*This is a collaborative post.
As well as providing joy and friendship, pet dogs can also be a big source of worry. When you’ve welcomed a dog into home and your heart, you’ve taken on responsibility for another creature’s health and happiness. This means that for all the walks in the countryside, games in the garden, tricks and naps under the sofa, there’s the dog side of lying in bed at night thinking ‘my dog keeps being sick’ and wondering what you’re doing wrong.
Today we’re taking a look at precisely this issue, to help you recognise when your dog might be having a serious health problem, and when you can relax and wait for it to pass!
One thing that often worries pet owners is when their dog eats grass or other plants. Why do they do it? Are they sick? Or does it make dogs sick?
Many people believe dogs eat grass to make themselves sick, so they can cure an upset stomach. Unfortunately, this doesn’t seem to be an accurate explanation: eating grass leads to vomiting less than 25% of the time, and most dogs exhibit no symptoms of illness before they eat grass.
For most dogs it appears to be a harmless habit: they chew on grass because it appears to be tempting and fun to nibble! It also doesn’t do them any harm, so you can relax.
Like humans, some dogs will throw up bile if they have an empty stomach. This isn’t necessarily anything to worry about – though it’s unpleasant for your dog to experience and for you to clean up!
You’ll most often find this in the morning, as your dog has an empty stomach after a night’s rest. If you experience this problem, your first step should be to look at how you feed your dog – giving them a small meal later in the day gives them something to digest at night and could solve the problem!
Paradoxically, one of the most serious symptoms you might see is your dog retching without vomiting.
While it doesn’t result in any clean up, it can be an indicator of several different conditions, which all require a trip to the vet. If your dog appears otherwise healthy and is eating normally, that retch could be a cough, a relatively common health problem for dogs.
If they’re not eating, are drooling and appear dull and lacking in energy that retching could be a sign of a blockage in their throat, or a symptom of bloat, two of the most serious health emergencies your dog could be facing! If you see these signs in your own dog, get on the phone to the vet right away!