Monday, October 24, 2022

Does Your Dog Vomit Frequently?

Revised and Updated 3/29/2024

Is your dog vomiting bile in the morning? First, check with your vet to see if your dog has elevated liver enzymes or acid stomach. What is bile? Bile is a yellowish, foamy substance that is produced by the liver, stored in the gallbladder and released into the intestines to help digest fats and protein. Bile build up in the stomach can be very irritating and painful for your dog.

Last year we adopted an abused husky named Roo. He was only 1 1/2 years old but was an incredibly picky eater. We noticed that he wasn't nearly as picky in the evening as he was in the morning when his acid stomach was hurting the most. We would to try to entice Roo with baked chicken, salmon and steak in the morning and still, he would only take a few bites.

One morning, I heard the most awful sound of what appeared to be loud coughing like someone was choking. We ran in to see what it was and there was Roo gagging and vomiting up bile. He was coughing quite loudly but when he vomited, it was just a yellowish saliva-filled fluid. I knew that he was very uncomfortable and ran to get the only food he would eat in the morning -- goat milk. I poured a small amount of raw goat milk (I use Primal brand because that one seems to work the best for him) and he immediately calmed down. I then hand fed him some frozen food (raw patties) mixed with goat milk along with probiotics and digestive enzymes.

author susan davis and rescued husky roo
Susan Davis And Her Rescued Husky Roo

We realized that the night before, we fed Roo his last meal around 8 pm instead of 11 pm which meant that his stomach was empty for longer. One important way you can help a dog that is vomiting bile in the morning is to feed them lots of frequent meals. Keeping the time inbetween meals to a minimum helps reduce the burning and discomfort associated with acid reflux.

Why do dogs vomit more frequently in the morning? Overnight, acid builds up in the stomach causing the dog to vomit bile. During periods of fasting such as overnight, the absence of food in the stomach means there's nothing to absorb or buffer the stomach acid produced, allowing it to accumulate. Additionally, factors such as stress, anxiety, medications, or underlying medical conditions like gastritis can contribute to an overproduction of gastric acid. In Roo's case, he is such a nervous and anxious dog, it just causes even more build up of stomach acid.

If your dog is vomiting frequently, the first step is to get a diagnoses from your veterinarian. There are a lot of causes of dog vomiting and treatment will depend upon the diagnoses. Usually changing your dog's diet and feeding schedule can help a lot. Be sure to feed your dog a snack before bed and first thing in the morning. Try to feed a few small snacks throughout the day. What you feed your dog can also make a big difference, but this will depend upon the cause of your dog's vomiting. For example, if your dog is vomiting due to food allergies, you would feed a different diet than if your dog is vomiting due to a liver problem.

In our case, Roo showed he had intestinal dysbiosis, an imbalance in his gut microbiome. He had stress-related diarrhea so we added fiber, digestive enzymes and probiotics to his regimen. We always make sure to feed him before bed and have not had another incidence of choking or vomiting bile. We have seen the benefits of holistic treatments for dog acid reflux and as Roo has settled into our home, his stomach issues have greatly improved.

Author: Susan Blake Davis, Pet Nutritionist

Date: 3/29/2024

Originally Published: 10/24/22