Nausea sucks for dogs, just like it does for us. It can leave them feeling pretty glum and lethargic, which is always worrying to witness. If you would rather leave the chemical remedies out of the picture, what else can you do to make them feel better, that will actually work to relieve their nausea?
Baking soda, hemp supplements, lavender, catnip, ginger, and peppermint are just some of the natural remedies you can give your dog for nausea. They are all canine-safe, and highly effective treatments that can work for people as well.
As always, make sure you chat with your vet before you try anything new, but you are sure to find these natural remedies really hit the spot when easing your pet’s nausea.
What’s the Difference Between Vomiting and Regurgitating in Dogs?
Before a dog vomits, they will usually start to retch, and it sounds awful. Since it uses the abdominal muscles to force the contents of their stomach back up, it can be a pretty strenuous process. It will usually contain a lot of fluid as it comes from the stomach and intestines.
Any food that is vomited up will not look like its original form, instead appearing to be partially (or almost completely) digested. However, items that are not food might look more like their original selves, such as plastics and fabrics that cannot be digested.
Regurgitation comes from an issue with the oesophagus, and in this case, the dog will essentially burp everything up. No retching, no need to use the abdominal muscles. Food will NOT be digested because it never made it to the stomach, but there might be a little water.
While regurgitation happens every now and again, if it happens regularly you must see your vet and tell them if the food was vomited or regurgitated. This is because there are different conditions that can have each as a symptom and your vet needs to diagnose them correctly.
Causes of Nausea in Dogs
There are several factors that could be causing nausea in your dog. Some of the most common are as follows:
- Worms and other parasites in the intestines
- Anxiety, including separation anxiety
- Viral infections
- Eating too quickly
- Motion sickness
- Inflammatory bowel disease
While nausea isn’t specific to any particular breeds, it can be more prevalent in older dogs as well as puppies. For the latter, it is part of their adjustment to the world as they grow, and for older dogs, it can be related to blurring vision and slowing cognitive functions.
Read Here: How to Deworm Dogs Naturally?
Symptoms of Nausea in Dogs
If you aren’t sure if your dog is feeling nauseous or not, there are a few key symptoms that you can keep an eye out for:
- Excessive drooling
- Consistent licking
- Consistent chewing
- Dry heaving
It should also be noted that nausea can be a sign of several other illnesses, so if it continues to persist for a few days you should contact your vet to have your dog checked over.
If nausea (and likely vomiting) is an isolated incident, then your dog should find some relief with our selection of natural home remedies and treatments. You can find them in the next section, and some of the items should already be in your homemaking life easier.
Dog vomiting is pretty gross, but it happens. It is important to know more about the various colours that it can come in as well as what they mean. Let’s take a little look at what you need to look out for, we even put it in this handy table for you.
|Common Cause||Excess bile, or a related illness||Dirt, soil, or ulcers||Saliva, bloat, regurgitation||Digested blood||Bile, plant material||Intestinal blockage|
|What to Do||Speak to your vet if it becomes persistent||If the vomit is dark with a magenta tint to it, seek immediate veterinary help. Otherwise, try to determine what they may have eaten||Only speak to your vet if they become worse. They should recover fine on their own||Contact your vet immediately for help||Wait to see how they recover and then speak to your vet if they get worse||Speak to your vet for advice on what to do next|
Of course, these are not all the causes for each colour (we would be here all year), but they are the most common reasons why a dog might be throwing up those colours. As an additional tip, look like there are coffee grounds in the vomit? That’s old blood, go talk to a vet.
