Even for the most experienced pet parents, it can be scary when your dog gets sick and vomits. But what if your dog is just vomiting water, or throwing up right after drinking lots of water? After all, it’s only water, right?
Well, if this happens to your canine companion, they likely have just an upset tummy. However, sometimes, throwing up a watery or clear liquid can be a sign of a more serious issue or medical condition.
Here are a few potential reasons why your dog may be throwing up water. That way, you can have an easier time deciding if your pup needs veterinary attention or if they’ve just had a little stomach upset.
Throwing Up Water due to Water Intoxication (Excessive Water Consumption)
It might surprise you, but there is such a thing as water intoxication. You see, overhydration can actually be as dangerous as dehydration. Now, it usually occurs when a dog consumes extremely high amounts of water while swimming in a pool or a fresh water lake. However, it can also happen when they drink too much from their water bowls, too.
Symptoms of water intoxication can also include bloating, a loss of balance, nausea, and lethargy. If you have any reason to suspect your dog has water intoxication, especially if they’ve been vomiting after swimming, it’s extremely important you get them to a veterinarian as soon as possible.1
Throwing up Water due to Food sensitivity
Vomiting in dogs can also be caused by an upset stomach due to some dietary indiscretion, or a food sensitivity. Other signs might include diarrhea or excessive gas. 2
In this situation, there’s usually nothing to worry about. Just make sure your dog has plenty of drinking water available so they stay hydrated, even if they get sick again.
To avoid triggering food sensitivities, don’t feed your dog table scraps or other types of “human food.” On the other hand, if it’s your dog’s normal diet of dog food that seems to be triggering the allergy, take them to see your vet.
Your regular veterinarian should be able to help you identify the food that’s causing the issues, and recommend a prescription diet or some other treatment plan.
Throwing up Water due to Dehydration
Dehydration in dogs can be scary, because it can sneak up on you and your pup without warning. If your dog becomes dehydrated, the consumption of water may actually make them nauseous and they could throw up water.
In addition to your dog throwing up water, or clear liquid, other signs of dehydration include lethargy, dizziness, and loss of interest in food. If you see these symptoms in your dog, take them to get medical attention immediately. Severe dehydration can cause serious issues in your dog’s body, and even lead to kidney failure. 3
Luckily, this problem can be very EASY to avoid.
Just make sure your dog has access to water (fresh water) at all times. Also, check the water content of their food. In the hot months of the year, you can add water to their food to give them a little extra hydration.
No matter what season of the year it is, however, be sure your dog has a full, clean bowl of water nearby at all times.
Throwing up Water due to Bile Reflux or Acid Reflux
Sometimes, a dog throwing up water is actually vomiting up bile, or stomach acid. Bile is a watery substance that’s green-yellow in color. Bile helps break down fats in the small intestine of the digestive tract. Its job is to separate nutrients from waste matter.
Bile is created in your dog’s liver and stored in their gallbladder. Sometimes, though, the digestive tract isn’t working at its best, so your dog throws up bile. In this kind of situation, you need to take your dog to the vet to make sure that the vomiting isn’t a sign of some medical condition.
Acid reflux is similar. If your dog is having issues digesting their food, they may experience acid reflux, which is when stomach acid gets caught in the esophagus. If that happens, they could become nauseous and throw up water or white foam with undigested food.4
There are a few things you can do at home to help your dog avoid acid reflux, but if you think your dog is struggling with this, it’s a good idea to take them to see your veterinarian for advice.
Throwing up Water due to Internal Parasites
There is a chance your dog might have picked up some sort of internal parasite. This could be due to drinking contaminated water, or by coming in contact with another dog infected with a parasite. In some cases, a dog can even inhale a parasite just by sniffing the ground.
One of the more common intestinal parasites is an organism known as Giardia. It can lead to your dog throwing up their water, or vomiting after eating food. One of the more telltale symptoms of an infestation is diarrhea. 5
Dogs suffering from a giardiasis will sometimes have green-colored stools that are covered in mucus. If you suspect that your vomiting dog may have a parasite, it’s vital you take them to your vet to receive medical treatment.
Natural Digestive Support That Can Help with Throwing Up Water
For a dog throwing up water, or clear liquid, there are a few things you can try on your own to help calm their stomach. However, calming their stomach doesn’t mean that the issue is fixed.
Whether or not these remedies help your dog’s upset stomach, make sure your dog has a clean bill of health by bringing them to the family veterinarian as soon as you can.
After you’ve been to see your vet, and you know your dog’s sensitive stomach isn’t related to a chronic condition or other serious health condition, try these “tummy soothing” tips…
#1. Canine Probiotics
One simple thing you can do to help your dog with digestive issues is to add a canine probiotic to their diet, like Dr. Marty ProPower Plus. It contains gut-balancing probiotics, as well as potent digestive enzymes to help soothe your dog’s minor tummy issues.
