Is Your Dog Throwing Up Clear Liquid?


Dogs vomit for a variety of different reasons and most of the time, it is harmless. Throwing up traces of food is quite common and it is usually caused by an upset stomach. But what if your dog is throwing up clear liquid?  In that case, it could be the sign of something more serious, which calls for immediate action. As a pet owner, you’ll probably be worried and confused as to what to do, when you see your dog vomiting water. Should you re-hydrate by giving him more water or should you give him some food? Let’s understand the various causes for your dog vomiting water and  what you should do about it.

Change Your Dog’s Food

If you are feeding your dog some average food, then better switch over to a dog food specially formulated for sensitive stomachs. These dog foods contain pro-biotics that are beneficial in making the digestion process much easier. Ingredients such as grain, corn, and whey (gluten) should be avoided as they may upset your dog’s stomach. Your dog is less likely to throw-up if you put him on a special diet. Some of the best dog food for sensitive stomachs include:

  • Hill’s Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach.
  • Purina Pro Sensitive Stomach Formula.
  • Blackwood Skin & Stomach Formula.
  • Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain-Free.
  • Orijen Original Grain Free.

Is Your Dog Actually Throwing Up Water?

When a dog throws up clear liquid, owners assume that he’s vomiting water. However, according to experts, this clear liquid is not water at all. Instead, it is gastric juice, an acid that helps in the digestion process. There could be many reasons for your dog throwing up this juice. It could be due to a piece of irritating food that gets lodged in his digestive tract or due to getting worked up too much. In the latter case, his vomiting tendency may lessen once he relaxes.

Throwing up clear liquid could also be a symptom of a more serious health condition, such as tumors, liver dysfunction, or thyroid dysfunction. If the underlying issue is  thyroid dysfunction, the vomiting may be due to an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) or an under-active thyroid (hypothyroidism). If you suspect any of these conditions, you should seek medical care for your dog as soon as possible.

In some cases, the liquid that a dog vomits could be bile. This substance formed in the dog’s liver is stored in his gallbladder and it helps in breaking down food in the small intestine and in separating the nutrients from waste matter. Although bile is yellow-green in color, it appears watery when vomited. Throwing up bile could just be a sign that your dog’s digestive tract isn’t working properly. Take your dog to the vet just to make sure that there is nothing wrong with your dog’s intestinal tract.

What to do When Your Dog Vomits Water

If your dog vomits clear water, it’s important that you examine the vomit. This may provide you a hint regarding the condition of your dog. Look out for pieces of food, bile, or even blood. If it’s a puppy, check the vomit for bits and pieces of things like chew toys or shoes that he shouldn’t be eating.

What Not to do When Your Dog Vomits Water

The first instinct of most pet owners when they see their dog vomiting is to give him water in order to replenish the lost fluids. However, this is not the right thing to do because giving water can only cause further irritation of the reflexes involved with vomiting, leading to more vomiting. Also, avoid feeding your dog a different diet, if he’s vomiting. If the cause of vomiting is due to an upset stomach, then changing his dietary routine will only worsen the issue. If the vomiting is persistent, take your dog to a  vet so that a proper diagnosis can be made and appropriate treatment given.

Vomiting episodes are always unpleasant for your dog as well as for you. However, these situations are unavoidable and will happen every once in a while. As a dog owner, it’s just one of those things that you will get accustomed to taking care of. This may be a bit unpleasant, but when you consider the  long-term happiness your pet will bring you, it’s just a short-term price to pay.


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