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Dog Throws Up After Drinking Water: Is Your Pooch's Hydration Hijinks a Health Hazard? - PawSafe
Dog Healthcare

Dog Throws Up After Drinking Water: Is Your Pooch’s Hydration Hijinks a Health Hazard?

Photo of Tamsin De La Harpe

Written by Tamsin De La Harpe

dog throws up after drinking water

You’ll be forgiven for being alarmed if your dog throws up after drinking water out of the blue. One moment, the pup is lapping water and the next, you hear that infamous retching noise we all dread.  Luckily, this splashy spectacle isn’t rare. However, there’s a chance you’ve scratched your head, wondering if you should worry or just grab a mop.

Think of your dog’s tummy as a bit like a sensitive machine that has a few quirks – gulp too much water too fast, and it might hit the reject button. It could be a simple case of drinking too much too quickly, or it might be their body’s way of waving a red flag that something’s up medically. 

For example, Dr. Angelie Shukla DVM, M. Sc., in a brief survey, noted that a test dog puked after drinking is a symptom of a GI tract issue. This issue is usually no cause for a full-blown circus of worry. But hey, knowing when to phone the vet or simply slow your pup’s water-chugging enthusiasm could save the day — and your floors. 

Contents show

Nobody likes the technicolor yawn – yep, throwing up. It’s just never something good, especially when prolonged. If your dog is just coughing after drinking water without all the puking, you can check out our other article for even more specialized help. 

So, Let’s untangle this mystery, shall we?

Key Points

  • Dogs can vomit after drinking too quickly.
  • Exercise prior to drinking can contribute to vomiting.
  • Consistent vomiting should warrant a vet visit as it indicates a medical problem. 
  • Using slow feeder bowls can be helpful.

What You Can Do

  • Slow Feeder Bowl: These help pace your dog’s intake.
  • Post-Play Hydration: Wait a bit after playtime before letting your dog hit the bowl.
  • Check With the Vet: If this is more than a once-in-a-blue-moon event, it’s time to call the pros.

The best way you can help your pup is by pacing their drinking. Also, schedule water breaks wisely, and if it’s an ongoing saga, get a vet on your team. It’s good to address this matter at full tilt because vomiting has systemic repercussions, such as severe dehydration.

Understanding Canine Hydration

Hey there, did you know that your canine needs water just as much as you do? Let’s make sure Fido stays hydrated and happy!

Importance of Water for Dogs

H20 is the MVP in your dog’s body. It helps with digestion, cools them down, and keeps their joints moving smoothly. Without enough, it’s been shown that your pup could become dehydrated faster than you think. Always remember:

  • Water is a nutrient: it is vital for circulation, digestion, waste removal, temperature regulation, electrolyte balance, cellular function, and cognition
  • Dehydration Signs: dry gums, lethargy, sunken eyes, loss of skin elasticity, elevated heart rate, constant pacing and restlessness, panting, loss of appetite, fast heart rate, vomiting, lethargy, and even collapse. 

How Dogs Drink Water

Dogs aren’t neat drinkers, so expect a wet mess, and there’s a reason for that. When dogs drink, they curl the back of their tongue into a mini scoop. In fact, dogs are pretty bad at drinking water. Because of the the shape of their muzzles, a lot of falls out of their mouth when they try to hydrate.

Pro Tip: Place a mat under their bowl unless you enjoy mopping up after your dog’s drinking adventures.

Like this dog:

@dogsofttiktok6

After drinking water, the dog always wipes its mouth on the towel prepared by its owner. Such a well-behaved little one, a clean-loving pup indeed! #fyp #dog #dogwithfriend #dogsoftiktok #dogs #dogsvideo #fypシ #puppy #pet

♬ original sound – Tiktokdog – Tiktokdog

Here’s a quick breakdown of how much your dog should take to ensure excessive consumption isn’t what caused the puking:

Dog SizeIntake Breakdown
SmallAround 1 cup for every 5 lbs
Medium1-1.5 ounces per pound
LargeUp to 1.5 ounces per pound

Keep that bowl full and clean to encourage your pooch to drink up!

Can My Dog Be Allergic to Water?

Dog’s can’t survive if they are allergic to water, so dog water allergies are nothing to worry about. However, your dog can have a reaction to bacteria, pathogens, or water treatments like chlorine in a pool. Chlorine in pools that dogs swim is a common cause of an allergic reaction called contact dermatitis.

8 Causes of Vomiting After Drinking

When your canine hurls after hydrating, it’s a real puzzle. Let’s spill the bowl on what could be behind this messy mystery.

