How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr.Fiona Your Own Question
Dr.Fiona, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 6273
Experience:  16 years experience as a companion animal veterinarian in British Columbia, California and Ontario
Type Your Dog Question Here...
Dr.Fiona is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My dog seems to vomit about once every week to week ...

This answer was rated:

My dog seems to vomit about once every week to week and a half. sometimes it is just like bile, other times it has food in it. We changed her food to see if that would help. so far, not yet. what can we do?


How long has this been going on?

When does she vomit? (Bedtime, mornings etc)

Any change in stools?

Any other symptoms such as licking, scratching, etc?


Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Off and on for a few years, but seems to be more of an issue since we are now living in a rental.
Vomiting has not particular time
no change in stool
Don't really notice the licking or scratching


Based on what you are describing it sounds like she may have either a sensitive stomach or more likely a issue with allergy's.

With allergy's it is a matter or trial and error. The word allergy is enough to scare some people lol..........the fact is it can take weeks or months to pin point the problem and get her settled.

The first step is to put her on bottled water. The second step is to try the allergen free food from science diet. If that does not clear up the issues then we start with a list.

  • What has changed since this started?
  • Are you using new soaps with wash?
  • Are you using any new cleaning agents that you did not use before she got sick?
  • Was their a change in her environment such as a move to a differing climate?
  • Any new foods or snacks?
  • Any new dog shampoos, tooth paste, chew toys, or brushes?
  • Any changes in perfumes or deodorants you or family members may wear?
  • Possible new furniture or bedding items that dog may lay in?

Once you have narrowed down any changes (Even slight ones) try removing that from the picture. Wait a week to make sure that there is no change in her symptoms. Then move on to the next item. If she gets snacks, remove all of them for now to see if that causes a difference. If it does then slowly introduce one back at a time to see if there is a change. If she starts getting sick again you will have narrowed down which snack or food. Do not feed her any table foods or human foods at all. If you have in the past something may have triggered the allergic reaction.

Now for the bad news, if you have checked everything new and the problem persists it may be a new allergy she has developed. Dogs can sometimes use the same thing for years and never have a issue, then get slammed with a allergy from it. Start going though some of her things. Remove old chew toys, bedding, or snacks for week or so to see if this clears it up.

If after everything has been checked if you are still unable to pin point it your vet may be able to run some tests to see if he can narrow it down.

The first step is to get her on a allergy free food first, as this is the single most common cause when allergy's are suspected.


Walter, Breeder
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 11528
Experience: Breeder and pet health consultant. Have spent a number of years with dog rescue, training and health
Walter and other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
We did move outside of town about 8 months ago and in the move we had to put down another dog that we had with her. She does also eat poo sometimes.


The move may have caused some stress as well as the loss of her companion. This could be stress related and something you should address with her vet. If this started around that time then it is something to consider.

As for the stool issue, many dogs have this problem. It is very common, the issue is the stools smell like the food that was digested and thus it smells good to her. You can help stop this by cleaning up the feces immediately or you can start spraying it with bitter apple. This way every time she tries to eat it there will be a nasty taste. Within a few days to weeks she will stop wanting to eat it when she determines it no longer tastes good.


Customer: replied 9 years ago.
What is this bitter apple? where can I find it? She was doing the vomiting before we moved also.


You can get bitter apple in your local bakery section at your grocery store. As for the vomiting, if this was before the move then it is unlikely that stress is causing it. Though it could be contributing. I would go ahead and start with a allergen free food and see if that clears the issue up. More often then not a change to allergen free food clears up issues like this within a few weeks.


Customer: replied 9 years ago.
we changed from store bought gravy train to natural choice for sesitive stomach. we have not gone 100% yet to the natural choice.


The sensitive stomach formula is long has she been on it? If it has been less then 30 days then continue with it and give it time to try and work. If it has been over 30 days then you will want to try the allergen free formula. Sometimes the fillers in regular dog food or sensitive stomach formulas can cause a allergic reaction. By switching to the allergen free formula this will remove the fillers that are more common in allergic reactions.


Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Can going form city water to well water do that as well?


Yes, any change can cause the problem. Though since you said this started before the move it is unlikely this is the cause.


Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Okay I have another question. It has been a few days and I have noticed that she has been doing it at least once a day and it is first thing when I let he out to go to the bathroom. Today after the fact she came in ate a little and drank alot then vomited again 2 times. If this is serious please be honest with me.


Walter and I were talking about your 7 yr old Heeler. I totally agree with everything Walter has mentioned about food sensitivities and allergies!

The other thing that I started to wonder about (when you mentioned that your dog vomits first thing when she goes outside) is whether she might have bilious vomiting syndrome.

Basically, in dogs their stomachs are tiny and their metabolisms are fast. They use up the food in their stomach very quickly, and then their stomach is empty. The stomach contains gastric acid, which is very irritating to the stomach lining, especially when there is no food to soak it up. When the stomach is empty, the acid irritates the stomach so much that the dog starts to feel nauseated. Then, she won't eat. So, the stomach remains empty and irritated. The dog then vomits - and it is stomach acid and bile that comes up!.

So, it becomes a cycle - empty stomach --> nauseated --> vomit --> nauseated and so on.

The way to break the cycle is to get your dog eating many many small meals. Sometimes we have to give dogs with this problem an antacid to help them - common options are cimetidine (Tagamet), famotidine (Pepcid) or ranitidine (Zantac).

