An issue we all face as dog owners from time to time is a poorly pooch. Very frustrating when we know they're sick but don't know why. Dogs vomit for a multitude of reasons, some serious, others nothing to worry about. Figuring that out is very tricky but of course the rule of thumb should be if in any doubt, seek veterinary advice, especially if your dog is elderly, has underlying medical issues or if the tummy upset continues for longer than 24 hours. And speed is of the essence if you suspect your dog has eaten something toxic such as chocolate (especially dark), grapes, macademia nuts, onions, medication, garden fertilizer, rat poison, antifreeze (has a sweet taste to dogs), lilies, daffodil/tulip bulbs among other things.
General Advice if your dog has vomiting &/or diarrhoea:
1. Fast adult dogs for 24 hours. It is not advisable to keep puppies fasting so skip this step for the under 6 month's.
2. Re-introduce easy-to-digest food very slowly. Contrary to popular belief and advice, many holistic experts advise against cooked rice as they believe it is an inflammatory food for dogs so while some vets recommend it, I personally do not give rice to dogs.
3. Feed easily digested proteins such as home made chicken broth, poached turkey or white fish, bone broth (brilliant for gut recovery, click here for a recipe), oats cooked in water).*
4. Lily's Kitchen do a Recovery Recipe Tinned food, very handy to have one or two in the cupboard, you can purchase here. If you're stuck and live close to me, I always keep a few tins in stock.
4. Feed little and often for a day or two to allow the gut to recover.
5. Reintroduce regular food gradually over 3-4 days.
6. Consider giving pre & probiotics (available from your vet) to replenish gut microbiome (healthy bacteria) which can be depleted following gastric issues/antibiotics.
*If you don't have recovery recipe or bone broth to hand, here is a simple chicken broth from the Dogs Naturally website. Really quick, tasty and full of nutrients, its the ideal easy-to-make gentle reintroduction to food:
Hopefully within a day or two your dog will be back to normal but if he suffers from chronic issues it could indicate ongoing inflammation which would be worth discussing with a vet or nutrition specialist.
Aileen Woulfe, Irish expat, lifelong animal lover, Swiss qualified with a diplôme cynologique in breeding, grooming and kennel management and owner of Happy Dogs Aigle boarding and daycare in Vaud, Switzerland.