1. Drinking Too Quickly

If you guzzle a drink too fast, you get the hiccups, right? Well, dogs can upchuck when they down the aqua faster than a kid slurps a milkshake on a hot day. This is also why they hiccup or burp a lot, and it is typically nothing to be too worried about. If this is the cause, the vomiting won’t last at all because they won’t drink too fast every day.

2. Post-Exercise Vomiting

Imagine chugging water right after a treadmill sprint; you’d feel queasy, too. Dogs can get a wobbly belly if they drink too much water too soon after playing fetch like a champ. 

These dogs may also be extremely thirsty, so they drink too rapidly and ingest air along with the water, leading to vomiting. PubMed research refers to this type of puking as exercise-induced vomiting, and like the previous reason, it is also short-lived.

3. Cold Water

Drinking cold water can sometimes lead to vomiting in dogs. This usually happens if a dog drinks the cold water too quickly, especially after exercise or in hot weather. When dogs are overheated or thirsty, they might gulp down water rapidly, which can shock their system if the water is particularly cold.

This sudden intake of cold water can cause a dog’s stomach to cramp, leading to vomiting. It’s similar to how humans might experience a stomach ache or cramps after consuming a large amount of cold liquid quickly. The cold temperature of the water can also cause the stomach muscles to contract suddenly, which can trigger the vomiting reflex.

To prevent this, it’s best to offer dogs room-temperature water, especially if they’re returning from vigorous activity or it’s a hot day. If cold water is the only option, it should be given in small, controlled amounts to avoid shocking the dog’s system.

4. Problems in the Esophagus, Trachea, and Larynx and Respiratory Issues

Sometimes, the pipes aren’t working right. A glitch in the esophagus, trachea, larynx, or even respiratory challenges like having a short snout (brachycephalic) can make water go down the wrong tube, leading to a watery mishap. This problem lingers on since it’s medically related.

If dogs have any infection or inflammation in their throat, or condition like collapsing tracheas or laryngeal paralysis (mostly in senior or older dogs), drinking water can irritate the throat. If the irritation is severe enough, it can cause a vomiting reflex. Another possible cause is severe reverse sneezing.

5. Gastrointestinal Issues 

If your dog has a problem with their stomach, it can manifest as having trouble keeping water down. You may also see other symptoms like diarrhea or puking white foam if this is the cause. Drawing from the extensive research of Dr. Alice Defarges, DVM, DACVIM, and colleagues, here are a few of the potential causes:

  • Gastritis: Inflammation of the stomach lining, known as gastritis, can lead to vomiting. Dogs with gastritis may experience discomfort after hydrating or consuming food.
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD): IBD is a chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract that can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and other digestive issues. 
  • Pancreatitis: A female mixed breed dog, which was the subject of a PubMed study, was observed to constantly vomit after hydrating, and the diagnosis was acute pancreatitis.
  • Changes in Diet: Abrupt changes in a dog’s diet can lead to digestive upset and throwing up.
  • Gastrointestinal Tumors: Tumors in the gastrointestinal tract can lead to throwing up, particularly if they cause obstruction or interfere with normal digestion.
  • Changes in Diet and allergies: Abrupt changes in a dog’s diet can lead to digestive upset. Additionally, food or seasonal allergies can also cause this symptom. 

According to a Wiley article, GI issues have been linked to increased thirst (polydipsia). This thirst exacerbates the hurling problem, giving you a hectic loop.

6. Water Quality Problems

Oops, did someone forget to clean the bowl? Nasty bacteria love dirty dishes, and that’s no good for your pup’s tummy. Poor water quality or contaminated water could be a factor in your dog’s hurling, so always make sure your dog gets fresh water. Be careful of letting your dog drink from stagnant water from puddles or ponds when out on walks. This is a common cause of tummy issues like colitis and can cause your dog to throw up water.

7. Water Toxicosis

Too much water is a no-go. Believe it or not, drinking an ocean can lead to water intoxication or overhydration. Yes, that’s a thing, and no, your dog doesn’t become a mermaid. Even playing in shallow water for too long can cause fatal toxicosis in your dog. 

This dog is a tragic example of the fatal effects of dry drowning:

@jesssayyw

This is heartbreaking to share but this was right before Winter passed away. This is for awareness purposes and showing the situation he was in before it became fatal. #dogsoftiktok #rip #bordercollie #puppiesoftiktok #dog #accident #waterintoxication #love #share #alldogsgotoheaven #bestfriend #awareness #spreadawareness

♬ original sound – .

8. Parvo & Other Infections

In more severe cases, vomiting after drinking water can be a symptom of serious illnesses like parvovirus. This vomiting is typically by mucus in the vomit or white foam, accompanied by bloody diarrhea and extreme weakness. It’s important to act fast if you suspect parvo because the prognosis is not good, with about 90% fatality.

