Three times in the last week, our dog has vomited unexpectedly (ie. we weren't driving and he hadn't been eating grass) and each time it has been bright (bright) yellow and slightly liquid/foamy. I haven't changed his diet at all, and I'm definitely not embarking on any vegan diet experiments, but the answers to Dog vomiting yellow/white foam since being fed vegan food seem to suggest this is acid reflux.

Today, he was trying really hard to get my attention and I was trying really hard to work and eventually he deposited some diarrhea on the bathroom rug (not a bad place, cleanup was straightforward, if foul) and then when I realized what was up and took him out he threw up within a block of our house and then dragged me to a grassy median a few blocks away and worked really hard to squeeze out some more dribbles of diarrhea.

Since then, he hasn't been eating or drinking. His nose is dry and he looks miserable and he won't play with me. It's been a few hours.

I'm not sure what might be going on. The only thing that has changed in his diet is that we have been giving him some chicken hearts sometimes for treats. I think my husband gives him more than I do -- I chop them pretty small. But we've had them for several weeks (they're cooked and frozen, we thaw one or two at a time and chop them up) and he only started throwing up in the last few days.

Is there anything I can do for him to make him feel better now? I've used pumpkin for soft stools in the past. I don't want to start giving him a bunch of new food that's just going to end up making him sicker, but if there's something I can do to help him feel better I'd like to do it.

Should I give him some squash? Or leave him be for now?

UPDATE: He's fine. He was so energetic on his night time walk that it didn't seem necessary to take him to the vet. I'd still be interested in knowing more about how to tell when vomiting is severe enough to warrant veterinary care, however, and whether there are foods that are better or worse for a dog with an upset digestive tract.

He had another bout of diarrhea on July 8, and again this week, July 22. Two weeks apart to the day. The timing still seems bizarro, but on our vet's advice we took his food away for the night and gave him only rice.

Still seeing how this plays out.

  • Have you taken him to the Vet?
    – Aravona
    Jun 24, 2015 at 10:12
  • @Aravona my bar for going to the vet is the same as I'd use for kids. In a kid, I'd give them some ginger ale and wait.
    – Amanda
    Jul 27, 2015 at 19:04
  • fair enough but a kid can speak, tell you they may or may not have eaten etc. Dogs can't, so waiting wouldn't always be best in my mind.
    – Aravona
    Jul 27, 2015 at 19:32

2 Answers 2


Withhold all food except his regular dog food, and call your vet

Our dog just started having similar symptoms to this recently. On a walk one day she had some diarrhea, then the next morning we found a blob of (fully liquid) poo on the floor (and she'd never gone inside before since we got her), and she had vomited in her bedding. After cleaning it up and taking her out, she seemed to be a little better, so we went to work, but by lunchtime she had had another accident, so we took her to the vet. It's a good thing we did - turns out she has pancreatitis, which is quite serious (potentially fatal)!

Definitely, get him into the vet's office right away.

In the meantime, avoid giving any food besides his normal dog food. If it is pancreatitis, then his refusal to eat or drink is actually the right instinct - the fast will give his pancreas a break. Don't try to play with him if he's not feeling well; whatever's bothering him, he needs to rest.

Again, since this has been happening for more than a day, it's not just a reaction to bad food. Your vet will probably need to do a blood test to figure out what's wrong.

  • Good to know. We called the vet, and she didn't think he needed to come in. Notable differences: he's not lethargic, not throwing up indoors, and when he's had diarrhea inside it was after trying very hard to rouse us to take him outside. So he's got more control than it sounds like your dog had/has. And he's still drinking water and playing, so he's not wiped out.
    – Amanda
    Jul 23, 2015 at 17:30

tried to refine my old answer but it won't let me

He had another bout of diarrhea on July 8, and again this week, July 22. Two weeks apart to the day. The timing still seems bizarro, but on our vet's advice we took his food away for the night and gave him only rice, and then started adding in a bit of chicken and a teaspoon of pumpkin.

That has calmed his stomach.

Our vet says that causes for concern would be lethargy, or inability to hold down food, or some palpable obstruction, and he has none of those.

She also said that fear and anxiety can give a dog bouts of diarrhea, so long term, working on addressing his anxiety is important. But in the short term, giving him watery rice with some chicken and pumpkin for a few days will help him get through an upset stomach.

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