3 min read


Can Dogs Vomit From Stress?



3 min read


Can Dogs Vomit From Stress?


Stress is something we all deal with from time to time, but did you know your dog can feel the effects, too? Yes, stress is a very real problem that many dogs face on a daily basis. This stress can manifest in numerous ways, including vomiting. In order to help your dog feel at ease and free of stress, it's important you know what some of the top signs of a stressed-out dog are.


Signs of a Stressed Dog

As a pet owner, chances are you know your dog pretty well and may even feel like you have some sort of special connection with them. You can likely sense when they are hungry, want to go on a walk, are in cuddle mode, or even when they are stressed out. 

Dogs will display numerous behaviors that indicate he or she is suffering from unhealthy stress levels, including vomiting. While they may not be able to communicate with you in the traditional sense, they show their stress in other ways that should raise a red flag. If you've noticed changes in their behavior, there's a good chance they are dealing with some stress or anxiety. 

Just like people, every dog is different and their behaviors will vary based on breed and personality. Vomiting is a clear sign that something just isn't right, whether they ate something that didn't agree with them or they are stressed out by their environment. Furthermore, stressful situations can lead to a wide range of health problems in your furry friend, which is why it's important to get to the bottom of their stress and/or vomiting right away. 

Body Language

Here are some signs you might notice when your dog is stressed out:

  • Shaking
  • Cowering
  • Panting
  • Scratching
  • Pacing

Other Signs

These are other signs you may notice if your dog is stressed out:

  • Vomiting
  • Yawning
  • Destructive Behaviors
  • Avoiding Other Dogs Or People
  • Loss Of Appetite
  • Excessive Shedding
  • Excessive Licking, Of The Mouth Especially

History of Dogs Vomiting from Stress


It's safe to say dogs have been vomiting because of stress for as long as we can remember, although tracing the actual first case of this is close to impossible. Dogs vomit for a host of reasons, but it's mainly to expel harmful substances, including toxins and foreign objects (hello, squeaky toy). Many dogs also vomit when they are stressed out, as the muscles tense and the body reacts to these feelings of discomfort. 

You don't have to be an expert dog trainer to understand why a dog may vomit in a stressful situation. Just like humans, sometimes our body reacts in ways that are beyond our control, but that indicates something just isn't right. Experts note that there are numerous canine stressors that may lead to vomiting, from a visit to the vet, riding in the car, being left home alone, attending obedience training lessons, being around other dogs, meeting new people, moving to a new house, or even when they see their leash. 

Science Behind Dogs Vomiting Because of Stress


Dogs vomit when the stomach is trying to expel harmful substances, such as foreign objects or toxins. Maybe Fido got into the trash and something didn't agree with him, or he may have a food allergy. If a dog is projectile vomiting, it may mean there is a foreign object stuck inside his body that he is trying to get out. Chronic vomiting could also be a sign of illness or another health condition beyond stress. If this is the case, it is imperative you bring your pooch into the vet for a check-up. 

Stress can be emotional, physical, or social, so it's important to take note of your dog's behavioral patterns and see if you can get to the root of what is causing the vomiting, and in turn, stress. 

Training Your Dog Not to Be Stressed Out


The first step in helping your dog reduce stress is recognizing something is unsettling to them. Once you have figured out what their stressors are, you can work to ease their anxiety and make them more comfortable. The key to helping your dog feel better and free of stress is balance. While major life changes - such as a move, new baby, or second dog - will undoubtedly be stressful, it's important you have the tools to help your pup stay happy and healthy.

A few ways you can make your dog's life as stress-free as possible include making an effort to prevent stressful situations (learn what triggers your dog's stress), stick to a routine, exercise them as often as possible, spend time together, set house rules, and feed them a nutritious, well-balanced diet. Once you've figured out what is causing your dog to vomit from stress, you will be able to work with them to do away with this behavior and help them feel at ease. 

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Safety Tips for When Your Dog is Vomiting Because of Stress

  1. Don't offer your dog anything to drink or eat for at least an hour
  2. Don't alter your dog's diet
  3. Contact your vet if the vomiting persists
  4. Keep a close eye on them

By a Chihuahua lover Allie Wall

Published: 01/25/2018, edited: 04/06/2020

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