If you landed on this page, it's likely because you’ve had to clean up a disgusting pile of dog vomit…sorry about that.
Now I’d like to say that things get easier as they grow older, or that they’ll grow out of it. But truth be told - this type of thing happens now and then, no matter the age, gender, or dog breed.
It’s part of being a pet parent. Dogs are quite messy, and cleaning up after your pup is just part of the experience.
There are a few reasons why your dog could be vomiting after drinking water, some more serious than others.
So let’s have a closer look at some of the most common reasons why dogs throw up after drinking water and give you a few possible solutions that could prevent it from happening again.
Reason #1 Too Much Water, Too Quickly
The first reason why your dog might have thrown up after drinking water is probably because it drank way too much, too quickly.
It’s likely that you’ve just returned from a jog or a run with your pup and your dog is exhausted. Between all the panting and slobbering, your dog just needed to sit down, cool off, and drink some ice-cold water.
But you’ve seen how dogs eat.
They gulp their food down as fast as they can - you’d swear there’s a time limit on how long the doggy pallets will be available… And that almost always goes for their water-drinking etiquette. They drink like they’ll never taste water again.
Too much water, too quickly, can lead to a condition known as water intoxication or, more formally, hyponatremia.
When a dog drinks water too quickly, especially after vigorous exercise or play, the body may not have enough time to properly regulate water intake and excretion. In these cases, it’s a natural reflex that causes your dog to vomit the excess water.
No need to be alarmed if this is the case with your pup. Just keep an eye on them to make sure that it doesn’t continue - which would be a sign that it’s something else.
Reason #2 It Was Bad Water
Stagnant water is often a breeding ground for parasites and larvae of all sorts.
And while wild animals have strong immune systems and, hence, strong stomachs, selective breeding has taken much of the wild out of our domesticated family dogs. Chances are that your family pet is more used to roasted chicken and purified water than water from a natural source and the bounty from a successful hunt.
So if they get into bad water while out for a run or walk in the forest, they might need to throw up to get rid of the impurities that their tender stomachs aren’t used to.
If this is the case with your dog, you again need to keep a close eye to ensure the vomiting doesn’t last longer than simply getting rid of the contaminated water. If it continues and you notice undigested food in their vomit after a few hours, you need to speak to a vet immediately and take your pup for prompt treatment.
You should also avoid giving your dog fresh water during this time. It will only prolong the illness and prevent your dog from expelling all the bad water before allowing it to drink again.
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Reason #3 It’s Not The Water - It’s Their Food
A third reason why your dog could be vomiting water is simply that they have an upset stomach.
The vomiting might not have anything to do with the water they just consumed. It could be the last thing they ate that doesn’t sit well with them, and drinking water has just brought them to the point of vomiting.
If your dog has an upset stomach, it might also eat grass to relieve the pain and induce throwing up. Food sensitivity vomiting often happens when pet owners feed their dog table scraps.
Human food, although generally safe to consume, is rich in fat and often well seasoned with spices that your dog isn’t used to. To avoid food sensitivities, stick to food specially formulated for canines.
An upset stomach can also be quite serious.
If human food isn’t the problem, your dog could have eaten contaminated dog food filled with harmful bacteria that could lead to more serious health problems. So if your dog starts vomiting food, seek veterinary attention as soon as possible.
Reason #4 Your Dog Has Parasites
Dogs will always have parasites. Some are serious, others not so much.
These parasites are the reason why puppies need to be dewormed at about three weeks old. It’s simply a way to eliminate harmful parasites that will make your dog sick and cause some health conditions down the line.
If parasites cause your dog to vomit after drinking water, you’ll also pick it up in your dog’s stool. So keep an eye on any abnormal changes - discoloration or even a nasty smell could be a clear sign that your dog has worms.
A quick trip to the vet would be enough to confirm whether or not its parasites cause your dog to vomit after drinking water.
Reason #5 A Medical Emergency
A medical emergency could mean a whole variety of things.
Firstly, your dog could have a twisted stomach. This is a medical condition that affects many different breeds, from Basset hounds to German shepherds and many other mid-sized breeds.
This condition is often called bloat, and it could have fatal consequences. The key sign that your dog has bloat is a visibly distended abdomen, although it's important to note that not all bloating is indicative of this condition.
Watch for unproductive vomiting, where your dog attempts to vomit without bringing anything up. Other symptoms to look out for include restlessness, pacing, or an inability to get comfortable. Excessive drooling, pale gums, rapid breathing, and weakness or collapse indicate a potential twisted stomach.
If you notice any of these signs, it is essential to seek immediate veterinary attention, as this condition is a serious and potentially life-threatening emergency.
Another serious cause for throwing up could be kidney failure. While vomiting after drinking water alone isn’t a defining indicator that your dog has a serious kidney disease, it is a warning sign that there might be another underlying health issue.
If the water that your dog is throwing up has a yellow or green tinge, it's a telltale sign that their digestive tract isn't working at its best.
The yellowish color comes from bile, the substance that breaks down food in the small intestine, and while it's not ideal for a dog to vomit bile, it happens regularly in dogs with naturally sensitive stomachs.
Reason #6 They Digested Some Blue Green Algae
Exposure to blue-green algae, which can produce harmful toxins, can lead to vomiting in dogs.
Blue-green algae, technically known as cyanobacteria, can be found in bodies of water such as ponds, lakes, and rivers. Some species of blue-green algae produce toxins called cyanotoxins, which can be harmful to both humans and animals.
If a dog ingests water contaminated with these toxins, it can lead to various symptoms, including vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, difficulty breathing, and even seizures. In severe cases, ingestion of cyanotoxins can be fatal.
If you suspect your dog has been exposed to blue-green algae or is showing symptoms of toxicity, you need to seek immediate veterinary attention.
Additionally, avoid allowing your dog to drink from or swim in water bodies that show signs of blue-green algae blooms, as prevention is key to avoiding the associated risks.
Should You Worry About Your Dog Throwing Up?
As noted, there are many reasons why your dog might be throwing up after drinking water.
And while it might not be a cause for immediate concern, it simply means that dog owners need to be vigilant about their dog's well-being and overall health.
As bad as it sounds, a once-off vomit session now and then, isn’t anything to be alarmed about, it’s more chronic vomiting that would need medical attention.
What To Do If You Notice Your Dog Vomiting
Make sure that your dog's water bowls at home are always filled with fresh drinking water.
Water that is clean and free from parasites and bacteria is probably the first line of defense between you and a clean-up session a few times each day. This would mean that their bowls are sheltered from rainwater that will just flood their bowls with harmful bacteria and whatever else gets washed off of whatever surface it drops off of.
Another practical step would be to help your dog to drink slower. Simply placing an object like a large rock in your dog’s bowl will force it to drink slowly as it works its way around the object.
In conclusion, if you notice your dog throwing up after drinking water, take a moment to examine factors such as the cleanliness of their water bowl and the possibility of an upset stomach.
Understanding the reasons behind your vomiting dog can help you address issues like excessive water intake or a possible change in diet. Any responsible dog owner would prioritize the well-being of his family pets by maintaining clean water bowls and monitoring any signs of discomfort or vomiting.
If it’s a matter of excessive water consumption, you can also simply limit how much water you give your dog in one sitting. Only fill their drinking bowl a little bit at a time. This is true even when you’re out on a walk or a run.
Your dog will need water to cool off from the midday heat while you’re out and about, so rather than allowing it to drink from stagnant pools of water containing who knows what, bring with you a small water bottle (and portable bowl) from which your dog can drink.
This way, you know your dog’s water is clean and healthy.