Reasons Your Dog May Be Vomiting
There are endless reasons why your dog might be vomiting, but let us break it down into some of the most likely (and most common) causes:
- Scavenging or eating something they shouldn’t have. This is the most common cause of vomiting in dogs
- A sudden change in diet or potential food intolerance or allergy
- Intestinal parasites – worms including roundworms, heartworms, tapeworms, hookworms and whipworms
- Ingestion of foreign bodies – these may include toys, sticks or bones
- Car sickness and motion sickness
- Heatstroke – most often caused by leaving a dog in a hot car
- Reaction to medication or anaesthetic
- Viral infection – such as rotavirus
- Bacterial infection – including leptospirosis, colibacillosis and salmonellosis
- Kidney failure or liver failure
- Ingestion of something that’s toxic or poisonous to dogs
- Pancreatitis – Inflammation of the pancreas
- Bloat – most commonly caused by eating too fast or overeating
- Gastrointestinal disease such as Inflammatory Bowel Disease (check out our recommended food for IBD)
- Other underlying diseases or metabolic conditions
Natural Remedies and Treatments for Dog Nausea
If you would rather not get any of the prescription remedies available at your local vet, you can try some excellent natural ones at home. Of course, we always advise that you speak to your vet BEFORE giving any to your dog just to be on the safe side – even though they are dog safe.
#1 Baking Soda and Water.
Take half a cup of water and add a teaspoon of baking soda to it. You should give your dog a few laps of this mixture every couple of hours. It might seem very simple, but it is also highly effective thanks to the bubbles from the baking soda calming the stomach.
It can help to reduce bloating as well as feelings of nausea, so if your dog has thrown up and is feeling a little glum they are likely to perk up a bit after this solution.
#2 Hemp Supplements.
These supplements are perfectly safe for your dog to have, and there are many pet-centred places you can pick them up online. Hemp has been able to reduce feelings of nausea in dogs as well as reduce the risk of vomiting.
Furthermore, it has several other health benefits that you might want to take advantage of for your pooch:
- Pain relief
- Anxiety relief
- Better skin
- Reduced inflammation
- Support for the nervous system
This is actually a form of fermented milk that works in a similar way to yoghurt, providing beneficial probiotics for gut health. These bacteria can help to aid digestion as well as boost their general health.
While giving your dog regular milk can cause severe stomach upsets, kefir is different and is able to support and strengthen the digestive system. You can buy the kefir on its own or convert standard milk to kefir using special kefir granules.
If you use the granules, simply follow the instructions on the packet and leave the granules in the milk overnight. When it has finished working its magic, you can use it to treat nausea.
To do this, give your dog a small amount of kefir after your dog vomits. You should repeat this every hour for three hours. Small dogs can have 1-2 teaspoons, medium dogs can have 2 tablespoons, and large dogs can have 4 tablespoons.
You can give your dog kefir regularly to help maintain a healthy gut and build their natural defences. It is a great way to keep their stomachs happy, and a little spoon of it on their food a few times a week won’t hurt.
#4 Lavender Oil.
The scent of lavender has a massive impact on dogs, helping them to feel calmer and more relaxed as well as reducing feelings of nausea and over-excitement. This is especially good if your dog tends to get carsick when travelling.
You can place a single drop of lavender oil on their collar or soak a cotton ball in lavender and leave it in the general vicinity of your dog. This should help to relieve feelings of sickness and keep them calm while they are recovering.
Catnip isn’t just for your feline friends, your dog can benefit from it too. While it can leave your dog feeling just as soothed and joyful as your cat, it also has a calming effect on their gut. You can create a tincture of your own at home, or buy a premade one.
When your dog is experiencing nausea and vomiting, all you need to do is drip between 12 and 20 drops per kilo of your dog’s weight into their water bowl. This will help soothe them and should reduce the risk of them vomiting again.
This is a powerful root that is able to settle the stomachs of humans and dogs alike, and so you may find that it is a great way to get rid of any nausea in your pup. As a little added bonus, it can help to prevent colitis as well as bronchitis and heart disease.
You should speak to your vet before you give your dog ginger so that you can discuss the appropriate amount to give them. Usually, ginger comes in a capsule which makes it a lot easier to give your dog, but you can also give it to them raw.
If you choose the raw option, make sure it is given to them in a much smaller amount as too much can actually cause an upset stomach as well as heartburn. Again, it’s important to speak to your vet for the correct dosage first.
You can try making homemade treats that contain ginger for your pup as well as giving them a small amount of ginger tea – which can be added to their drinking water to dilute it. This can be given to them every couple of hours to help settle their stomachs after vomiting.
