Throwing Up in the Morning in Dogs

Written By hannah hollinger
Published: 06/27/2017Updated: 10/28/2021
Veterinary reviewed by Michele K.
Why is my dog throwing up in the morning?

What is Throwing Up in the Morning?

It is not normal behavior for your dog to be throwing up in the morning. You need to have your dog thoroughly checked by a veterinarian to determine the cause of your dog’s morning sickness. Most likely your dog is throwing up bile, which is a yellowish liquid, early in the morning or even sometime in the middle of the night. This occurs because their stomach is empty and has been for some time. This is referred to as reflux gastritis. Another possible cause for unaltered female dogs is pregnancy. If your dog is pregnant, the morning sickness will stop once she delivers her puppies.

If you notice your dog is throwing up most mornings, you need to make an appointment with your veterinarian. Your dog may just need to be fed smaller meals more often to alleviate stomach upset or it may be a more serious condition that requires veterinary care. 

Possible causes of your dog throwing up in the morning include:

  • Reflux gastritis
  • Pregnancy
  • Pancreatitis
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Colitis

Why Throwing Up in the Morning Occurs in Dogs

Reflux Gastritis 

While reflux gastritis sounds horrible, it occurs when your dog’s stomach is no longer able to tolerate a large buildup of the acid that in the stomach that occurs when they rest for long periods of time, such as at night. Most dogs go to bed with an empty stomach so there is no food within the stomach to act as a buffer for the acid. Giving your dog a small snack before bed can help alleviate reflux gastritis and stop them from throwing up in the morning.


Just like with humans, dogs can experience morning sickness when they are pregnant. The morning sickness should go away once she whelps.


Pancreatitis is when there is inflammation in the pancreas. It can cause your dog to throw up bile in the mornings. You may notice your dog is lethargic, weak and has a decreased appetite, and this is a serious condition requiring medical care.  Your veterinarian can run diagnostic tests to help determine if your dog is indeed suffering from pancreatitis. 

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Also known as IBD, inflammatory bowel disease can cause your dog to throw up in the morning. IBD develops for a number of different reasons. Your dog may suffer from gastric immobility and that may cause IBD to occur. When your dog first wakes up and becomes active, they may vomit anything that is in their stomach. Your veterinarian can suggest diet change and possible medications and dietary supplements. 


Colitis will impede your dog’s ability to normally process food and this causes gastric distress. Parts of your dog’s bowel system will become inflamed and cause regular diarrhea, flatulence and vomiting. Your veterinarian can recommend diet changes and possible medications to alleviate colitis.

What to do if your Dog is Throwing Up in the Morning

Be sure to have your dog thoroughly checked by your veterinarian when you notice that they are consistently throwing up in the morning. Once your veterinarian has examined your dog, they will probably order diagnostic tests to determine the exact cause of your dog’s vomiting. Medications may be prescribed to alleviate the symptoms of your dog’s symptoms. Be sure to give all medications as prescribed to avoid overdosing your dog. 

Ask your veterinarian about changing your dog’s diet and adding a dietary supplement. In some instances changing the amount of food given or the number of times per day that you feed your dog will help alleviate the throwing up in the morning.

Prevention of Throwing Up in the Morning

Preventing your dog from becoming afflicted with reflux gastritis can be relatively simple. Do not feed your dog one large meal per day; instead, feed them several small meals throughout the day. Your dog’s final meal for the day can be a small snack right before they go to bed. 

Never feed your dog table scraps, this can cause stomach upset. Table scraps can cause pancreatitis in dogs. Do not give your dog excessive treats that can cause your dog to experience stomach upset.

Vomiting can be expensive to treat. If you suspect your dog is vomiting or is at risk, start searching for pet insurance today. Brought to you by Pet Insurer, Wag! Wellness lets pet parents compare insurance plans from leading companies like PetPlan and Trupanion. Find the “pawfect” plan for your pet in just a few clicks!

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Cost of Throwing Up in the Morning

The cost of treatment will largely depend on the diagnosis that is given for your dog. If your dog has been diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease treatments can cost between $300 and $6000. Pancreatitis in dogs can be treated for $800 to $6000. Treatment costs for colitis can range from $300 to $2000. Curious about which health plan is right for your dog? Head over to Forbes' breakdown of pet insurance.

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Throwing Up in the Morning Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals


Chesapeake Bay Retriever



Five Years


15 found this helpful


15 found this helpful

My pet has the following symptoms:
My dog has thrown up three mornings in a row at 4 am. It’s processed food from the night before

Jan. 2, 2021

Answered by Dr. Linda S. MVB MRCVS

15 Recommendations

There are many reasons this could happen. It shows his gut isn't digesting the food as it should as we should rule pout a gut obstruction. A vet check is best and they will examine him and may do some imaging such as an abdominal xray or scan.

Jan. 2, 2021

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Ten Years


25 found this helpful


25 found this helpful

My pet has the following symptoms:
Yesterday and today she has vomited once in the morning. Yesterday it was all clear and I figured it was because she drank her water too fast (she had just guzzled). This morning there was food in the vomit as well. Still acting and eating/drinking normally. She still seems to have energy and is going to the restroom normally. No blood in the vomit and she hasn't gotten into anything to my knowledge.

Oct. 2, 2020

Answered by Dr. Sara O. DVM

25 Recommendations

Hello so sorry to hear about your dog. Some dogs will eat their food very fast or drink water very fast and cause them to vomit. Try to get her to slow down when she eats. She may also have an upset stomach, it this continues, try a bland diet of chicken and rice to see if that settles her stomach. Good Luck.

Oct. 3, 2020

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