Dog throwing up undigested food

5 MOST Common Causes of a Dog Throwing Up Undigested Food

If you’re here, your interested mind is likely asking why my dog throwing up undigested food. 

Whether this incident was a single occurrence or had often been happening, there’s no denying the natural worry for their health. 

We all have gone through similar experiences (maybe?); watching our dog throwing up their undigested food can be highly aggravating – especially when they seem to act normally in other aspects of life. 

Before addressing possible causes, let’s first discuss the distinction between regurgitation and vomiting.

Vomiting (or emesis) and regurgitation are often synonymous terms; however, they describe two distinct conditions. 

Vomiting (specifically dog vomit) is the abrupt ejection of stomach contents from a dog’s mouth due to retching or heaving. This can be caused by an array of things, such as eating something toxic or having indigestion.

In contrast, regurgitation is an effortless spitting up of undigested food that has yet to be fully digested. This typically occurs your dog seats and does not involve the same pain or distress as vomiting.

Now that we’ve clarified this let’s explore some of the typical reasons why a dog may vomit undigested food. 

In this article, I’ll go through what we believe to be the five most common reasons dogs throw up undigested food.


Cause #1: Diet-related issues

Let’s discuss the potential reasons why a dog throwing up undigested food might occur.

Your dog could be eating an excessive amount or too quickly…

If so, this may lead to the disgorging of their meals. Moreover, if you have recently made adjustments to their food, it can stir up stomach distress and result in regurgitation of what your dog ate. 

For adult dogs (and puppies), you must switch food gradually when transitioning them into a new diet over seven days, giving them enough time to adjust digestion levels optimally.

Conversely, a dog throwing up undigested food hours after ingestion could be linked to an underlying medical issue. 

IBD and pancreatitis are two of the most frequent culprits behind this type of symptom. 

In some instances, inflammation in the intestines can disrupt the digestive system and lead to symptoms like diarrhea or stomach upset, much like pancreatitis, which can cause digestive enzymes to escape from their source organ leading to irritation and destruction of other organs.

Cause #2: Food allergies or sensitivities

Let’s discuss potential food allergies and sensitivities that might cause a dog to vomit undigested food. 

Like us, canines may be sensitive to specific ingredients in their diet, which could result in symptoms such as your dog regurgitating and vomiting.

Some common allergens that can affect dogs include:

  • Wheat
  • Corn
  • Soy
  • Dairy
  • Chicken
  • Beef

If you suspect your pup has a food allergy, it’s essential to determine the precise allergen. 

To do so, consider attempting an exclusion diet where specific ingredients are taken out of their meals and then gradually reintroduced to recognize which ones cause reactions. 

This can help identify precisely what is causing the allergies.

Not to be mistaken with food allergies, it’s essential to note that food sensitivities can also lead to regurgitation and vomiting in our pups. 

However, these reactions are usually much less severe than those associated with allergies, as they typically create digestive issues rather than more severe symptoms. 

If you’re unsure what your dog is allergic to or sensitive to, an elimination diet may give you the answer!

Cause #3: Foreign bodies

Does your pup have a penchant for snacking on suspicious items? 

It’s not odd to find foreign objects in a dog’s stomach, which can cause them to vomit their undigested food. 

Foreign bodies vary from small toys or bones up to twigs and stones. 

If your pup is inclined to gorge himself on unedible things, they may be more susceptible to this problem.

It’s essential to be vigilant if you suspect that your pup has swallowed a foreign object. 

Monitor them closely and look for any concerning signs, such as vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, or abdominal pain. 

Typically, the body can expel small items naturally; however, it’s critical to act quickly if the item appears too large or sharp-edged, as it can cause serious harm to the digestive system.

If left unchecked, a foreign object that’s been ingested by your pup can result in dire consequences – even fatalities. 

Pay attention to any changes in behavior or diet and consult your veterinarian promptly if you suspect something may have been swallowed. Don’t wait for the situation to worsen; early detection could be life-saving!