As humans, we commonly use peppermint to aid digestion and help us feel better when we have an upset stomach. The great news is that it can also be beneficial for your dog to have too. It is able to help IBD and IBS in both dogs and humans, calming angry stomachs.
It is also a great way to relieve any nausea experienced due to travel sickness. You can buy peppermint tinctures at health stores, ones that have been designed for children work really well with pets. Just follow the label closely and always speak to your vet first.
If your dog experiences acid reflux, you should avoid peppermint as this can make it worse. Otherwise, you should find that your dog actually quite enjoys the taste. You can even add a little peppermint tea to their water bowl.
After your dog has been sick, the nausea should go away on its own after a couple of hours. If they are feeling nauseous and have not yet vomited, you may want to keep an eye out for an incoming vomit session.
Since vomiting forces a great deal of water out of your dog’s body, the risk of dehydration is increased as a result. You should make sure your dog has a fresh supply of water at all times so that they can drink and rehydrate. You may also want to add some electrolytes.
Dehydration can be very serious for your dog, and it should not be taken lightly. You can actually check out our guide on how much your dog should be drinking so that you can watch out for the signs of dehydration – in which case, they need a vet.
When your dog has vomited, make sure you give them bland foods such as chicken and rice or potatoes. If you have a healthy adult dog, you can also starve them for 24-hours to help settle their bodies. Puppies, seniors, and unwell adults dogs should NOT be starved.
If your dog starts to vomit more than once or twice a week for more than a week, or they show signs of continued nausea and lethargy for several days, make sure you contact your vet. This is because there could be something more serious happening behind the scenes.
Give Your Dog’s Stomach a Break
If your dog has just vomited, you should make sure you give their stomach some time to recover. That means nothing rich and delicious, or their usual food, stick to some bland chicken and rice to settle things and keep them happy.
You should keep them on this bland diet for two or three days, ensuring that their system has time to recover, and then slowly mix their kibble in with the bland food for the next three days after. If you bring their old food back too soon it can be a shock to the system.
Make sure you use some of our home remedies as well, adding a little ginger or peppermint tea to their chicken and rice can help to ease their stomach and reduce any nausea that they are feeling. Just take it slow and give your pup a lot of rest and relaxation while they recover.
When to Call the Vet
While we understand that you won’t want to bother your vet with something that might be very minor, nausea and vomiting can quickly become more serious. There are several conditions that have vomiting as a key symptom such as:
- Disease of the inner ear
- Addison’s disease
- Stomach ulcer
- Parasites (worms)
- Foreign body in the stomach
- Liver/Kidney failure
If your dog is vomiting for more than a couple of days, they cannot keep water down, or they start to run a fever, call your vet right away. You should also watch out for abdominal bloating, lethargy, nervousness, and hacking coughs as well as diarrhoea.
A dog with vomiting and diarrhoea can become dehydrated quickly and must be monitored to ensure they do not need to see a vet for IV fluids to rehydrate them. Keep in mind that, just like humans, some dogs do just have very sensitive stomachs.
Keep an eye out for the additional symptoms noted above, and if you ever feel concerned just give your vet a call – they are great for giving quick advice over the phone to help ease your nerves and make you feel more comfortable.
Giving your dog the most natural products helps to make sure you are keeping your dogs safe, we have created a guide to learn how to deworm your dog but naturally, take a look.
So many great remedies, so little time, which natural remedies have you tried for dog nausea and which were the most helpful? I know I have used ginger pretty effectively in the past – and it’s great because you can use it for yourself too. Sometimes, natural is the best way to go.
If you found this guide interesting and would like to learn more about caring for your dog, you should check out the rest of our canine care guides. We take you through their behaviour, health, and dietary needs so that you have all the information you need to be a great owner.
For over a decade, Adrienne has been a freelance content writer and blogger who’s passion lies in anything related to dogs. Growing up, dogs were a very important part of family life in the Hardwick household. Now, Adrienne is the proud parent to two Swedish Vallhunds called Moose and Pumpkin.