Wellness

13 min

What To Do If Your New Puppy Is Throwing Up

Is your new puppy throwing up? This can be a scary experience for pet parents and likely requires a vet's help. Here's what you need to help your sick pup.

Bridget Reed

Updated September 01, 2022 • Published February 16, 2022

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What To Do If Your New Puppy Is Throwing Up

As the proud parent of a new puppy, one of the most worrying things that can happen is your pup experiencing illness. If you find that your new puppy is throwing up, you could be concerned that there is something wrong. 

Depending on your pet’s symptoms, you may be able to piece together why they're vomiting, however, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and take them to the vet. Abdominal pain and intestinal tract discomfort aren’t fun for any pet, especially not a young one.

Read: How To Care For Your New Puppy

Continue reading to learn more about why your new puppy is throwing up and what you should do next. 

Should I be worried if my puppy is throwing up?

It's understandable to be concerned when you notice that your pup is vomiting. In fact, vomiting (along with diarrhea) is one of the most common reasons that people bring their dogs to the vet for emergency care. This situation is quite common. 

Just because it's common, however, does not mean that it can't be severe. Sometimes, vomiting is a sign that your pet needs immediate medical attention. In other cases, it indicates that your pet is experiencing a mild illness that will just “run its course” and doesn't require medical intervention. Discerning between the two scenarios is critical, and a vet can help you do that.

It's important to keep in mind that, while this is undoubtedly a stressful situation, your pet is able to pick up on your anxiety. Try to remain as calm as you can if you notice that your new puppy is throwing up.

Why is my new puppy throwing up?

There are a myriad of reasons as to why your puppy is throwing up. These include:

  • Stress

  • New foods

  • Allergies and intolerances

  • Eating too quickly

  • Ingesting something dangerous

  • Medical conditions

Stress

As carefree as they may seem, being a young puppy can be stressful. Not only was your puppy separated from their parents and littermates, but they're also getting acclimated to living in an entirely new place.

There are a lot of potential stressors that accompany moving in with a new family. And unfortunately, sometimes, the stress gets the most of your puppy and could result in vomiting. 

New foods

A new food could also be the culprit. If you're not mindful about transitioning your puppy to their new food, it can upset their stomach and lead to vomiting.

If you're introducing a new food, slowly start to transition it into their current food so the change isn't so drastic. Rushing it can upset their delicate digestive system. 

Read: New Puppy Checklist: 10 Things You Need Before Bringing A New Dog Home

Allergies and intolerances

It's also possible that your pup has either an intolerance or allergy to a food that you're giving them. It can sometimes be difficult to decipher what exactly is causing the allergy, so it's best to consult a vet who will have more breed-specific knowledge about common food intolerances. 

Eating too quickly

Simply put, you may have a speed eater on your hands. If your puppy likes their food, they may get excited and eat too quickly. Especially for pups that were part of a big litter, eating rapidly can be a learned behavior. This can cause gagging, vomiting, and even choking, so it's important to try to slow down their eating as best you can. Invest in a puzzle feeder, distribute their food in different sections of a muffin tin, or start feeding them smaller meals multiple times a day. A vet can also point you in the right direction.

Ingesting something dangerous

Curious young puppies have a way of getting their paws on things they shouldn't. Whether it's a piece of food that is dangerous for dogs or an object they picked up off the floor, this could surely result in vomiting and discomfort.

Be aware that your puppy may be vomiting if they ingested toxins. In this case, call the Animal Poison Control Hotline right away and bring them to the vet.  

Medical conditions

Unfortunately, in some cases, your puppy throwing up is a sign that there is something more serious going on.

Medical conditions and diseases that can cause vomiting include:

  • Parasites

  • Bacterial infection

  • Metabolic disease

  • Cancer

  • Diabetes

  • Kidney disease/liver disease 

  • Stomach ulceration

It's important to talk to a vet to rule out any of these conditions.

What to look for when your puppy throws up

Pet parents may be able to infer what caused the vomiting based on its appearance and various context clues.

Vomit color and texture

The color of the vomit can help uncover what caused your puppy to throw up. If the vomit has yellow liquid in it, this is likely bile. It could suggest that food has been partially digested.

