Although you might be used to their daily behaviors and social cues, your pooch might surprise you with an activity that is not common for them. For example, sometimes dogs will throw up undigested food, though this shouldn’t occur regularly.
So, why would your dog throw up undigested food at all? There are several different reasons that this can happen. Some are no big deal, while others can be serious. Let’s take a look at nine possible reasons for this behavior.
The 9 Reasons Why Your Dog Is Throwing Up Undigested Food
1. Your Dog Ate Too Much or Too Fast
Some dogs have a tendency to gorge on their food as if they were participating in a race. Other dogs will eat everything you put on their plate without stopping when they are full. Rapid expansion and overload of the stomach can both cause a dog to throw up undigested food.
Megaesophagus is a condition where the dog’s esophagus tube (the one that connects the mouth to the stomach) becomes enlarged and loses its ability to move the food down to the stomach. This condition can cause your pooch to regurgitate undigested food because the food never actually makes it to the stomach. Regurgitation is different from vomiting: there is no gagging or retching, and the food is simply released back out from the esophagus.
3. Foreign Object
Some dogs just love to chew on things, and if they ingest an object or toy, this foreign object in their stomach will cause them to vomit undigested or partially digested food.
4. Gastritis or Stomach Inflammation
Gastritis is an inflammation of the stomach lining. It can be infectious and caused by bacteria or parasites, but it can also be a result of a foreign object irritating the stomach. You might see some mucus or blood vomited with undigested or partially digested food
5. Digestion Problems
Sometimes, dogs can have digestion problems. They are not particularly discriminating when it comes to what they’re willing to put in their mouths and swallow. If your dog eats something that does not agree with them, it could quickly come back up before it gets digested. Anything from a whole carrot to too much grass can cause digestion problems that lead to throwing up undigested food.
6. Food Sensitivities
Dogs can develop sensitivities to certain ingredients in their food. Many owners are surprised to find out that the food they have been feeding for such a long time is now causing issues for their dogs. Sensitivities can also result in throwing up undigested food. All it takes is for your dog’s body to disagree with what’s in the stomach to create a vomiting scenario.
7. Stress or Anxiety
When a dog feels stressed out or anxious for some reason, their digestive system starts to make it tough for them to digest food, at least temporarily. Stress and anxiety can develop for various reasons, including moving to a new home, meeting strange people in new places, facing a perceived threat, and dealing with children or other animals that they are not comfortable being around. Stress and anxiety can also lead to gastritis, the medical term is stress-induced gastritis.
8. Motion Sickness
Many dogs enjoy going on car rides, but unfortunately, the rides do not always agree with them. All dogs are susceptible to motion sickness, though it seems to affect some dogs much more than others. If you notice that your pooch tends to throw up their food when giving them a snack soon after a car ride, it is probably due to motion sickness.
9. A Blockage
If your dog eats something that is not food and cannot be digested, like a sock, a stick, a small toy, or plastic garbage, it could create a blockage in their intestinal system that does not allow food to pass through. If this happens, your dog will likely feel the need to vomit up anything that they try to eat unless it’s a small snack.
There are many reasons that your pooch may throw up undigested food, so it’s important to consider the circumstances and look for clues as to why it’s happening before you jump to any conclusions. If you’re in doubt, do not hesitate to reach out to your veterinarian for advice.
Featured Image Credit: Yekatseryna Netuk, Shutterstock