If my dog is vomiting isn’t he dehydrated and doesn’t he need to drink more?
Depending on the age of your dog, vomiting can be a very serious. If it’s a young puppy who has not had all it is vaccines it could even indicate infection with parvovirus-which could be fatal if untreated. The dehydration from vomiting makes any age dog at risk of getting more and more sick.
You are correct in that continued vomiting leads to dehydration. However, remember the last time you had the stomach flu – every time you drank water it made you vomit again? And because the vomiting was so horrible you finally quit putting water in your mouth so that you would quit vomiting? Remember that?
Now think about it for our dogs. If your dog is vomiting, every time you give him more water which makes him vomit again, he gets more and more sick.
If your dog vomits even after you take away the water, there’s no doubt that this is a medical emergency.
Dehydration from continual vomiting definitely makes them sick. The way to rehydrate a vomiting dog is not to give water by mouth: the correct way to do it is to give fluids either in the vein or under the skin.
So, when your dog vomits, the thing to do is take away all the food and water for 24 hours. If there is no vomiting in the first 24 hours then you can slowly add water in for the next 24 hours. If that goes well then you can return your dog back to food. If at any point your dog continues to vomit it’s a medical emergency and he needs to be seen by a veterinarian. Giving more water to the vomiting dog can make the dehydration worse and can make the dog’s chance of survival less likely, especially if it is a young puppy with parvovirus.
As parents, regardless of what species we are parenting, we can best take care of those in our care if we know what the proper treatment is for the proper condition. Vomiting dogs have food and water taken away for 24 hours and are to be taken to the veterinarian if the vomiting continues.
Dr. Cathy Alinovi DVM
As a practicing veterinarian, Dr. Cathy treated 80% of what walked in the door — not with expensive prescriptions — but with adequate nutrition. Now retired from private practice, her commitment to pets hasn’t waned and she looks forward to impacting many more pet parents through her books, research, speaking and consulting work. Learn more at drcathyvet.com