Evaluating Your Dog’s Vomiting

Keep your eyes peeled for patterns and symptoms that can help you and your vet crack this up chugging problem.

When to Worry About Vomiting

Vomiting can be a sign of a hiccup in your dog’s health. You should be concerned if it’s:

  • Frequent: More than twice a month.
  • Intense: Your dog seems in distress.
  • Accompanied by other symptoms, like lethargy or loss of appetite.

🐾 Alert! If you spot blood or your dog vomits repeatedly after drinking, skip the web search and head straight to the vet.

Observing Vomiting Patterns

To get to the bottom of the upchucks, track:

  • Time: Does your dog turn into a barf-o-clock after chugging water?
  • Quantity: A little yack or a puddle?
  • Food vs. Water: Is it the kibble or the H2O?

Use this table to note what’s normal and what’s not:

NormalNot Normal
Occasional light vomiting after gulpingVomiting every time water is drunk
Clear liquidDark, chunky, or bloody contents
Happy demeanor post-vomitingContinued distress or discomfort

Dehydration Symptoms to Watch For

Got a vomiting pooch? Don’t turn your back on hydration. Keep the H20 available and watch for symptoms like:

  • Drier-than-normal nose: If it’s not wet and cold, it’s a sign!
  • Sunken eyes: Look out, as it’s a red flag.
  • Lethargy: If your four-legged dynamo has suddenly turned into a couch potato, pay attention.

Quick tip: Gently pinch the skin on the back of your dog’s neck. If it snaps back fast, your dog is probably hydrated. Slow like molasses? Vet time!

Preventing Unsettled Stomachs: Home Remedies

No one likes that icky feeling, especially not your four-legged friend. So, let’s get straight to how you can help:

1. Proper Hydration Techniques

Slow and Steady Wins the Race: It’s not a marathon; let your dog sip at a relaxing pace to prevent gulping air, which can lead to stomach upset. Consider a slow-feed bowl or a lick bottle to pace their drinking.

2. Regulating Water Intake

Keep Tabs on the Bowl: Like checking your phone, it’s good to frequently peek at how much water your dog has had. Limit access if they’ve turned drinking into a competitive sport, offering smaller amounts more often. 

You can also use ice cubes. Some dogs love crunching on these, and it slows down their intake. A good rule of thumb is dogs generally need about one ounce of water per pound of body weight per day. Check out our article on when puppies can drink water if you’re concerned about your pup that is on the younger side.

3. Choosing the Right Water Bowl

The Bowl Makes All the Difference: A shallow bowl can prevent your dog from putting their whole muzzle underwater. Also, think about materials. Where stainless steel is easy to clean and durable, and ceramic ones have less tipping but watch out for chips.

4. Diet and Its Role

Food Matters Too: Pair hydration with a well-balanced diet to keep that belly happy. Dry food absorbs water and can expand in the stomach, so moisten it a bit or switch up to wet food on those water-logged days. If your dog’s a little queasy, smaller, frequent small meals can be easier on their tummy.

When to Consult a Vet

If your canine is making a habit of turning their bowl into a throw-up pool, it’s time to chat with the pros. If your doggo is puking water more than just occasionally after a drink, or there’s a side of weird behavior or pain in the belly area with their water-barf episodes, it’s time for that call.

Treatment Options

Sometimes, your vet will prescribe meds to calm the storm in your dog’s stomach, depending on the underlying cause. Other times, they might recommend changes to how your dog drinks water. The vet might suggest IV fluids in extreme dehydration or special watered-down meals to keep hydration on track.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why can’t my dog keep water down?

If your dog can’t keep water down, it may be due to reasons such as gastrointestinal upset, infection, or an underlying health condition. Rapid drinking, especially after exercise, can also cause this issue. It’s important to monitor the situation and consult a veterinarian if the problem persists.

Why is my dog gagging after drinking water?

Gagging after drinking water can occur if a dog drinks too fast or inhales some water. It might also indicate an issue with their throat or esophagus. If gagging is frequent or accompanied by other symptoms, a vet check-up is advisable.

Why is my senior dog throwing up after drinking water?

Older dogs might vomit after drinking water due to age-related health issues such as kidney disease, decreased gastrointestinal motility, or dental problems. As dogs age, they may also become more sensitive to temperature changes in water. A vet’s advice is essential in such cases.

What should I do if my dog barfs after drinking water treatment?

If your dog vomits after drinking water, ensure they are hydrated with small, frequent amounts of water. Observe for any other symptoms like lethargy or diarrhea, and consult a veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Why does my dog puke after drinking water in morning?

