Black dog with tongue out

Help, my dog eats grass and vomits. Is that normal?

Many dogs eat grass from time to time, and some will also vomit as a result. For a dog owner, it can be confusing to understand why their dog eats grass, especially as it appears to make them sick. In our short article, we discuss the reasons behind this common behaviour.

This article was written by a FirstVet vet

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Pica is the technical term for eating things that aren’t food. Some dogs find that fresh spring grass tastes good! Many vets consider this to be normal dog behaviour. Eating grass doesn't necessarily have to be a sign of nausea or a stomach upset. However, if eating grass is linked to vomiting, your dog may be eating grass to make themselves vomit. However, it is not normal to vomit regularly or repeatedly.

Dogs can vomit for a variety of reasons. Common causes include infections in the gastrointestinal tract, food changes, especially those that are made too quickly, food sensitivity, dietary indiscretion, and other more serious gastrointestinal diseases. Remember to use a regular anti-parasite treatment to prevent intestinal worms and diseases such as lungworm that are caused by the accidental ingestion of slugs and snails.

Biliary Vomiting Syndrome (BVS)

If you can notice that your dog often vomits bile in the mornings, or when they have not eaten for a long period between meals, this is likely to be caused by biliary vomiting syndrome (BVS). This occurs when the digestive fluids in the intestine overflow back into the stomach causing irritation and subsequent vomiting.

BVS is often easily resolved by giving your dog smaller and more frequent meals during the day. Try feeding a small meal last thing at night, so that your dog will have something to digest in its intestine until breakfast, or the next meal. We recommend starting with a highly digestible complete diet, such as Purina EN, or cooked rice or pasta with chicken, white fish, turkey or egg.

When to see your physical vet

  • Contact your vet if your dog has a fever (over 39.2oC), vomits blood or has blood in its faeces
  • If the signs persist for several days, despite following our guidance on vomiting and diarrhoea
  • If your dog is known to eat unusual items, or could have swallowed a foreign body that could get stuck in the intestine

Still worried?

Book a video appointment to have a chat with one of our vets.

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