Dog Talk University Debuts: Myths About Dog Vomiting

After my last blog on the basics of how and why a dog vomits, I realized there was a need for some shorter informational radio podcasts in which I could impart some basic information about pet health and wellness. I figured it might be easier on the brain (and maybe better retained!) when you hear it instead of having to plow through all the words, sentences, paragraphs, etc. so this week I debuted a new show called Dog Talk University and devoted the first one to the topic of throwing up. Charming, eh?  But hey — it’s really such an important topic because it can be the bellwether for a serious medical condition that may wind up being a whole lot less serious if attended to promptly.

Listen to Dog Talk Univ: What’s Up with Up-Chucking?

There are some basic myths I wanted to “bust” in Dog Talk U. It is untrue that “vomiting is normal in dogs and they throw up all the time.”  Nope! When people make the mistake of shrugging off the fact that their dog threw up and doesn’t seem “quite right,” they are missing a chance to act early on a warning sign of illness.  If your dog vomits and seems lethargic and listless — or if she throws up more than once and is clearly not herself,  pick up the phone and schedule a veterinary visit to figure out the cause. As with any medical malady, the sooner the problem is addressed, the better the outcome is likely to be.

Don’t make the mistake of shrugging off the vomiting with excuses such as, “She eats too fast,”  which is no explanation at all because a dog’s normally functioning stomach can expand just fine whether dinner is inhaled like a vacuum cleaner or nibbled over hours.

Equally misunderstood is a dog’s reaction to eating grass: some people think the reason their dog threw up was because she ate grass, but this is a classic ‘chicken versus egg’ conundrum. Do dogs vomit because they happen to have eaten grass? Or do they eat grass to induce vomiting because they have nausea or gut discomfort and need to empty their stomachs?  As I explain on the podcast, the worst thing you can do once your dog has thrown up is to allow her to eat more grass — which will only further irritate her stomach, cause more vomiting and irritation and compound the problem. If your dog’s stomach is that upset, you need to get her to the vet to have her evaluated and receive medications that will calm down the problem while figuring out the reason for it.

I hope you’ll like this new feature on Dog Talk and will feel free to write me at to suggest other topics of interest to you for my next “lecture” on Dog Talk University.

—Tracie Hotchner

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photo credit: Winniepix Teddy – on the dog shelf via photopin (license)