Here is more about Tagamet:

More about Pepcid:

And more about Zantac:

Keeping your dog's stomach from getting empty will also help to break this cycle. This is particularly true of a bed-time meal. She needs to have something just before going to sleep in order to prevent her stomach from getting so empty overnight.

Also, it is *really* important that she eats very soon after waking in the morning, even before going out to void. Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day, so that we can get that stomach acid soaked up in some food and prevent the stomach from getting irritated. So, even if you have to resort to giving her half a slice of bread or low-fat crackers, then do that to get her to eat before you send her outside.

So, in summary, it sounds to me that your dog sometimes vomits bile and stomach acid because her stomach gets irritated from being empty for long periods. This is best treated by giving frequent small meals and antacids if needed.

Here's a link:

If getting your dog to eat breakfast is a challenge, you could try canned easy-to-digest foods from your vet (I/D or Gastro are a couple of brands) or pick up some jars of human baby food. Just make very sure the baby food has no onions, onion powder, garlic or garlic powder in it. Beech Nut makes a line of baby food that has nothing but meat (beef, chicken, turkey or veal) in it. Here's a link:

If you cannot find this, you could find another meat baby food - just read the label carefully to be sure there are no onions, onion powder, garlic, or garlic powder in it. YOu could put this as a little gravy on his crunchies.

Sometimes offering the food on your finger for her to lick it off will get her started on eating. Sometimes you have to put a bit in her mouth to get a dog started.

So, your girl may be vomiting the food because of allergies, and vomiting bile because of bilious vomiting syndrome. These are fairly easy to manage with the suggestions that Walt has given, and by feeding multiple small meals (breakfast, dinner, and a bed-time snack for example) and sometimes by giving acid-blockers as mentioned above.

If your dog is not improving with these measures, or is depressed, lethargic or losing weight, then I suggest you have her checked by her veterinarian.

Best wishes!

Fiona, and the team at Just Answer!


Dr.Fiona, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 6273
Experience: 16 years experience as a companion animal veterinarian in British Columbia, California and Ontario
Dr.Fiona and other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Okay, I have tried the time change with feeding. She is eating better but now after she eats, about 3 hours after she has eaten she will vomit a little bit up. Looks like apple sauce.
What brand of Allergy free food do you suggest? Any other suggestions.


What is the protein source in the food she is currently eating? Please can you read the label, and tell me, or find a link on the internet to that food so I can read it over.

Does she vomit several times in a day, or is this just in the night?

Have you tried giving her pepcid or zantac?


Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Food is Natural Choice for Sesitve Stomachs, and has 21% protein. The last 2 days it has been between 10:30 and 2 p.m.   We have tried Pepto Bismol a couple of times.
If i tried anything else what would the does be and how many time a day would it be needed..
I had her taken to a vet Friday and she said the samething that you have said. We even had he poo tested. Everything came back normal.
also what is the normal amount of water that she would need per day.
How much does she weigh?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Last vet visit she was about 39 lbs

So, at 39lbs, then the water needs for a *healthy* dog of that weight would be 1+3/4 to 3+1/2 cups per day. This will be more if she is hot and panting a lot, or if she is losing fluids by vomiting.

If she were my patient, I would probably suggest you try treating her with Zantac. The dose is in this link:

My veterinary license specifically prohibits me from prescribing drugs for a patient that I have not examined, so I am not allowed to tell you the dose... but the information is available if you follow that link!

In terms of the food, it is not the percentage of protein that is important but instead the source of protein (chicken, beef, pork, corn, soy, etc). We can talk more about this issue if you can tell me what the ingredients are in your dog food. :-)

But it is probably best to only change one thing at a time...

so, you may want to try the Zantac before you consider changing the food. That way, if she improves, we know what caused the improvement!

Hope that helps! Fiona

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
The Ingreients are as follws on the bag...
Chicken mael, rice flour, ground rice, rice bran, poultry fat,soybean oil, oatmeal, natural flavors, dried plain beet pulp, sunflower oil, potassium cloride, dried egg product, dried kelp, choline chloride, Vit E Supp., Zinc sulfate,taurine, farrous sulfate, ascorbic acid, biotin, niacin, garlic flavor, manganes oxide, clacium pantothenate,vit. B12 supp., Riboflavin supp., Vit A supp., Glucosamine hydrochloride, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrocloride, chondroitin sulfate, vit. D3 supp., menedione sodium bisulfite complex, calcium iodate, folic acid.

So, the protein in that is chicken. You could try moving your dog to a NEW protein source to see if that helps. There is nothing magical about any one protein - it's just like it is with people, that some dogs cannot tolerate a certain protein. Some people cannot eat nuts due to allergies, and some dogs cannot eat chicken because of a similar type of allergy.

Thus, it is something to consider moving your dog to a new protein - such as lamb, or beef or pork. Read the label carefully to make sure there is no chicken in it!

I would suggest you try the Zantac for a few days, and if that is not working then consider the food change.

Any food change should be done gradually, over 2 weeks or so. Slowly add a bit more of the new food every day until you are over onto it completely!

Hope that helps! Fiona

Dr.Fiona, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 6273
Experience: 16 years experience as a companion animal veterinarian in British Columbia, California and Ontario
Dr.Fiona and other Dog Specialists are ready to help you