, he will be back to normal quickly. If your pup vomits and then recovers within 24 hours, he’s probably just fine. Chances are that he ate something that didn’t agree with him, and it’s gone.
If the vomiting persists, you may want to consider taking your puppy to the vet. Long term or severe vomiting can be a sign of a more serious illness. In some breeds, for example, it is a symptom of pancreatitis.
In puppies, vomiting can also be a sign of canine parovirus. We see this in puppies and in older dogs who were not vaccinated. If your vet suspects this, she will do a fecal or blood test to confirm the diagnosis.
What to Do if your Puppy is Vomiting
Since most cases of puppy vomiting are over quickly, the solution is simple. You need to withhold food until your puppy has stopped vomiting for about 12-24 hours. This will give his digestive system some time to rest and recover.
Vomiting can lead to dehydration, so you do want to make sure that your little Bichon is able to drink water from his bowl. He needs to drink some water throughout the day.
When your puppy has not vomited for a while, you can start by giving him a little cooked rice or canned pumpkin. Both are easy to digest and soothing to the intestines.
If that goes well, you can transition back to regular puppy food and put him back on his feeding schedule.