Cause #4: Medical conditions

Undigested food coming back up could indicate a medical condition – and many of these have regurgitation or vomiting as telltale signs. 

Some common medical conditions that can cause vomiting and regurgitation in dogs include:

  • Gastroenteritis: Gastroenteritis is an irritating inflammation of the stomach and small intestines caused by many things, such as infections, parasites, or dietary issues. Its primary symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, appetite loss, and abdominal cramps.
  • Bloat: Bloat, or gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV), is a critical condition that can be fatal if not addressed immediately. Vomiting, restlessness, and an enlarged stomach are some signs to watch out for in your pet. Kidney disease usually causes vomiting, lack of appetite, and other symptoms in dogs; hence it must be diagnosed promptly.
  • Liver disease: Dogs suffering from liver disease may experience a wide range of symptoms, such as vomiting, reduced appetite, and jaundice (the discoloration of their skin and the whites of their eyes).

If you think your pup may be under the weather, it is critical to seek veterinary consultation. Your vet can diagnose the issue and suggest treatment options to help manage and relieve their condition.

Cause #5: Medications or supplements

Concerned about any potential side effects of your pup’s medications or supplements? 

If so, it is not uncommon for dogs to vomit undigested food. It is, therefore, important to adhere strictly to the suggested dosage and application instructions to avoid unwanted reactions. 

Recognizing drug interactions that can arise if your canine companion takes drugs or nutritional supplements is imperative. These reactions may cause numerous complications, such as vomiting and regurgitation. 

It would be beneficial to consult with a dependable medical specialist for advice about whether a medication or dietary supplement will not place your pup in harm’s way. 

Frequently Asked Questions:

Why is my dog throwing up undigested food after eating?

When it comes to this type of issue, there are many potential causes. Dietary problems, food allergies or sensitivities, foreign bodies in the body, medical conditions, and medications or supplements may all be factors. For best results – and peace of mind – consult a veterinarian as soon as possible to identify the exact cause and put together a treatment plan.

What can I do to prevent my dog from vomiting partially digested food?

To avert your pup from vomiting undigested food, medical conditions should be diagnosed and treated, diet modified, certain medicines or supplements avoided, and foreign objects kept away. It’s wise to seek advice from a veterinarian for personalized suggestions on preventing this issue.

Could my dog’s motion sickness be causing them to vomit undigested food?

Your pup could be vomiting undigested food due to motion sickness. Motion sickness isn’t exclusive to humans; it can affect dogs too when traveling by car, plane, or boat – resulting in nausea and digestive issues. If you believe this is the root of their problem, consulting a vet would be wise for advice on how best to manage the situation.

Is it normal for my dog to vomit undigested food if they eat too quickly?

If your pup eats its meal too quickly, they are likely to vomit food that has not been adequately digested. This can cause indigestion and throw off the balance of the digestive system. To avoid this issue, try using a slow-feeder bowl or dividing meals into smaller portions throughout an extended period. Doing so will aid digestion while diminishing potential vomiting due to undigested foods.

Could my dog’s frequent vomiting of undigested food signify intestinal parasites?

If your pup is displaying symptoms like frequent vomiting or diarrhea, weight loss, and a decrease in appetite, it’s possible that he could be dealing with intestinal parasites. To ensure the best health for your canine companion, seek veterinarian guidance immediately to confirm a diagnosis and provide the appropriate deworming medication if necessary. Your vet may also suggest preventive measures you can take at home to help reduce the risk of future parasite attacks.


When your dog regurgitates undigested food, pinpointing the cause is essential for successful treatment and future prevention. 

The five most likely culprits are diet-related problems, allergies or sensitivities to certain foods, foreign objects in their stomachs, medical conditions, or medications/supplements being taken. 

With an accurate diagnosis established, you can begin treating this issue from its source so that history doesn’t repeat itself!

You should talk with a vet if you’re uncertain why your dog regurgitates. They can accurately diagnose the issue and suggest treatments that address the condition and its symptoms. When we work together – you, your dog, and their veterinarian – we ensure that your furry friend stays healthy for many happy years ahead!