It’s a topic we’d all probably prefer to avoid, but one that is also incredibly important for pet health: vomiting. While it’s normal for dogs and cats to throw up on occasion, vomiting can also be a sign of a health problem.
We’ve compiled a list of basic facts about pet vomit to help you decide whether or not it’s time to call the vet or just let Fido’s stomach sort things out for itself.
When it’s Normal
For dogs, vomiting is often a natural mechanism for dealing with a mildly upset stomach. This can be caused by eating something the dog doesn’t normally eat or which is irritating, but not dangerous, to the dog’s stomach.
This is a natural response, as dogs have evolved to become omnivores. Their stomachs do some damage control as dogs test out what is or is not good for them to eat.
In cats, vomiting is often related to hairballs—particularly if you have multiple cats and the vomiting cat is everybody else’s main groomer.You can minimize future hairball-related vomiting risks by brushing your cats regularly, so there isn’t so much hair building up in their gastrointestinal tracts.
What to do when it’s Normal
Throwing up once in a while can be totally normal for both species. When it happens, hold off on feeding your cat or dog a normal diet for 12 to 24 hours. Instead, give your pet water as normal and wait to gradually begin reintroducing bland foods back into your pet’s diet the next day.Cats and dogs that are fed on a regular schedule may vomit if they are not fed at the exact time they expect to be fed each day. The same goes for cats and dogs that are fed only one kind of food for long periods of time.