Gastroenteritis in Dogs

By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. Updated: June 11, 2017
Gastroenteritis in Dogs

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Gastroenteritis is a disease that almost all of us have suffered from at some point, so we know what its symptoms are.

Dogs, like us, may suffer from it and its causes are sometimes not easy to detect. The intake of food that is in bad state or the consumption of toxic plants may cause this disease that causes discomfort and vomiting.

It is not uncommon for your dog to vomit occasionally, but when vomiting becomes constant you should know how to act to avoid dehydration. In this AnimalWised article we reveal the causes that provoke gastroenteritis in dogs and how to help your dog overcome it.

You may also be interested in: Natural Remedies for Dogs with Gastroenteritis


Gastroenteritis is caused by an inflammation of the stomach and intestine that causes vomiting, diarrhoea and abdominal pain. It causes a reaction in dogs similar to that in humans.

It can be caused by different factors:

  • Spoiled food
  • Contaminated water
  • Contact with another sick dog
  • Consuming toxic plants
  • Bacterial, fungal or viral infection

Often we do not know the exact cause. It is therefore important that your dog's feeding be controlled, and you do not let it eat junk food or food off the street.

Similarly, you must eliminate from its diet all foods that cause allergic reactions or digestive problems. Fortunately gastroenteritis is not a dangerous disease, if the dog does not suffer from other diseases it can usually overcome it within a couple of days.

Gastroenteritis in Dogs - Causes


It is not uncommon for your dog to occasionally throw up. It may be due to eating quickly or to having ingested herbs to purge itself. In these cases the vomiting is sporadic and not repeated. In gastroenteritis, vomiting is repeated and continuous, even when the dog has already vomited its food. The symptoms of gastroenteritis are as follows:

  • Constant vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Apathy
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Loss appetite / thirst
Gastroenteritis in Dogs - Symptoms


Gastroenteritis has no cure, we can only relieve the symptoms. We can treat our dog at home if it is mild gastroenteritis. With proper care within a few days it will begin to eat normally and recover.


Whether we know the cause of the vomiting or not, we should eliminate food during a period of 24 hours. So its stomach will rest after episodes of vomiting. Surely during these first hours your dog will not feel like eating, but even if it accepts food while still vomiting, it is better that the dog keeps fasting.

During these 24 hours never withdraw water.

After this period of fasting reintroduce food in small amounts so to not force its stomach. You will notice that after 2 or 3 days it begins to recover and eat normally.


During illness our dog will lose a lot of fluids and minerals, so it is important to combat dehydration. It should always have fresh clean water.

You can also offer it Aquarius or similar isotonic drinks diluted with a little water. It will help replenish lost minerals.

Remember that during fasting you should not withdraw water. It is important to drink as much as possible.

Gastroenteritis in Dogs - Treatment

When to see the vet

Mild gastroenteritis can be treated at home but sometimes complications can occur. If your case is one of the following then go immediately to the veterinarian to avoid complications:

  • If your dog is a puppy dog then gastroenteritis can be dangerous. It is always advisable to go to the vet immediately to avoid dehydration.
  • If you observe blood in the vomit or stool this is a sign of complications.
  • If the vomiting lasts more than 2 days and you do not observe improvements your veterinarian will administer antiemetics, either orally or intravenously, that will inhibit vomiting.
  • If on the third or fourth day the dog does not eat normally your vet may perform a blood test to confirm the cause, and in case of bacterial infection antibiotics will be given.
  • Remember that you should never give it antibiotics by yourself; the dose and time should be indicated by a professional.
Gastroenteritis in Dogs - When to see the vet

This article is purely informative. AnimalWised does not have the authority to prescribe any veterinary treatment or create a diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian if they are suffering from any condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to Gastroenteritis in Dogs, we recommend you visit our Intestinal problems category.

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