Vomiting after drinking water in the morning could be due to an empty stomach or drinking too quickly. If this is a regular occurrence, it’s best to consult a veterinarian to rule out any underlying issues.

What does it mean if a dog vomits after swallowing water and has diarrhea?

Vomiting and diarrhea after drinking water could indicate gastrointestinal upset, infection, or more serious conditions like pancreatitis. It’s important to monitor hydration and seek veterinary care to address the underlying cause.

What does it mean if a dog throws up clear mucus after drinking water?

Vomiting clear mucus after drinking water might suggest an irritated stomach or esophagus. This can occur from drinking too fast, allergies, or a mild stomach upset. Persistent symptoms warrant a veterinary check-up.

Why is my dog vomiting white foam after drinking water?

Vomiting white foam after drinking can be a sign of gastrointestinal upset or more serious conditions like bloat, especially if accompanied by a swollen abdomen and distress. Immediate veterinary attention is recommended in such cases.

Should I panic of my dog barfs after drinking water?

There is no need to worry if your dog vomits once after drinking water and shows no other symptoms. It may just be that they drank water too fast. However, if it keeps happening and your dog starts to show other symptoms then it is time to see a vet.

Why is my dog throwing up after drinking from a lake?

Lake water (or water from puddles, dams, or other places) can be a cocktail of bacteria, algae, and contaminants. If your canine has been sampling the local pond, it might be time for a vet visit to check for infections or toxins.

Why does my dog vomit after drinking water but not eating food?

Speedy drinking can send the H20 back up the way it came. Food takes longer to eat, and that slower pace can keep your dog from vomiting immediately after eating. A dog that drinks a lot water too fast may vomit after drinking, but not after eating.

Final Thoughts

When your canine hacks up their H2O, it can be kind of like a soggy surprise party nobody wanted. But don’t fret! Most times, it’s just like a bad spell of hiccups and happens just because your dog drank too quickly.

If the barfing becomes a regular thing, call that vet. Chances are, it’s no biggie, but it’s always better to play it safe. Gastrointestinal issues, allergies, aqua contamination, and the dreaded parvo are possible medical reasons for this condition. 

References

  • Shukla, A., 2010. Acute pancreatitis attributed to dietary indiscretion in a female mixed breed canine. The Canadian Veterinary Journal, 51(2), p.201.
  • Ramsay, D.J., Rolls, B.J. and Wood, R.J., 1977. Thirst following water deprivation in dogs. American Journal of Physiology-Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology, 232(3), pp.R93-R100.
  • SLUIJTERS, H., 2016. Symptomatic treatment of the vomiting dog (Doctoral dissertation, Thesis, Ghent University).
  • Water – The Forgotten Nutrient – WSAVA2013 – VIN (no date) Powered By VIN. Available at: https://www.vin.com/apputil/content/defaultadv1.aspx?id=5709752&pid=11372 (Accessed: 5 December 2023).
  • Defarges, A., Blois, S., Hall, E. J., Gibson, T. W. G. and Mitchell, K. D. (2023) Disorders of the Stomach and Intestines in Dogs – Dog Owners, MSD Veterinary Manual. MSD Veterinary Manual. 
  • Henderson, S.M. and Elwood, C.M., 2003. A potential causal association between gastrointestinal disease and primary polydipsia in three dogs. Journal of small animal practice, 44(6), pp.280-284.
  • Horecka, K., Porter, S., Amirian, E.S. and Jefferson, E., 2020. A decade of treatment of canine parvovirus in an animal shelter: A retrospective study. Animals, 10(6), p.939.

Meet Your Experts

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Tamsin De La Harpe

Author

Tamsin de la Harpe has nearly two decades of experience with dogs in rescue, training, and behavior modification with fearful and aggressive dogs. She has worked closely with veterinarians and various kennels, building up extensive medical knowledge and an understanding of canine health and physiology. She also spent two years in the animal sciences as a canine nutrition researcher, focusing on longevity and holistic healthcare for our four-legged companions. Tamsin currently keeps a busy homestead with an assortment of rescue dogs and three Bullmastiffs.

Tamsin de la Harpe has nearly two decades of experience with dogs in rescue, training, and behavior modification with fearful and aggressive dogs. She has worked closely with veterinarians and various kennels, building up extensive medical knowledge and an understanding of canine health and physiology. She also spent two years in the animal sciences as a canine nutrition researcher, focusing on longevity and holistic healthcare for our four-legged companions. Tamsin currently keeps a busy homestead with an assortment of rescue dogs and three Bullmastiffs.