Although seeing your dog throwing up water is shocking for most owners, don’t hastily make assumptions yet!
Due to vomiting being a defensive mechanism, your dog is either effectively fixing a minor issue or suffering from a more serious illness. Let’s find out the reasons why a dog would throw up after drinking water.
Regurgitating vs. Throwing Up
Regurgitating and throwing up are not the same. To evaluate how serious the issue is, we first need to recognize whether we’re dealing with regurgitation or vomit.
When a dog regurgitates, the fluid comes out of them without much effort.
This means a gag reflex has been triggered by drinking water, which is rarely a concerning sign. However, dehydration is a threat to your dog’s health, so don’t neglect this habit.
Throwing Up Water
Now, this is a serious matter. Throwing up means your dog is making a great effort in expelling liquids because your dog can’t possibly digest them.
Unfortunately for our beloved pets, there are many reasons for vomiting fluids; most of them are the consequence of an underlying problem. If untreated, other symptoms related to specific illnesses will develop over time.
Why Would a Dog Regurgitate After Drinking Water?
There are many reasons as to why this happens, ranging from mild annoyance to severe sickness.
Just like humans, pets that have an upset stomach are not keen on the idea of drinking water or eating. When they undergo a stomachache, dogs tend to reject liquids or food because they have nausea and don’t want to ingest anything.
Don’t worry: this won’t last for many hours.
Fast Water Consumption
Dogs, and especially puppies, burp or regurgitate water when they drink too fast.
When pets eat or drink too quickly, they swallow down extra air that ends up in the diaphragm. The diaphragm then gets irritated due to the sudden intake of air and spasms reflexively, which makes your dog regurgitate.
There are many bowls, be it for water or food, that help reduce this bad habit.
After an exercise session, dogs typically can’t drink or eat right after.
Since our pets need time to rest after physical activity, their stomachs may reject anything they try to digest. Just let your dog rest for a while to avoid it ever happening again.
Dogs tend to smell and eat anything that gets them curious, but their curiosity might get the best of them.
A stuck foreign object produces a blockage in a dog’s digestive tracts, which makes drinking significantly harder. A blockage will always end up increasing the odds of regurgitating any food or liquid.
If the foreign body persists for hours, you should try to take it out from your dog or call a vet.
Why Does My Dog Throw Up After Drinking Water?
Many would agree that tainted water is the main culprit, but that’s not the case.
Despite the variety of reasons, all of them have one thing in common: stomach fluids will appear in your dog’s vomit. Depending on the case, bile, stomach acids, and even stomach mucus may appear.
Here’s a breakdown of the most probable reasons:
It may sound farfetched, but dehydration can prevent your dog from drinking water.
Dehydration affects how the digestive system functions. Thus, the small intestine will try absorbing as much water as possible, even if it’s not potable water. As a consequence, water will be digested with waste on it and worsen your pet’s condition and make them throw up water.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give your dog water. Try to make them drink small zips of water in the meantime.
Acid & Bile Reflux
On one hand, acid reflux is a common occurrence in both humans and dogs. It’s not that worrying unless it happens too often.
Sometimes, your esophagus relaxes at the wrong time, making stomach acids go up to your throat. Once in a while, this will produce a lot of gastric acids ascending through your esophagus and making your dog vomit. This is a natural incident.
Fortunately, since this is a mild condition, you can use medicine to treat it. For instance, provided you know how much Pepto to give a dog, you can administer it to your pet.
However, acid reflux can also be triggered by an irritated stomach unable to digest food properly. Reasons are many: spicy food, stress, anxiety, dehydration, heartburn, and a blockage in the digestive system.
On the other hand, bile reflux is less frequent and more alarming, but easily identifiable.
First off, bile is a liquid created on the liver that helps the small intestine digest fat. If the valve that connects the stomach with the small intestine is obstructed or irritated, the bile can’t go down. Your dog will have to throw it up, which gives its vomit a yellow color.
Bile reflux won’t go away on its own: medications and even surgery might be in place. Your dog may be suffering from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), too. Always check the appearance of your pets’ vomit.
Despite their awful reputation, intestinal parasites are more frequent than you might think. Most species don’t affect their host at all.
The most common of all is the cestode, also known as tapeworm, and is, in most cases, harmless. Nevertheless, if you found cestodes in your dog’s vomit, you might want to get rid of them. There’s a slight chance of a tapeworm sickening your pet.
Other worms, such as the nematodes whipworm (trichuris) and roundworm (toxocara), do irritate your dog’s stomach. These worms produce a number on their digestive tract, making your pet prone to vomits, bloody diarrhea, anemia, and weight loss.
Finally, this is the most dangerous intestinal parasite out there: the ancylostoma, or hookworm. This worm bites its host stomach and feeds from its blood, producing massive blood loss and stomach irritation.
This is a very dangerous worm that will give your dog progressive anemia, dehydration, bloody diarrhea, bloody vomit, and hemorrhage. It’s rare, but hookworms can be lethal.
Fortunately, dealing with parasites is not that hard to do. Medical treatment is fairly accessible, and there are well-known antiparasitic plants.
Water intoxication, also known as hyponatremia or overhydration, is a very severe condition that may be fatal, but very uncommon.
Water is very important to dogs: they can’t drink less or more than they should. In this case, if they drink too much water, the sodium levels of their blood will lower considerably. Since sodium controls the water level on cells, your pet will start to swell.
Due to the blood flow being uncontrollable, dogs usually are nauseous, lethargic, weak, staggering, and salivating excessively. However, if the cells of their brain swell, then they can experience heavy panting, seizures, or even a coma.
What Can I Do?
There are some things you can try out according to the situation. Regardless, there’s one thing you should always apply: let your dog rest. Throwing up, or even regurgitating, puts a lot of strain on them.
Your best bet against parasites is crushed pumpkin seeds and one garlic clove. These are natural ingredients you can add to your dog’s meal that will eliminate the worms inside their stomach. However, it’s not guaranteed to wipe them out.
If these don’t work, then you’ll have to make do with prescribed medicine, most probably antibiotics.
Making your dog fast for at least a day is a must in these cases.
Your dog currently has a delicate stomach that cannot digest properly. Giving them food and then making them drink will only wind up in your pet throwing up food right after drinking water.
If resting, fasting, and antiparasitic measures didn’t heal your dog, then you need to seek medical help. Even if you suspect it’s a minor issue, let the professionals handle your pet’s health: they know what they’re doing.