Sick dog sleeping in dog bed with cuddly toy

It can be stressful when your pets aren’t feeling well, especially when they’re experiencing bouts of vomiting and you’re not sure how to help. It’s natural to feel concerned, but don’t worry we’re here to provide you with the guidance you need during these challenging moments. 

If your dog has been experiencing vomiting, an upset stomach, decreased appetite or diarrhoea, it’s important to plan the best course of action to prevent any more sickness and help stop you from constantly cleaning up all those runny messes they leave on your carpets!

You can receive veterinary prescriptions to treat some minor cases of vomiting or promote better gut health, but providing plain, bland dog food is a great place to start to ease your dog’s stomach when they’re throwing up.

Why is my dog throwing up?

Before we dive into what we recommend, you first need to understand why your canine companion is having tummy troubles. Just like humans, dogs can experience a bout of vomiting from time to time, as a result of various factors:


Your pup’s curious nature might lead them to eat something they shouldn’t have. This could range from gobbling down a tasty but unidentifiable morsel from the garden to sneakily raiding the kitchen bin. If they manage to eat something that doesn’t agree with them, this can lead to vomiting as their body tries to rid itself of the toxin.

Alternatively, sickness could be due to a change in diet or introduction of new medication, or simply that they’ve wolfed down their meal too quickly. So, keep an eye out for their eating habits and check whether there have been any changes to their diet since the sickness started that may be the cause.

Motion sickness

Is your dog throwing up in the car or when travelling? They could be car sick! 

Just like some people, dogs can experience motion sickness during car rides. The swaying and bouncing can leave their stomachs feeling a tad queasy.

The travelling may also be causing them to feel anxious which could lead them to be sick. Signs of anxiety in dogs include excessive drooling, panting, trembling or vomiting. You can try and reduce your doggie’s anxiety by spraying pheromone products on your dog’s bed prior to travel.

Infections and parasites

Viral, bacterial or parasitic infections can lead to vomiting in dogs. It’s essential to watch for other signs of illness, like diarrhoea or lethargy, as this could be an indication of infection.

Although these are the most common causes of vomiting in your pup, there’s also a chance it could be something more serious. If you’re worried about your dog’s sickness, or if it’s been going on for a while, call your vet for further advice.

Foods to give sick dogs that are throwing up

Wondering what to feed a sick dog that’s throwing up? You should provide food that’s safe for your dog and gentle on their tummy to help settle their digestive system. It’s important to be extra careful about what goes into their stomachs, and often it’s hard to know what to feed them. 

Luckily, we’re here to help. It’s time to don your detective hat and ensure you provide them with the right sustenance to recover swiftly. Let’s explore some options:

If you’ve ruled out anxiety and car sickness and are sure they haven’t ingested something they shouldn’t have, first make sure you’ve taken away their food and water bowl to prevent further irritation on your dog’s gut, and instead keep them hydrated by offering small amounts of water every few hours. You can also try feeding them special bland foods to help settle their stomachs and fix diarrhoea.

Bland diets for dogs

Bland diets can work wonders for a dog with an upset stomach. These are easy on the digestive system and can help soothe their tummy troubles. You might think feeding a bland diet is boring and tasteless, but trust us, your dog is bound to think these foods are delicious!

You can buy dog foods specifically designed for sensitive stomachs, which are great to use on a long-term basis, but bland recipes like chicken and rice can be a simple short-term solution.

Here are a few of our favourite bland diet options your doggies will love…

Chicken and rice

This classic combo is gentle on the stomach and provides essential nutrients. Boil some plain chicken (skinless and boneless) and rice without any seasoning. White rice may be less nutritional than brown rice, but it’s more suitable for upset stomachs due to its blandness. Mix them together, and you’ve got a bland dish that’s still tasty for your dog.

TOP TIP: Shredding your chicken prevents a greedy or overly enthusiastic dog from choking!


Pumpkin is a magical ingredient for sick dogs that are throwing up. It’s high in fibre and can help regulate their digestion, but be sure to feed it to them in moderation and make sure you aren’t restricting them to only pumpkin. Remember, it should be plain, cooked pumpkin with no added salt, sugars or seasonings.

TOP TIP: Canned pumpkin is an easy alternative, as long as it doesn’t have extra ingredients or seasoning.

Bone broth

Bone broth is like a warm hug for your dog’s digestive system. It’s packed with nutrients and can help keep them hydrated. Bone broth can be added to their regular dry food, which is great for encouraging eating when your dog has lost its appetite.

Again, make sure no salt or seasoning is added if you are purchasing bone broth, but you can also make your own! Just ensure you remove the bones before feeding and don’t serve it too hot.

If you want to feed your dog a bland food diet during the day when you’re out at work, a stainless steel dog feeder can be a great way to keep your pet’s meals cool and fresh throughout the day, and even serve wet meals twice a day.

What to feed a dog with diarrhoea

When your dog is experiencing both vomiting and diarrhoea, it’s crucial to provide easily digestible foods. You don’t want to make your dog’s stomach worse or cause more discomfort, so avoid any extra ingredients or seasoning. 

You can continue with the bland diet options mentioned above; however, plain porridge made with water instead of milk can be another good dog food for diarrhoea. Make sure it’s cooked and unsweetened and not too hot when you serve.

Dog food for gastroenteritis

If your pup’s stomach troubles persist or worsen, it may be a sign of gastroenteritis, which causes vomiting and diarrhoea and may be the reason your dog is sick. Gastroenteritis may lead to dehydration, so if you’re concerned, it’s important to seek veterinary advice and consider dog food specifically designed for gastrointestinal issues. 

There are various gastrointestinal dog food options available in pet stores that are gentle on their tummies, but always consult your vet for the best recommendations tailored to your dog’s needs. In the meantime, it’s best to maintain a bland diet for sick dogs to avoid discomfort.

When to call your vet

While we all strive to be proactive pet parents, there are times when professional help is necessary. If your dog’s vomiting persists, is accompanied by other concerning symptoms or if you suspect they’ve ingested something toxic, seek veterinary advice as soon as possible.

Your vet can provide valuable guidance and might recommend diagnostic tests to uncover the root cause of your dog’s illness. Remember, your pup’s health is of paramount importance, and it’s always better to be safe than sorry.