In contrast, slimy mucus could suggest that your pup is regurgitating food. In this case, the food that they ate will likely be present in the vomit. Keep in mind that regurgitating is considered to be more passive than vomiting, so be on the lookout for how frequently your puppy is throwing up.

If you notice that there’s a red tint or coffee grounds color, this could mean that your pet has blood in their vomit, and you should contact a vet immediately.

It can be helpful to take pictures of your dog's vomit so you can show your vet, and if you're going in person, you can even bring a sample.

Read: Home With A New Puppy: What To Expect The First Year

What can I give my puppy for vomiting?

If your puppy is throwing up, the first step is to talk to a vet so they can prescribe the best course of action and you can stop guessing. Only use home remedies if you cannot talk to a vet right away.

To alleviate your pup's discomfort in the meantime, you might consider avoiding feeding again for a few hours so you can give their stomach time to settle. During this time, it's vital that your puppy still has access to water, because dehydration is a significant concern.

After that, your best bet is to stick with plain foods that will support their gastrointestinal tract. The typical rule of thumb is that the blander, the better.

Chicken

One go-to food for puppies with upset stomachs is boiled, unseasoned, white meat chicken (no bones or skin). Begin by only feeding them a small amount, and see if your pup is able to tolerate it. If they are, then you can give them another small chicken meal later.

Rice

Rice is another excellent option for pets that are experiencing gastrointestinal discomfort and throwing up as a result. Plain rice is a highly digestible carbohydrate and can help soothe their stomach. Feel free to try pairing it with the chicken as well.

Pumpkin

100% canned pumpkin can help ease vomiting in puppies, as it contains essential vitamins and minerals and is a great source of fiber. Start with a small amount, and if tolerated well, you can increase the serving anywhere from one teaspoon to a few tablespoons based on your dog's weight.

Broth

Broth can be a useful tool that pet parents can leverage to help make their picky eaters more interested in their food. If your puppy is uninterested in consuming the chicken and rice mixture that you made, chicken broth might come in handy. 

Try piquing their interest by drizzling broth on their meal, and see if that makes a difference. This also adds moisture to your pet’s diet. Just be mindful of the sodium levels in the broth. 

Baby food

Baby food is another potential food that can help your puppy's upset stomach. Of course, you should always make sure that the food does not contain any potentially harmful elements or ingredients that you know your pet has a food allergy to. 

Read: These Are The Ingredients You Should Always Avoid In Your Dog Food

No matter which bland food you try, remember to proceed slowly and keep a watchful eye on how it affects your pup.

When should I take my puppy to the vet for vomiting?

According to Pawp veterinarian Dr. Jenna Olsen, “If your puppy is throwing up, contacting your vet is a good idea. There are many things that can cause a puppy to vomit, such as dietary indiscretion (chewing on something they shouldn’t), trying a new food or treat, viral illnesses like parvovirus, high parasite burdens, foreign body obstructions, intussusception, etc.”

She says that while vomiting does not always call for medical intervention, other causes require aggressive treatment, hospitalization, and even surgery.

Dr. Olsen continues, “If they vomit more than two or three times in the span of a few hours, that would be concerning. If your puppy has not finished their vaccine series, parvovirus is a concern, especially if they are lethargic, not eating, or having any diarrhea.” 

Your vet may perform a series of diagnostic tests that include x-rays, ultrasounds, or biopsies. They might push fluids through an IV or use anti-nausea medications.  

Ultimately, It is critical to get your puppy's digestive tract back on track. Keep a log of your dog's symptoms, including the presence of bile or any foreign object they might have consumed. The more information you bring to your vet, the faster your puppy will be able to heal.

PUPPY THROWING UP SOURCES: 

Vomiting pets | WSU 

Vomiting and Diarrhea | Missouri  

How do I switch my pet's food? | Tufts Clinical Nutrition Service at Cummings School  

Food Allergies and Your Pet | NCSU 

People like giving pets pumpkin, but is it good for them? | Tufts  

Boiling it Down: Adding Broth to Your Pet’s Meals | Tufts  

People like giving pets pumpkin, but is it good for them? | Tufts  

Boiling it Down: Adding Broth to Your Pet’s Meals | Tufts  Common Intestinal Parasites In Cats And Dogs | Kansas State University

What May Cause My Pet To Vomit? | WSU 

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