But ProPower Plus is MORE than simply a digestive formula. It’s designed to help with other common canine health issues as well!
Health issues that many dog parents believe are “normal,” but are actually often signs of an imbalance in your dog’s gut. Things like stinky breath, skin problems, nervous behavior – and even grass eating — these can all be related to an occasional upset stomach.6
That’s why ProPower Plus is filled with fast-acting, gut-balancing probiotics and tummy-calming digestive enzymes, as well as odor-zapping Champex, a potent mushroom extract, known to support fresher breath, better body odor, and firmer, less stinky poops.
So if your dog has an occasional upset stomach, or any of the issues mentioned above, try ProPower Plus to help them have smoother digestion, reduced bad odors, a calmer, “happier” tummy.7
If your dog is throwing up water or shows a lack of interest in their food, try giving them some fresh or powdered ginger. They’ll love the taste, plus it could help settle their stomach so they don’t keep vomiting.8
A great way to give your dog a little ginger is to make a “ginger tea.” For maximum effectiveness, only use pure fresh or powdered ginger. Most tea blends that you can buy at your grocery store will have added sugar or other ingredients that could upset your dog’s tummy even more. Plus, making plain ginger tea is so easy, you don’t need tea bags!
Tummy Soothing Ginger Tea:
- Take 1 teaspoon of ginger (dried or fresh) and mix it with 1 cup of water.
- Heat the water until boiling (you can do this over the stove or in your microwave.) Once the water is boiling, remove it from the heat and stir.
- Allow your dog’s ginger tea to cool down to room temperature. Once it’s cool, give it a good stir and remove any slices of fresh ginger (if you used fresh.)
- Serve it to your dog! You can pour your dog’s ginger tea straight into their water bowl, or pour it over their food as a topper.
TIP: If your pup is reluctant to drink pure ginger tea, try replacing the cup of water with low-sodium chicken bone broth. However, as with all “human foods” you want to choose your broth carefully. Make sure there are no added ingredients, flavors, or preservatives. 100% organic, low-sodium chicken bone broth is best.
Pumpkin contains a great deal of fiber, which is great for digestion and can help soothe the stomach after your dog throws up. Just make sure you give them canned pumpkin and not pumpkin pie filling.
Pumpkin pie filling contains nutmeg, along with other sugars and spices, that could cause even more health issues, or even require medical care.9
If you can’t find plain, organic, pumpkin puree, plain sweet potato puree is also a good option.
If Your Dog Is Throwing Up Water, Play It Safe
A dog throwing up water once in a while is nothing to panic about. If your pup only occasionally vomits water and bits of food, and you know for sure that it’s not a serious issue, try ProPower Plus canine probiotics and the other home remedies mentioned above.
But if frequent vomiting of water or clear liquid is a chronic issue for your pup, go see your veterinarian as soon as possible to determine if your dog needs a special diet or some other type of supportive care.
Veterinary care is essential for chronic vomiting, even if it just looks like lots of water, because vomiting clear liquid has been listed as one of the common symptoms of bacterial infections, viral infections, thyroid problems, kidney disease, liver dysfunction, and even an intestinal obstruction.
Any of those issues would require things that only your veterinarian can do, like blood work, diagnostic tests, a treatment plan, or prescription medication. So always check with your vet whenever you have questions about your dog’s health.
With your veterinarian’s care, and with the helpful tips above, you’ll have your furry friend feeling like their cheerful, playful self again in no time.
- Flaim, D. (2021, June 9). Can Dogs Drink Too Much Water? The Dangers of Water Intoxication. American Kennel Club. Retrieved November 8, 2021, from https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/can-dogs-drink-much-water-dangers-water-intoxication/
- Food Intolerance in Dogs. (n.d.). VCA Hospitals. Retrieved November 8, 2021, from https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/adverse-reactions-to-food-in-dogs
- Cannon, A. (2021, April 27). Dehydration in Dogs: Causes, Symptoms, and How to Get Your Dog Rehydrated. Daily Paws. Retrieved November 8, 2021, from https://www.dailypaws.com/dogs-puppies/health-care/dog-conditions/dehydration-in-dogs
- Barnette, DVM, C. (2021). Gastroesophageal Reflux. VCA Hopitals. Retrieved November 8, 2021, from https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/gastroesophageal-reflux-disease-gerd-in-nonbrachycephalic-dogs
- The MSPCA-Angell. (2017, September 14). Intestinal Parasites in Dogs and Cats •. MSPCA-Angell. Retrieved November 8, 2021, from https://www.mspca.org/angell_services/intestinal-parasites-in-dogs-and-cats/
- Jensen, A. P., & Bjørnvad, C. R. (2019). Clinical effect of probiotics in prevention or treatment of gastrointestinal disease in dogs: A systematic review. Journal of veterinary internal medicine, 33(5), 1849–1864. https://doi.org/10.1111/jvim.15554