Handling Vomiting in Your Nursing Dog for Better Health

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Puppies galore! Your furry friend has just given birth, and you couldn’t be more thrilled.

But then, you notice your mother dog vomiting more often than usual. As a pet parent, it’s natural to feel concerned. Are these bouts of sickness routine or a sign of an underlying issue?

In this post, we’ll dive into this, looking at the norms, the causes, and when to get professional help. We’ll also explore ways to support your nursing dog at home and preventative measures for the future.

Because in my years of caring for dogs, I’ve learned a thing or two – and I’m here to share it with you. Rest assured, we’ve got this!

a close up of a brown and white dog lying on the floor

Is Vomiting in Nursing Dogs Normal?

Vomiting in nursing dogs can indeed be normal. Just like human mothers, dogs also undergo bodily changes while nursing.

Their bodies work overtime to produce milk and take care of the litter, which can sometimes result in vomiting. It’s their bodies’ way of dealing with the added stress. However, frequent or prolonged vomiting is not normal and should be a cause for concern.

Remember, you know your pet the best. If her behavior seems off to you or the vomiting is accompanied by other worrying symptoms, it’s always a good idea to contact your vet.

What Causes Mother Dogs to Vomit?

Now, let’s talk a bit about why mother dogs might vomit. There can be several reasons for this:

  • Diet. An abrupt change in diet or overeating can lead to an upset stomach. Mother dogs need more nutrition while nursing, and sometimes they might overindulge, leading to vomiting.
  • Stress. Nursing and taking care of puppies is a stressful job. The strain and anxiety can sometimes cause a mother dog to vomit.
  • Ingesting Foreign Objects. Dogs, especially nursing ones, are curious creatures. If they ingest something inappropriate while foraging for their pups, it can lead to vomiting. Ping pong balls, silly string, permanent markers – all these can cause serious issues.
  • Illness or Infection. If your dog is vomiting frequently, it could be a sign of an underlying illness or infection. This requires immediate veterinary attention.

While these are common reasons, every dog is different. You should try to understand your dog’s behavior and habits to pinpoint the exact cause of the vomiting.

When Should You Call the Vet?

Recognizing when to seek professional help is crucial in maintaining your dog’s health. For vomiting in nursing dogs, here are some signs that it’s time to ring up your vet:

  1. Frequency. If your dog is vomiting multiple times a day or the vomiting continues for more than a day, it’s definitely time to seek help.
  2. Blood in Vomit. This is a serious sign that shouldn’t be ignored. If you notice blood in your dog’s vomit, it’s an immediate red flag.
  3. Associated Symptoms. Look for other signs of illness such as lethargy, loss of appetite, diarrhea, or signs of pain. These accompanying symptoms could indicate a more severe condition.
  4. Dehydration. Frequent vomiting can lead to dehydration, another severe condition. If your dog seems excessively thirsty, has dry gums, or appears lethargic, she might be dehydrated.

Remember, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. If you are unsure about anything, don’t hesitate to call your vet.

pug nursing mother on a white and red blanket

How to Help Your Nursing Dog at Home

While veterinary care is paramount, there are several things you can do at home to comfort and help your nursing dog. Here are some tips that have worked for me.

Ensure Hydration

Ensure your dog stays hydrated. Vomiting can cause dehydration, which might complicate the mother dog’s health condition. Keep clean, fresh water available at all times.

Provide a Comfortable Environment

Reduce any stressors in her environment. A quiet, calm space can help her feel more comfortable and reduce nausea.

I remember a time when my neighbor, Barbara, approached me, worried about her nursing Golden Retriever, Daisy. Daisy was a first-time mom and had been vomiting occasionally. Barbara was understandably concerned and didn’t know what to do. I advised her to observe Daisy closely, ensure she stayed hydrated, and not to make any sudden changes to her diet.

But, most importantly, I stressed the importance of a quiet and calm environment for Daisy and her pups. You’d be surprised how much difference it makes. Daisy soon stopped vomiting, and she and her puppies thrived in the nurturing environment Barbara provided.

It was a stark reminder that sometimes the simplest changes have the most impact.

Adjust the Diet

Consider adjusting her diet. Sometimes, a bland diet can help soothe an upset stomach. Try plain boiled chicken and rice, and gradually reintroduce her regular diet. You could also consider a specially formulated dog food like Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Stomach & Skin, that’s designed to be gentle on a dog’s digestive system.

Preventing Vomiting Issues in the Future

Learning how to prevent future instances of vomiting is just as important as knowing how to deal with it when it happens.

Preventing future vomiting episodes starts with regular veterinary checks, even when your dog seems perfectly healthy. These visits can help detect and treat potential issues early.

A well-balanced, easily digestible diet, specially formulated for nursing dogs, supports overall health and reduces the chance of gastrointestinal upset.

It’s also essential to keep an eye on your dog’s health throughout her nursing period, monitoring her eating habits and energy levels for any signs of distress.

Additionally, hydration plays a crucial role, especially during nursing, and dehydration can lead to various health issues, including vomiting.

To avoid overeating or eating too fast, consider feeding your dog smaller, more frequent meals, and using a slow-feeder bowl. We recommend Outward Hound Fun Feeder Slo Bowl as it’s specially designed to slow down speedy eaters and promote healthy digestion.

Lastly, stress can contribute to vomiting in dogs, so ensure your home environment remains calm and stress-free throughout the nursing phase.


How long does a mother dog usually nurse her puppies?

A mother dog typically nurses her puppies for around 6 to 8 weeks. This period can vary based on the breed and individual dog’s health status.

Can I feed my nursing dog any special diet to prevent vomiting?

Feeding your nursing dog a balanced, high-quality diet specifically designed for lactating dogs can help maintain her health and potentially prevent vomiting. However, each dog is unique, so it’s crucial to consult your vet for personalized advice.

Will the puppies be affected if the mother dog is vomiting?

If a mother dog is vomiting, it might impact her ability to care for her puppies properly. Moreover, if the vomiting is a symptom of a contagious disease, it could potentially pose a risk to the puppies. Therefore, it’s crucial to get a vet’s opinion promptly.

Should I separate the puppies from the mother if she’s vomiting?

Whether to separate puppies from a vomiting mother depends on the cause of the vomiting. If it’s due to a contagious illness, separation may be necessary to protect the puppies. However, such decisions should always be made under veterinary guidance.

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