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I was wondering what other owner’s experiences are with a roughly 12-week old puppy occasionally vomiting- but only while in the crate at night? Is this caused by some type stress from being in the crate- maybe anxious about needing to go to potty? This has only happened a few times while in the crate at night and a few times outside of it a couple of weeks ago while we were trying different foods but now I’ve consistently been feeding him one type of food for the last five days. His stools are normal and so is his appetite- in fact, after vomiting in the crate this morning and then coming inside after going potty, he was sitting down in the usual spot we use ready for his feeding toy this morning. He’s also been on steroids and antibiotics for the last four days for a hot-spot we are treating- perhaps that has something to do with the recent vomiting in the crate at night?

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    I just called the vet and they said that the vomiting isn’t typically attributable to the steroid or antibiotic- but they did say continue to monitor and bring him for another check-up if the issue persists.
    – user22726
    Jan 14, 2022 at 15:22

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There might be more behind this, so in either case trust your vet more than me as a random stranger on the net.

It's totally possible the vomiting is connected to normal digestion/instinctive behavior:

Assuming the vomit is some color between yellow and light brown and mostly consists of liquid and foam with potentially a few small bits of leftover food or hair, it's most likely just a symptom of acid reflux, which isn't necessarily symptom of another issue but possibly just that: too much acid.

Dogs can produce a lot of very aggressive digestive acid (which is also there to potentially dismantle chewed bits of bones and cartilages). If the dog hasn't eaten anything for a certain time, this can become just too much for their stomach. The solution for the animal is to vomit the excess.

So assuming your vet doesn't find any other believable cause for this, consider when you feed your dog during the day. How many hours are there between some food (drinking water doesn't count) and the vomiting in the morning? 8, 9, 10 hours? More?

Get some small treats – some small pieces of dried meat (or just regular dog food) can be enough – and feed them right before going to bed (you can come up with some small training unit or whatever, that's completely up to you). You shouldn't have to overdo this and don't have to either. Even just a few bits can help a lot to give the puppy's stomach enough to do during the night and morning to completely avoid the vomiting.

Also just as a minor note, you can't prevent the vomiting by feeding something when you think the dog wants to vomit. That's typically too late already. Dogs might want to chew on long blades of regular grass to help getting everything out, which is completely normal. Let the whole thing play out, wait a bit, then feed a reasonable amount, ideally something easy to digest (cooked chicken, rice, and similar).

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  • I asked the same question in reddit/puppy 101 and most of the replies concurred with your assessment, so I tried it for the last two nights: I’ve given him two mini milk-bones before bed and he hasn’t had any incidents of overnight vomiting. Apparently, these symptoms are consistent with bilious vomit syndrome. Thank you for your help. If the problem persists, I’ll be sure to schedule an appointment with the vet.
    – user22726
    Jan 16, 2022 at 14:40
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    @alexanderjsingleton Great! And don't worry, these are those tiny things every dog owner stumbles over some time or another (this behavior won't go away with maturity).
    – Mario
    Jan 17, 2022 at 8:23

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