Dogs Vomiting Water: Causes and Treatments

Dogs can vomit for many different reasons, mostly benign ones. Vomiting traces of food is common and has happened to every dog owner, but what if your dog is vomiting water? In this text we're exploring this matter a little deeper!

dogs vomiting water

Vomiting episodes are never pleasant experiences, for you as a dog owner or for your dog. However, these situations are inevitable and will happen every once in a while.

The most common situation is when a dog is throwing up traces of food and it’s usually a sign of an upset stomach or a problem in the digestive system.

But what does it mean when a dog is throwing up water?

We understand that you’re probably worried if you see that your dog is vomiting water. You’ve never seen this before and naturally you wonder what to do? Should you give him more water in order to re-hydrate? Or should you give him some food?

Scroll down and find out more about possible causes and treatments for vomiting water. But first of all, let’s clear out one thing:

Is Your Dog Actually Throwing Up Water?

When you see that your dog is throwing up clear liquid that looks like water, it’s actually not water they’re vomiting! The liquid is in fact gastric juice, an acid that represents a natural and essential help for the digestion process.

Now that we’ve sorted this out, let’s take a look at what throwing up ”water” could mean!

Why Is My Dog Throwing Up Water?

The reason why your dog is throwing up gastric juice and not food could be very simple – because it hasn’t eaten anything. It could also be because the dog has eaten something irritating that got stuck in the digestive tract.

In some cases, it could be a side effect from getting agitated or worked up. If this is the case, the vomiting will decrease after he or she calms down.

Unfortunately, vomiting water can indicate some more serious medical issues. We’re taking a deeper look at these conditions.

Thyroid Dysfunction

The thyroid hormones are produced by the thyroid gland. When too many hormones are being produced the dog has hypothyroidism. On the other hand, if there aren’t enough hormones, when there’s a deficit, the condition is called hypothyroidism.

Both of these dysfunctions can lead to vomiting, more precisely vomiting water if the stomach is empty. Some other symptoms indicating thyroid dysfunctions are oily or dry skin, pale gums or coarse hair.

In order to solve this problems, medication therapy should be prescribed. In some very extreme cases surgery may be an option.


As we all know, there are certain foods that should be avoided and are bad foods for dogs. Toxic substances can lead to vomiting, both food and liquid.

If a dog is throwing up liquid it’s possible that he will have foam in the mouth as well. Other symptoms of intoxication are diarrhea, dilated pupils, lack of coordination, pale gums, seizures or coma, in extreme cases.

It’s possible to absorb toxins with activated charcoal, but nonetheless the dog should still be taken to a vet as soon as possible.

Liver Dysfunction

The liver’s vital function is in filtering the toxic substances in the dog’s body. If it’s not working as it should, naturally it will fail to filter the toxins and the level of toxins in the blood will be higher than it should. This will lead to similar symptoms as in the previous case with intoxication.

Dogs Throwing Up Bile

The bile has important functions in the digestion of food and removal of waste material from the dog’s body. It’s stored in the gallbladder until food ingestion, after which it’s released into the small intestine in order to help with digestion and to emulsify the food.

When the bile enters the stomach from the intestine, it causes irritation and vomiting. You can spot the bile in the vomit contents by a watery-like, yellow-green substance.

If your dog is vomiting bile, it’s probably a sign that something isn’t working perfectly in the digestive tract. However, take him or her to the vet just to be on the safe side. Prescribed medications or special diets usually help.


Tumors in the stomach can lead to vomiting, both food and liquid if the stomach is empty. If the tumor is in the brain, in particular if it’s near the vomiting center, the vomiting can be more frequent.

The tumor should be removed, if possible, after it has been diagnosed. If the tumor is malign, chemotherapy will be needed.

In all of these conditions above, it’s important to go see a veterinarian as soon as you start suspecting something is wrong in order to get proper treatment for your dog.

In addition, we should mention that the ”water” dogs can throw up isn’t always gastric juice, it can be bile as well!

What Do I Do When My Dog Is Vomiting?

When you notice that your dog is throwing up water you ask yourself what should be done in order to help your best friend. Here are some tips:

Inspect the vomit

Even if it looks like clear water, you should still inspect it. While you do that, look out for bile, parts of food or blood. By doing so you can get a better idea of your dog’s problem.

Other things to look out for are inedible objects, such as parts of toys or shoes for instance. This is more probable to happen if your dog is younger.

Check out this video on what you should and shouldn’t do when your dog is vomiting!

As you can hear, these are some things you shouldn’t do:

Give more water than usual

Your first instinct will probably be to give your dog more water when you see how much water he’s throwing up. Surprisingly, this is not the right way to go. Additional water can irritate even more the vomiting reflexes and result in more vomiting episodes.

Feed Your Dog Differently

If the reason for vomiting is an upset stomach, changing the diet routine will only confuse the stomach and lead to more vomiting.

Don’t Ignore

If the vomiting doesn’t seem to stop, don’t put off the visit to the vet. That way you can establish what the cause is and how to treat it if necessary.


Vomiting can be scary and unpleasant, especially if it’s the first time your dog suffers like this. However, there is usually no need to worry, especially if the vomiting only happens once or twice and then stops. Nonetheless, it’s important to know how to behave in these situations.

If the vomiting is more frequent, look out for other symptoms and take your dog to the vet. In order to determine the proper treatment you have to be sure of the cause first.

If your dog is vomiting liquid that is clear and not mixed with food, it can be because the dog hasn’t eaten anything. Unfortunately, vomiting liquid can indicate some medical problems as well, which is why you have to watch out for other symptoms mentioned above.

Last but not least, it’s vital to understand that vomiting episodes will happen from time to time with your dog and that they’re a part of being a dog owner. Don’t panic, try to determine the cause, consult your vet for treatment and everything should be fine in a while!

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  • Betty Vaughn

    My dog is vomiting and has direara all he’s had today is some country ham and bone is that bad for some reason?  He is a german shepherd. 

  • reena

    my dog is da dobberman and is 4mnths old and there were a female and a male ,but unfortunately the female passed away within 2days of illness and she stopped eating which was the 1st step we noticed and then vomitted and second day she had blood diarrohea and shortly passed away with a loud bark .so now that my male one is also affected and now having problem in eating and vommiting water as he is only sipping littly by little water so what to feed him at the moment he is not having diarrhoea though.