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Dog Vomiting & Had Diarrhea: Should I Wait or Visit the Vet?


Dear VetBabble,

My dog has vomited twice, had diarrhea yesterday but not today, and has only eaten very little dog food. Should I take her to the vet or wait?

As a concerned pet owner, it can be distressing to see your furry friend experiencing digestive troubles like vomiting and diarrhea. It’s natural to wonder whether it’s best to act immediately or wait to see if their condition improves on its own. In this article, we will discuss some possible causes of such symptoms and offer guidance on how to best handle the situation.

Possible Causes of Vomiting and Diarrhea

There are various reasons your dog might experience vomiting and diarrhea. In some cases, it could be due to a change in their diet, ingestion of spoiled food, or even stress. In other instances, it might be the result of something more serious, like a gastrointestinal infection or parasites.

To help you better understand what might be affecting your dog and when to seek medical help, we recommend reading our articles: Why Does My Dog Have Diarrhea? and Vomiting in Dogs: Causes, Treatment & When to Worry.

When to Visit the Veterinarian

In some cases, your dog’s vomiting and diarrhea may resolve on their own within a day or two. However, if you notice any of the following signs, it’s best to consult with your veterinarian as soon as possible:

  • Severe, persistent or bloody diarrhea
  • Repeated vomiting, especially if there’s blood present
  • Changes in your dog’s behavior, such as lethargy or increased aggression
  • Signs of abdominal pain, such as a hunched posture or growling when touched
  • Dehydration, which can include sunken eyes, dry gums, or decreased skin elasticity
  • Refusal to eat for more than a day

For guidance on determining when your dog’s diarrhea may be more concerning, our article on Diarrhea in Dogs: When to Worry provides helpful information.

My Dog Isn’t Eating – Should I Be Worried?

It’s not uncommon for a dog to eat less or refuse food altogether when they’re feeling unwell. Although a temporary decrease in appetite can be normal, it’s essential to monitor your dog’s eating habits closely.

If your dog refuses to eat for more than a day, or if they’re also showing other signs of illness like vomiting and diarrhea, it’s time to call your veterinarian. There may be an underlying cause, such as an infection or parasites, that needs to be addressed.

For more information on why your dog might not be eating and what to do, check out our article: Why Won’t My Dog Eat?

In summary, while a single instance of vomiting or diarrhea might not warrant immediate concern, it’s crucial to monitor your dog’s symptoms, behavior, and eating habits. If the symptoms persist or worsen, or your dog is displaying signs of pain or dehydration, it’s time to consult with your veterinarian. They will be able to determine the cause of the issue and provide appropriate treatment to get your furry friend back to their happy, healthy selves.

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